Eating healthy is one of the building blocks of developing above average performance in your workout. Along with exercise and rest, having a good nutrition will not only strengthen your system but it will also allow you to build that strength and endurance needed for this highly competitive sport. Although, most of us have a vague understanding of what eating healthy actually is, very few people know exactly what it means - and even more worrying is the fact that even fewer practice it.
As a rule of thumb, eating foods that have been harvested and avoiding processed food will lead you towards a better health. The reason for this is that the human body has gone through thousands of years of evolution in which it has learned to digest items such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and nuts, in an optimal way. On the other hand, processed foods having been available only for some decades now, our bodies can't retrieve nutrients in a manner that promotes overall balance.
Here is a list of foods that you should eat:
- Vegetables, especially dark leafy ones including spinach, broccoli, etc.
- Nuts and seeds (peanuts, almonds, Brazilian nuts, Sunflower seeds, Linseed, etc.)
- Protein sources. Avoiding red meat is preferable. Eating mostly fish and some chicken is advised. Tuna should be avoided due to its high levels of mercury. If you are a vegetarian, quinoa, soy, and gluten, as well as other "vegetarian meats" usually sold at natural food stores can be consumed.
- Fruit. Around 2 or 3 portions a day.
- Cook your food with healthy oils such as olive and coconut oils.
You shouldn't eat the following foods:
- Processed foods
- Alcohol and other stimulants
- Sugars. You can replace with honey, or raw cane sugar.
- Dairy- Fast Food
- White bread
- Unhealthy oils such as partially hydrogenated oils, or palm and cottonseed oils.
Along with these recommendations, also remember that there should be a balance between the types of foods eaten. As a person who exercises hard, you will need plenty of carbs to provide you with the energy required for strenuous exercise while at the same time consuming enough protein to build and maintain your muscles. 40% carbs, 30% fat, and 30% protein is an ideal nutritional balance to keep you fit.
Eating healthy is more of a lifestyle change than in switching one dish for another. While at first it may appear like a hard thing to do, once you start noticing the benefits which include a leaner physique, a sense of well-being, and a better sports performance, you will enjoy this positive change.
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