It's often been said that getting fit is a process, not an endpoint. If you really care about your body and your health, you'll realize that fitness isn't just a number on a scale — it's a full overhaul of your lifestyle and diet for optimum health and performance. Simply exercising or dieting for a few months isn't enough to get fit. You need constant effort and smart decisions to make sure you're really giving your body what it needs.
Nutrition is a crucial part of any fitness journey. It provides your body with the fuel that it needs, as well as aids in recovery and support. Good nutrition also isn't limited to any one kind of diet. For example, in our article, "5 Easy Wasy To Get Enough Protein On A Vegan Diet," we talk about plant-based sources for protein and other nutrients. Today, we'll talk a little more about better nutrition, and how you can find it in superfoods.
What Are Superfoods?
If you've been paying attention to the public discussion around health and wellness over the past few decades, then you've probably heard of superfoods. Superfoods are foods that are nutritionally dense, packing tons more nutrients into one serving than other food types.
While the term itself isn't exactly a scientific category, it's a useful way to identify food that's packed with essential nutrients and vitamins. Superfoods aren't cure-alls, but they can do a lot to improve your diet and health, which is why familiarizing yourself with them is so important.
Why Should I Eat Superfoods?
But what can superfoods do for you, and why do we need to consider them? Think about all of the food you put into your diet, and why. Do you eat for energy? Better digestive health? To reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer? <a href="https://www.cnet.com/health/what-are-superfoods-exactly/">CNET</a> writes that superfoods can basically do all of that, but in supercharged servings.
Superfoods are often excellent sources of some of the most vital vitamins. Many superfoods are rich in fiber and high in phytonutrients like vitamin A and E. Research states that superfoods provide the daily essentials to keep healthy, including better nutrition, stronger immunity, and much more. They're also surprisingly readily available— common superfoods include blueberries, fatty fish like salmon or mackerel, as well as fermented food like yogurt or kimchi. These foods have all been found to be rich in vitamins and minerals that improve organ function, protect against disease, and even contribute towards longevity.
How Do I Add Superfoods Into My Diet?
Most superfoods aren't exotic— they're food that you can pick up at your local grocery store or farmers' market. The Huffington Post has a list of common superfoods include things like beets, sweet potato, spinach, ginger, and sardines. Of course, there are also more exotic examples like acai berries and quinoa, but they all perform the same function, which is to provide you with regular nutrition.
Because superfoods are so diverse, you can actually integrate them into pretty much any type of diet. Need to go gluten-free? No problem, there are foods that can make up for those gaps. Vegan? There are plenty of plant superfoods that you can enjoy. Got a busy lifestyle? Try a supplement or two, or snack on superfoods like berries and nuts.
A quick search of the benefits of common ingredients in many healthy recipes will help you discover that you've actually been eating superfoods this whole time. The diverse range of healthy whole foods means that it's easy to structure your diet around them. Check in with your doctor and nutritionist to see where your nutritional gaps lie, and start building a diet of powerful, nutritionally dense foods that will help keep you healthy and happy on your journey to fitness.