There is more to life than muscle growth: nutrition also helps you to stay healthy and fit. And indirectly that also helps with muscle growth. We discuss 17 superfoods for your health, in no particular order.
Broccoli, like all green vegetables, is very healthy. Broccoli is full of dietary fiber and contains few calories. It contains substances (so-called phytochemicals) that are said to help fight certain cancers, including breast cancer and prostate cancer. There is also strong evidence that broccoli is good for the heart.
Serving suggestion: blanch and stir fry with some red pepper and fresh garlic.
Bell peppers are rich in vitamins A, C and E, and help neutralize free radicals, which, if allowed to run their course, are responsible for cell aging. Cut into strips with a healthy dipping sauce, bell peppers are a healthy snack alternative. Preferably buy yellow, orange or red peppers. Green peppers are ‘normal’ unripe peppers that have yet to turn yellow, orange or red and contain half the vitamins.
Almonds are among the healthiest nuts and are rich in protein and unsaturated fats, which are good for the heart and brain. Almonds are also a good source of thiamine (vitamin B1) and riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin E and the minerals manganese and copper, among others. B vitamins play a role in energy metabolism and are needed in the production of red blood cells. Vitamin E has a strong antioxidant effect. Finally, manganese and copper are needed for the production of enzymes that fight harmful free radicals.
Almonds are delicious in a mix with other nuts, such as hazelnuts and walnuts, but are also tasty (roasted) in a salad and even in a plate of (oatmeal) porridge.
Blueberries were already on the hunter-gatherer’s menu. Unfortunately, they do not belong to the eating habits of the modern man, while the list of (possible) health benefits is almost endless. It is undisputed that blueberries help to significantly lower blood pressure and that they have an antioxidant effect and prevent aging. We ourselves use blueberries to enrich our plate of oatmeal porridge or as a seasoning in a bowl of cottage cheese or yogurt.
Can’t find blueberries on the fruit shelf of your supermarket? Then take a look in the freezer compartment. Frozen blueberries are just as nutritious, if not more nutritious than fresh ones, and often much cheaper.
Avocados are the only type of fruit rich in monounsaturated fats, which are good for the heart because of their cholesterol-lowering effect. When it comes to vitamins, the amount of vitamin K and folic acid (vitamin B11) stand out, and the minerals potassium. Vitamin K plays a role in the formation of red blood cells and folic acid plays a role in cell development in general. That is why folic acid is so important for the development of the unborn child.
However, the power of the avocado mainly lies in its role as a catalyst; they mainly ensure that nutrients from other foods are better absorbed. That is why the avocado is also a welcome guest in a fruit salad.
For a long time it was thought that all fat was bad for you, until scientists discovered not very long ago that certain fats, unsaturated fats, are actually good for the condition of your heart and blood vessels. Salmon and other fatty fish herring, mackerel, eel and sardines are packed with omega 3, a very healthy unsaturated fatty acid that helps prevent hardening of the arteries (narrowing of the arteries) and heart rhythm disorders, thus reducing the risk of a heart attack or sudden cardiac arrest.
Maybe not your favorite vegetable as a child, but Brussels sprouts are very healthy. These small charcoals are full of soluble dietary fiber, which ensures good bowel function and bowel movements. In addition, Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C, which acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants neutralize the damaging effect of free radicals and thus protect cells and tissues. Still not a fan of Brussels sprouts as an adult? Blanch them briefly and then stir-fry them with some herbs.
What better way to start your day than with a bowl of oatmeal (optionally with blueberries as a garnish). In addition to being rich in various vitamins and minerals, oatmeal is packed with dietary fiber, which lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol by absorbing it like a sponge. As you may know, high cholesterol increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Healthy cholesterol levels may also reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Muesli consists of a mix of oat flakes, dried fruits and seeds, such as wild barley, a grass, not a grain. Barley is rich in minerals and contains some essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own and must be obtained from your diet. In the body, amino acids are used to form muscle and other tissues. Because of the oat flakes and barley, muesli is hydrophilic, which means that it absorbs a lot of moisture and therefore fills well. Just shake a little bit of milk on your muesli and watch the milk ‘disappear’. In addition to milk, you can also eat muesli with (skimmed) yogurt.
You probably know spinach as a rich source of iron. The cartoon hero Popeye was even created especially to promote spinach in the US, when it turned out that a large part of the young population was iron deficient. In addition to iron, spinach contains another 17 vitamins and minerals – from vitamin A to zinc. There is no vegetable that has a richer spectrum of vitamins and minerals.
Spinach is also delicious raw, for example in a salad or on a sandwich.
Omega-3 eggs are the eggs of chickens fed food containing oils. In this way, the eggs also contain more of this polyunsaturated fatty acid, which is good for the heart and brain, among other things. You can find omega-3 eggs among the ‘regular’ eggs in the supermarket. Preferably choose organic or free-range eggs.
Beat three eggs and mix in some finely chopped fresh spinach leaves. Serve on two slices of wholemeal bread with some fresh tomato with olive oil drizzled over it, and you’ve got a very nutritious lunch.
Fancy sweets? Then take dark chocolate. It has been found that this lowers blood pressure and is good for the heart and brain. Nutrition & Diabetes reports that the pure version is more nutritious than milk chocolate and that it calms the appetite for snacks. Test subjects ate 17% fewer calories during their meal after eating dark chocolate.
Eating fresh garlic regularly or taking a garlic supplement is one of the greatest pleasures you can do for your heart, in addition to getting enough exercise and avoiding saturated fats. Garlic not only helps to lower cholesterol, but also keeps the vessel walls flexible and also has a mild blood thinning effect. In addition, garlic contains numerous substances that could possibly prevent the cellular changes that precede the formation of a tumor. Finally, garlic has an anti-inflammatory effect.
The bad breath that inevitably comes with eating garlic is due to the sulfur components it contains. Chewing on some fresh parsley would help with this.
Celery is rich in potassium and sodium, two minerals that play an important role in your fluid balance. Do you have dry skin? Then you should definitely eat celery more often! You can put it in the soup, boil it or nibble on a raw celery stalk. Celery is also rich in vitamin K, which plays an important role in regulating your blood circulation and blood pressure, which can cause skin problems in addition to more serious health problems.
Walnuts contain the most antioxidants of all foods per gram after blackcurrants. Antioxidants are the natural enemy of – there they are again – free radicals in the body. A handful of walnuts a day – straight from the fist or in your yogurt or cottage cheese with some honey sprinkled on top – can already drastically counteract this aging.
Tomatoes are rich in potassium, a mineral and electrolyte, which means that it is important for, among other things, the conduction of stimuli in the heart. A severe deficiency of potassium can result in (fatal) cardiac arrhythmias. Tomatoes also contain lycopene, a dye and powerful antioxidant that belongs to the carotenoids. This antioxidant is said to prevent the narrowing of the blood vessels and thus reduce the risk of a heart attack. Lycopene may also protect against prostate cancer.
People who follow a Mediterranean diet, rich in fish, vegetables and fruit, have a 30% lower risk of a heart attack. Olive oil is an essential part of the Mediterranean diet, as a seasoning in salads and as a preferred baking product. Olive oil is chock full of healthy unsaturated fats, which help maintain healthy cholesterol levels and healthy blood sugar levels. Olive oil, like cocoa, also contains polyphenols.