Investing in gym membership and spending hours in the gym working on your physique is very admirable and great for your health, but you need to address what’s on the inside, too. Remember your mother’s advice: you are what you eat.
There’s no doubt that being fitter will make you feel – and look – better. Taking out gym membership is a good place to start, but just as important as working on the physical side is what you decide to fuel your body with. Happily you don’t need to start living on protein shakes and raw eggs. A healthy diet is much more fun than that. Here is a useful list of foods you should start consuming more of to get yourself into top condition:
1. Red wine. Red wine is crammed full of polyphenols which prevents omega 3 fatty acids from breaking down in the body, which in turn reduces your risk of heart disease. Out of the red wine grapes, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon contain the richest source of polyphenols , so try to opt for one of the two. It will make you sound like you know a Scooby about wine, too. Limit yourself to two glasses a day, though, otherwise you’ll negate the positive effect on your heart by wrecking your liver.
2. Bananas. The potassium in bananas lowers blood pressure.
3. Beef. The iron in the meat helps oxygen to flow freely around your body, helping you immune system, cell regeneration and giving you more energy.
4. Sunflower seeds. The magnesium in sunflower seeds reduces inflammation and also aids sleep. More importantly, magnesium is essential for a healthy central nervous system and for your cells to function.
5. Macadamia nuts. The manganese in these nuts helps to level out your blood sugar levels, meaning you avoid that crash in energy that often comes after lunch. It also helps to strengthen your bones and fight against free radicals, which damage your cells.
6. Liver. The zinc in liver is great for your immune system and it makes you more fertile, too.
7. Cumin. This spice, often found in curries, contains high levels of both iron and manganese, so it helps your immune system and blood sugar levels. It also stimulates your pancreas to release enzymes which aids digestion and helps your body soak up nutrients. This powerful little spice fights against free radicals as well, meaning it protects against cancer too.
8. Lemon juice. Full of vitamin C, which aids your immune system, and also flavonoids which fight against cancer.
9. Tomatoes. Tomatoes have high levels of lycopene and betacarotene, which help muscle recovery.
10. Chicken. Chicken is lean meat so an excellent source of protein. It also prevents your body from storing fat by being rich in vitamin B3.
11. Apples. Keep everything moving with a good source of fibre.
12. Olive oil. Or peanut oil, or sesame oil. These oils are a good source of monounsaturated fats, which are good fats and help to fight against bad cholesterol. Sounds like the script of a bad film doesn’t it.
13. Protein – fish and chicken especially. Protein stimulates your orexin cells, which keep you alert and awake. Stimulating these cells also keeps the fat off as they regulate energy expenditure. Conversely, sugar blocks these cells from working by raising glucose levels; which is why sugar makes you fat.
So if you think your body needs some TLC and you’re contemplating shopping around for gym membership, maybe you should shop around in your supermarket for a bit, too, to ensure you’re giving yourself the right nutrients. Healthy food isn’t dull – any list that contains wine and beef gets the thumbs up in our book.
Use www.payasugym.com to find gyms near you that you can visit on a completely flexible basis.
by Jessica Ward
by Kath Webb
by Laura Briggs
by Jessica Ward
by Jessica Ward