Whatever your goals – be it improving flexibility and balance, boosting vitality, bolstering your immune system or strengthening your muscles, there’s one key element to reaching your optimum fitness level that can’t be neglected: improved nutrition.
And whilst this road to improved nutrition may not sound like the most exciting journey, it doesn’t have to be a rough drive either.
Here are three happy ways you can infuse nutrition in your fitness routine.
1. Opt for delicious
Making a garlic smoothie with seaweed and five other random superfoods chucked in for an Extra Dose of Healthy does not make a yummy treat…and smoothies definitely belong in the yummy treats department.
The point is, having a healthy attitude to food means appreciating its flavour as much as its nutritional values. Treating produce as sources of pleasure rather than just sustenance is a happier way to keep watch of what we consume. Our taste buds exist for a reason.
2. Eat with colours
Colours are helpful in stimulating appetite and in helping us distinguish the freshness and quality of our food.
Phytochemicals – nature’s pigments, have long been studied to identify colour, flavour, odour and organic chemicals in fruits and veggies.
Plants produce these chemicals to protect themselves (1) but recent studies – such as a 2004 research published in the Journal of Nutrition by the American Society of Nutritional Sciences, suggest that a ‘high dietary intake of fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains is strongly associated with reduced risk of developing chronic diseases’. (2)
Red produce – tomatoes, paprika, cherries, etc. – contain the phytochemical lycopene which may help lessen mouth and throat inflammation, lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular maladies.
White produce – garlic, mushrooms, parsnips, etc. – contain the phytochemical allicin which may help restrain some harmful bacteria, fungi, parasite and virus.
Yellow and orange produce – corn, mangoes, butternut squash, etc. – contain the phytochemical beta-cryptoxanthin which ‘may protect against diseases associated with ageing’ (3), including heart problems, skin cancer, arthritis and eye deterioration.
On the list goes. So go ahead, savour those harvested rainbows.
high dietary intake of fruits and vegetables as well as whole grains is strongly associated with reduced risk of developing chronic diseases
3. Power up your superfoods
Now here’s a highly-debated subject: ‘Fruits and vegetables grown decades ago were much richer in vitamins and minerals than the varieties most of us get today’. (4)
There’s plenty of information out there supporting either end of the argument, but it does make sense that nutrients from the soil are not being replenished fast enough to meet the commercial demands of feeding our growing populations.
It’s likely that the superfoods we eat today may not be as super as we want and need them to be. And if they in fact were, do we eat enough of them to make a difference in our overall nutrition? Probably not.
Supplements such as Yoga Formula may help power up your superfoods. It contains carefully selected naturally derived ingredients known to support joint and muscle strength, among other benefits.