Top 5 Every Day Foods to Support Your Fitness Goals

Top 5 Every Day Foods to Support Your Fitness GoalsFive Foods You Could and Should Eat Every Day

The importance of nutrition cannot be emphasized enough. If you are looking to improve your health, keep those excess pounds at bay, and live a long disease free life, a healthy diet is essential.

In fact, a healthy diet is beyond essential if you want conquer your health & fitness goals and see long lasting results from all your hard work. Need a quick refresher of the importance of proper nutrition before reading on? Be sure to check out this post!

Naturally you will also need to pair your healthy diet with a balanced exercise program to see optimal results. You can spend hours in the gym each and every day but if your diet isn’t supporting this lifestyle, your results, or in this case the lack of results will follow.

A great reminder to stay on track with your healthy diet is the saying that “Abs are Made in the Kitchen.” So the next time you reach for that extra jelly doughnut at Krispy Creme or a second or third mochaccino at Starbucks, remember that.

But without further ado, here are five of my favorite every day foods that can support your health and fitness goals!

Top 5 Every Day Foods to Support Your Fitness Goals

#5. Apples

washington apples best every day food for active people

An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away, but 3 Apples a Day May Keep the Pounds Off

The age old adage has a new twist. With the obesity epidemic in the United States people constantly look for easy ways out. A few years back some folks in Washington State found one.

As part of a local gym’s weight loss contest, registered dietician Tammi Flynn put them on diets which included 3 Washington apples a day before meals.

The results speak for themselves. 346 people lost 6,126 pounds of fat in 12 weeks.

Even if weight loss is not your concern, apples provide a nutrient dense snack which is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and water. There are many varieties, with different flavors and best of all you can get apples year round, world wide for very cheap.

How to Include Apples in Your Diet:  Apples are the easiest food to include in your diet. They have a very long shelf life for fruit and you can pack them, and eat them anywhere. You have no excuse not to eat them every day.

#4. Spinach

Spinach Best every day foods Popeye

Popeye is Back with a Vengeance and he wants You to Eat Your Greens

best every day foods for active peopleSpinach won’t give you huge forearms or the ability to beat up a giant sailor named Bluto, but is an every day superfood.

Eating spinach is the easiest way to include those dreaded green leafy vegetables in your diet.

In addition to being very, very low in calories, the list of the benefits of spinach goes on and on.

Dietary fiber headlines the list which includes the antioxidants beta and alpha carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin as well as calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K and folic acid.

How to Include Spinach in Your Diet:  A spinach salad is always a good way to get a full serving of spinach but spinach is a very versatile superfood to include in your diet every day.

Spinach can be added to many cooked foods, to supercharge their nutrition without altering the taste.

Further Reading:

#3. Cottage Cheese

cottage cheese eat it every day

If you Don’t want it on your Thighs, You should Definitely Include it in Your Diet

You either love it or hate it but hate never gets you anywhere. Cottage cheese is one of the best protein sources you can have in your diet.

The protein in cottage cheese is casein. Casein has the advantage of being the slowest digested protein.

Digesting slowly carries advantages for all fitness goals with the exception of getting extremely fat. Sorry sumo wrestlers.

You can also get cultured cottage cheese which definitely has an acquired taste, but will give you all the benefits of the healthy cultures which it contains. These “good bacteria” which include Lactobacillus acidophilus keep your intestines healthy and help digestion run smoothly.

How to Include Cottage Cheese in Your Diet:  Cottage cheese is the perfect protein source to compliment fruits, berries, and nuts to create a healthy, nutrient rich, low calorie meal or snack which will help you keep your body healthy inside and out.

It is the muscle builders best dietary choice to consume before bed as the casein protein is broken down slowly over the night to maximize muscle gains and minimize muscle catabolism.

#2. Oats

eat oats every day

Uncle Sam Recommended

The US government is corrupt and so is Uncle SamBack in 1997 the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) allowed all products which contain oat grains and oat bran to claim on the boxes that oats reduce risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol.

While this opened the floodgates for unhealthy processed foods to claim a heart healthy benefit, oats still remain one of the stable foods in your every day nutrition program.

The benefits of oats stem from the soluble fiber which has been shown in studies to lower cholesterol levels thus reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

This is not the only reason to make oats an every day food choice. Oats contain a unique antioxidant called avenanthramides. Avenanthramides help prevent free radicals from damaging the good (LDL) cholesterol. This was suggested in a study at Tufts University and published in The Journal of Nutrition.

In addition to the long term benefits of oat consumption, oats are a great source of complex carbohydrates which provide long lasting energy for active individuals. Oats also contain a high amount of the antioxidant selenium.

How to Include Oats in Your Diet:  Oatmeal comes in different varieties such as rolled oats, steel cut oats and instant oats, all which are great for the breakfast of champions. Oats are the main component of museli which is a tasty, energy rich mixture of different grains, fruits and nuts and their associated healthy fats.

Oats are also great for baking cookies, breads, granolas and energy bars. A great addition to oatmeal is flax meal which will add the healthy essential fatty acids to your diet. With your imagination and skills, there is no limit to the ways you can include oats in your diet.

#1. Sweet Potatoes / Yams

sweet potatoes yams eat every day nutrition

Just What is the Difference Between Sweet Potatoes and Yams?

Yams and sweet potatoes are used interchangeably sometimes where in fact they are actually 2 different species. They come in colors ranging from white to orange.

Only a botanist would be able to understand the differences therefore the US department of agriculture requires yams to be labeled as sweet potatoes also.

Regardless of the differences both are healthy for you. They are alive and bustling with nutrients.

In 1992, the Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables. Considering fiber content, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium, the sweet potato ranked highest in nutritional value. According to these criteria, sweet potatoes earned 184 points, 100 points over the next on the list, the common potato.

If you have never eaten sweet potatoes before they will grow on you, literally!  Sweet potatoes have a very long shelf life and grow until you kill them with a few minutes in the microwave or bake them in the stove.

The complex carbohydrates and B vitamins in sweet potatoes make them every active person’s best dietary carbohydrate source. Sweet potatoes have long been the best source of carbs for athletes and bodybuilders for strength, speed, power and body composition benefits.

How to Include Sweet Potatoes in Your Diet:  Sweet potatoes will grow in your kitchen for months if you fail to eat them. As well as the common baked sweet potatoes and sweet potato pie, they can be eaten just like apples.

If you have access to a microwave you can pack uncooked sweet potatoes to work and microwave them. If you cook them beforehand, sweet potatoes are good cold or hot and taste great alone without any added calories.

The Bottom Line

Just because some foods were not mentioned in this list does not mean they couldn’t or shouldn’t be every day foods in your nutrition program.

These 5 were selected as foods to eat every single day because they have many benefits including, nutrition, availability, price, ease of preparation, and health benefits. They are also some of my own personal favorites!

It is worth it to mention the common theme of Everything in moderation. This mantra is never more important when you consider your diet.

All natural foods such as nuts, berries, lean meats, dairy products, vegetables and fruits have a place in your diet in my opinion.

A good way to ensure your diet is healthy is to limit your shopping in the grocery store to only the produce, dairy, and meat section.

And do not shop for groceries when you are starving and with tunnel vision. With discipline you will make smarter food choices which will help you create the best healthy diet for you.

Along with exercise, a diet rich with the top 5 every day foods and other solid food choices will help you live a long, strong, balanced, healthy, and satisfying life.

Author Profile: Mike Behnken

Mike Behnken is a personal trainer who holds multiple NASM certifications and a MS in Exercise Science. Mike loves fitness, travel, and photography among many other interests.

Disclaimer: The views of the author are his or her own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Ask The Trainer.
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