Does dramatically improving your health and physical fitness, building beautiful round muscles, reaching your physical potential, normalizing your body weight, and increasing your strength potential sound enticing? If I’ve piqued your interest, you’ll want to consider eating raw foods and superfoods as part of your food regime.
It should come as no surprise that a lean physique is shaped primarily by the food we eat. However, most people don’t recognize how important food is to the body.
Food serves many purposes, with the most obvious being to provide calories and energy so our bodies can function properly. Proper fuel for our bodies is also required for tissue repair and recovery (especially after exercising intensely), muscle development, and keeping the body strong and lean.
As such, nutrition should be a central factor in the lives of both athletes and non-athletes alike, whether you are interested in peak performance or simply shedding some body fat.
The most potent form of nutrition is found in raw foods. Raw foods contain the highest levels of key nutrients in the forms of vitamins and minerals, as well as enzymes that are usually destroyed when food is cooked. Consuming these healthy, high-energy foods makes it dramatically easier to achieve your ideal goals.
Whatever your goals are, take a look at some of the top foods you can start to incorporate right now to help you increase your energy, improve your strength and endurance, quicken recovery time from exercise, reduce body fat, and maintain lean muscle, along with looking and feeling younger.
- Leafy Greens strengthen your bones, cleanse your blood, make your skin glow, and are full of vitamins and minerals. Dark green leafy vegetables are also a rich source of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll cleanses and oxygenates the blood which helps with athletic performance. More oxygen in the body means more endurance and less fatigue. Eating greens in the raw state fuels the body with live enzymes so that cells can rejuvenate quicker, creating a younger, more vibrant, super fit body. In her book “Green for Life,” Victoria Boutenko did an extensive study on the consumption of greens; she states that we should be eating at least a pound of greens a day if not more. Next time you are in the kitchen, try making a green smoothie so you can get your daily dose of green leafy vegetables.
- Sprouts happen to be one of the most nutrient packed foods on earth. They are economical, easy to digest, and full of oxygen and enzymes. Sprouts are tiny, easy-to-digest plants that are at their peak nutritional value. The seed releases all its stored nutrients to become a plant and you get the best of what it has to offer. Since sprouts are living foods they contain oxygen essential for healthy cells, a significant amount of protein which aids in muscle recovery and tissue rebuilding, and essential fatty acids that help perform basic bodily functions. Some of the most popular and easiest seeds to sprout are sunflower, pea shoots, alfalfa, lentils, mung beans, and quinoa. Make sure you add lots of sprouts in your next salad so your body can be fueled with living foods.
- Sea Vegetables, also known as seaweed, are highly nutritious foods full of minerals such as calcium, iron, and iodine. Sea vegetables, like greens, are rich in chlorophyll, thus improving athletic endurance. They help regulate hormones, promote a youthful look to your skin, and cleanse the body of toxic pollutants. Some of the most popular sea vegetables are dulse, nori, kelp, and wakame. Skip the sushi bar and try experimenting with sea vegetables by making your own avocado and cucumber nori rolls.
- E3live, Aphanizomenon Flos-Aquae (AFA) is a blue-green algae with one of richest sources of chlorophyll found in nature. High chlorophyll content helps increase oxygen uptake, resulting in more fuel to the muscles, and therefore increasing endurance, strength, and performance while shortening recovery time. It’s a complete protein source that is both easily digestible and useable. It also helps suppress the appetite because of its high nutrient source and therefore aids in fat loss. Take E3live in the morning on an empty stomach or any time right before your workout to get an increase in energy.
- Algae: Spirulina and Chlorella are single celled, water grown algae rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, and enzymes. Both spirulina and chlorella are complete proteins easily absorbed by the body and used as high protein sources that contain all of the amino acids necessary to help with building muscle, strength, and endurance. They also improve energy levels, balance blood sugar, and build stronger bones. These algae contain large amounts of chlorophyll, help decrease appetite, and can be used to help facilitate fat loss. Both algae can be added to smoothies and juices or sprinkled on salads.
- Hemp, a very high quality alkaline protein, has quickly gained in popularity largely due to its nutritional composition. Hemp contains all essential amino acids as well as essential fatty acids 3 and 6. It is also packed with vitamins and minerals. Hemp seeds are easy to digest, help with muscle and tissue regeneration, curb appetite, and assist in fat loss. Toss a handful of hemp seeds in your next salad.
- Bee Pollen, a complete food, is valued for its array of proteins, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and enzymes. It increases strength, endurance, energy, and speed and can be used to help with quicker recovery from exercise. Bee pollen can be added to smoothies, juices, or simply eaten on its own. Introduce it a little bit at a time to avoid any allergic reaction.
- Chia Seeds are packed with antioxidants, protein, vitamins, and minerals, and are the richest known plant source of omega-3. Chia seeds are easily digested and absorbed by the body. They help speed recovery, increase energy, and provide endurance, as well as help with regeneration of tissue for athletes. They also help balance blood sugar, and the soluble fiber in chia seeds helps to suppress appetite which in turn supports fat loss. Chia seeds can be added to smoothies, salads, or simply soaked for 15 minutes and eaten.
- Goji Berries, also known as a “longevity food,” are powerful antioxidants that contain protein, vitamins, and minerals. They increase energy, endurance, and vitality. They enhance stamina and strength and assist in recovery from intense workouts and promote cardiovascular health. Before your next workout grab a handful of goji berries for an energy boost.
- Coconut water found in young coconuts is packed with electrolytes and is an excellent post workout drink either by itself or in a smoothie. It provides the body with proper hydration and also contains vitamins and minerals. The meat in the coconut is smooth and is a good source of fat. Coconut water is an excellent substitute for commercial sports drinks.
Eating fresh, wholesome, raw, and living foods the way they are supposed to be eaten, in their natural state, can produce endless results. These foods can help with fine-tuning and longevity for both competitive and non-competitive athletes alike. Get a free raw food shopping list when you visit www.TheRawFoodTrainer.com.
Copyright © 2013 Mary Luciano