When it comes to diet and nutrition, most athletes stick to a narrow range of food choices; chicken breasts, rice, potato and maybe a green vegetable such as broccoli or beans. Getting into peak condition for any sport depends on optimizing overall health. However, sticking to such a narrow range of foods will limit, if not retard, your ability to achieve optimum health. And excellent health is absolutely required to maximize your results in the gym.
Recent studies have shown that a variety of plant-based foods consumed in the diet will provide a spectrum of phytochemicals. These naturally occurring plant-based chemicals provide a range of important health benefits from improving the elasticity of arteries to enhancing insulin function.
Muscle-Building Nutrition Goes Beyond Protein and Carbs
Foods such as pecans, grapes, mushrooms, cranberries, blueberries, broccoli, kiwi fruit, pomegranates, almonds, cabbage, and cinnamon may not be on your favorite foods list, but they all provide unique and potent health benefits.
A small handful of pecans every day can improve your blood cholesterol profiles to help prevent heart disease; this is backed up by considerable research. Cranberries and blueberries are two foods shown to help prevent mental decline that is associated with aging. All fruits and vegetables provide numerous antioxidants that help speed muscle recovery, boost immunity, as well as optimize health.
Don’t go crazy trying to add every healthy food to your diet each day, just try to buy what varieties are in season and add one or two different types to the range of foods you consume on a regular basis. You’ll start finding new foods you didn’t realize you liked and enhance your muscle-building results along the way.
This simple nutrition strategy will ensure your best possible chance for superior health. Better health over the long-term means a better physique. It provides fewer illnesses, more energy and greater vitality that enables you to train hard and recover quickly every day.
J Clin Nutr