People might link their lifestyle to the considerable thickness of their beard or the essentials they use to look spruce, but at the end of the day, our body is the only aspect that reveals our personality. A great author once said, “Just because you are not sick doesn’t mean you’re healthy”. True to its core, this statement is a gag to those people who believe that doing yoga, meditating, and gymming can shape their bodies irrespective of the food they eat. Yes, these factors can help you shape your body, but those are all external factors. Think of it yourself, grab junk food, eat it the whole day and lift out some weights at your gym. Feels right? No matter how much fit you will look from the outside, your inner body would burn like hell. To maintain a healthy lifestyle, each and every speck of your body needs to be fit. Don’t just eat, instead eat healthily. Considering the saga- “You are what you eat”, here is a list of foods that you should include in your diet to get those abs and ultra-muscular arms for which you sweat out hours in your gym.
1. Green Tea
Also known as the elixir of life, the popularity of this food can be estimated form the commercials and advertisements all around us. Apart from its vogue, green tea acts as an antioxidant which is helpful for brain memory. It is an anti-cancer substance; it reduces the risk of diabetes and is helpful in weight loss. 1-3 cups each day can reduce your belly fat and can control your sugar level.
2. Whole Grains
At least half of your grains should contain whole grains. This food not only provides you proteins, fibers, and iron but also helps to lower bad cholesterol and reduce cancer risk. The myth to shun grains to reduce weight is a guff. Rather than removing grains from your diet, you can trade whole grain for refined grain products. Adding to the positives of this food, it also protects our gums and teeth. Go for whole wheat bread and pasta. A checkpoint – don’t get fooled while buying whole wheat products. Don’t just bring them because they are brown; instead, check the first three ingredients on the packet labeled with whole wheat.
3. Olive Oil
People link diseases with the amount of fat you consume rather than the type of fat you gulp down. The evil side contains the saturated and the trans fats, while the monounsaturated fat occupies the brighter and godly side. Olives and olive oil are rich in these disease lowering fats. Not only this, olive oil is a part of the Mediterranean diet, and satisfies hunger quickly which results in less intake of food, thus maintaining your health. Adding to its exceptional properties, it also helps in controlling blood pressure and sugar levels, beneficial in curing cancer and heart diseases and most of it, controls weight.
Known as the world’s healthiest foods, broccoli comes on the top of the list of all fit people till date. When we talk about green plus healthy vegetable, broccoli is the first to strike our minds. It contains a handful of nutrients. Starting from iron, Vitamin C, K, chromium, calcium, protein and the list never ends. Adding 2-3 half-cup servings of broccoli per week to your diet can be helpful in uncountable ways. Apart from the well-known benefit of reducing weight, Broccoli is helpful in skin care, eye care, heart diseases, bone diseases, cholesterol reduction, cancer prevention, and reduces allergic reaction and inflammation.
Milk in any form is not only considered to be good but rather, it is a necessity for a human body. Daily consumption of milk is must for people of all age groups. Containing all the benefits of milk, yogurt contains live cultures or bacteria which restore balance to the gastrointestinal tract. 3 servings of yogurt per day can improve bone health. Yogurt contains probiotics that play a vital role in building strong immune system for our body. Including this, it reduces hunger and maintains weight by controlling our natural appetite.
6. Sweet Potatoes
Containing a substantial amount of vitamin C, B6, and A, sweet potatoes has an irony of its own. Just as the name suggests, they are sweet in taste, but the irony lies in the fact that they have low glycemic index. They release sugar into the bloodstream very slowly and thus, are not harmful to diabetics. In addition to this, they contain iron which helps in building a healthy immune system. Magnesium and potassium containing this food is good for the functioning of heart, nerves, muscles, and bones. Just one potato per week could do things just fine. People with impaired kidney and gallbladder should consult a doctor prior to consumption of this food.
What makes salmon an eye catcher in between all these points is the presence of omega-3 fatty acids. This acid helps in fighting against premature aging and increases the activity of the brain. Additionally, it contains vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, and D that helps in healthy functioning of the brain, heart, and bones. Amino acids in salmon help in stimulating the growth of the body. Containing considerable amounts of potassium and a mineral called selenium, this food is great to help cancer patients and those with heart diseases. The polyunsaturated fatty acids help in preventing obesity. 3-4 servings per week will make you look just the way you desire.
Providing protection against brain and heart diseases, walnut has been classified as the world’s healthiest foods. It contains copper, molybdenum, biotin, omega-3 fats, and manganese. The sky-high value of vitamin E in the form of gamma-tocopherol in walnuts has made them exceptionally different from rest of the food products in terms of protection from heart diseases. A plus point of this food is that it prevents the growth of cancer causing cells in the body.
Known as the most nutritious food, eggs have Vitamin A, B5, B12, Selenium, and omega-3 acids just the same as salmon. With all the pros of eggs, we have cons in the form of cholesterol. Eggs contain almost 213mg of cholesterol, which is too much for a normal person who limits his diet to 300mg. But having one egg every day won’t make a difference even for a person with high cholesterol. Since all of the cholesterol lies within the yolk in addition to the nutrients, one whole egg and 2 white eggs should balance between your nutrients and cholesterol level. Containing an inordinate amount of nutrients (almost 13 of them), eggs show their positives in weight management, brain management, the functionality of eye and health.
Oatmeal consists of soluble and insoluble fibers. While the former can reduce cholesterol levels, the later can improve intestinal health. Due to a remarkable amount of fibers, oatmeal regulates blood sugar. It has no saturated fats, so if one desires to lose weight, then he should avoid instant oatmeal. Packaged oatmeal contains a certain amount of gluten that can turn out be an off switch for people suffering from celiac disease. Apart from the two type of fibers, oats contain magnesium, zinc, manganese, iron, selenium and phosphorous. Having 3-4 servings every week can hype your nutrient level.
Josh Billings once said, “Health is like money, we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it”. So while you’ve got time in your hands and health in your destiny, appreciate it, accept it and value it. Don’t shun food to become slim or overeat in the blind love for the food. Rather, eat healthily, eat smart.
A little tip- every food we consume has different effects on our body depending upon our internal structure and immune system. Our body accepts some products and rejects others. If you are thinking of consuming a new product, and are suffering from a disease, then according to me, you should consult your doctor or adviser prior to consumption of these food products. After all, prevention is better than cure.