Fitness nutrition for a healthier you: Some essential foods you must include in your diet | Photo Credits: Foodie
New Delhi: Fitness and healthy nutrition are two essential pillars of overall health and nothing of these two surpasses the other. Fitness is as vital as having a balanced nutrition and vice versa. You need to learn how to draw a synergy between your fitness and healthy nutrition to gain maximum health, boost immunity, and keep chronic lifestyle diseases at bay. When you eat clean, eat right- you have the stamina to perform the rigorous physical activity while on the other hand, regular physical activity makes your burn off calories the right way and at the same time improving your metabolism. Some basic tips for essential fitness nutrition are:
- Protein Power – Your workout depends a lot on the strength of your muscles and protein consumption is crucial to provide that strength and mass to your muscles. Muscles undergo rapid wear, tear, and repair both during and post-workout and protein consumption is essential to replenish lost muscle stores while helping you build new ones. Try and get maximum of your protein through natural dietary sources as there are plenty of good quality protein foods like lean meat, eggs, dairy, pulses, legumes, and grains like quinoa, buckwheat, whole wheat, and oats. As a rule of thumb, try to include some form of protein with every major meal you consume.
- Essential Carbs – Drastically or completely cutting off carbohydrates from your diet can lead to irreparable damage in the long run. Carbohydrates serve as fuel for your body to help provide you with energy that keeps you going. Instead of cutting back on carbs, give a good thought to the type and quantity you choose. You should opt for complex or good carbohydrates which takes time to get digested and therefore provide a steady supply of energy, and do not cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Choose whole grains like whole wheat, brown rice, jowar, ragi, bajra, buckwheat, other millets, oats, and quinoa in your diet while completely eliminate refined carbs like refined flour, sugary drinks, flavoured yoghurts, white bread, and white pasta.
- Rainbow Plate – A colourful rainbow on your plate can be achieved by having at least 3-5 servings of different fruits and vegetables. The more variety you intake, the better it is for your health. Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Vegetables can be taken in the form of salads, soups, stewed, or cooked. You can also quickly sauté whatever veggies that are available and toss in your favourite seasoning. Fruits can be consumed as it is or you can blend them to smoothies. Just remember not to consume fruits in the form of juices as it is mostly strained and without the goodness of the beneficial pulp.
- Pre-workout Fuelling – Working out on an empty stomach can put an extra strain on your body and might also limit your exercise performance capacity. You don’t need to load yourself up before a workout, but minimal quantities of the right food are essential for you to kick-start the workout with the right stamina. Banana serves as an excellent pre-workout food or you can munch on dry fruits and nuts or have one toast with peanut butter or avocado mash.
- Post-workout Recovery – To let your body recover naturally post a workout, you need to consume the right post-workout meal especially if you do so within an hour of finishing the exercise. Carbohydrate with protein is the best combination post your hustle. Fruit smoothie made with oats, almond milk, and fruits, or a whole-wheat toast topped with boiled eggs or pita bread with chickpea hummus are some easy-to-do options. You can also have sprouts salad or homemade granola mix.
Nmami Agarwal is a guest contributor. Views expressed are personal.