The trend is now to focus on healthy food intake as a primary fitness goal. When healthy eating habits become a lifestyle, we are healthier and happier. ​Eating right allows us to reduce body fat, lose a few pounds, feel more confident and reduce our risk of illness.

Frequent studies are indicating healthy food intake as the most important part of our fitness programs. Some physicians are teaching healthy eating habits and lifestyle as a way to improve overall health by reducing obesity and related disease.

Food Is Our Medicine

Athletic woman eating apple and in a gym.
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Nutrient-dense foods, or “superfoods,” include lean proteins, healthy carbohydrates, and fats essential to our health. Superfoods are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Antioxidants are shown to reduce inflammation in our body helping us fight disease and illness. Inflammation is said to be the leading cause of many diseases. Powerful antioxidants in leafy greens and vegetables, for example, help detoxify the body removing harmful chemicals.

Some superfoods contain compounds that increase our metabolism for more efficient fat burning. Red peppers contain a molecule called capsaicin shown to enhance the rate we burn body fat.

Eating healthy food helps improve health, and can also enable us to reach fitness goals.

How Do Quercetin Rich Foods Help?Onions

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant naturally occurring in a wide variety of plant foods. In fact, quercetin research indicates it to be one of the most potent antioxidants with numerous health benefits.

Many athletes supplement with quercetin to reduce muscle inflammation caused by intense workouts. According to a study published in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine, quercetinsupplementation significantly improved athletic performance, increased metabolic rate and lean mass among athletes.

The following foods are a rich source of quercetin:

  • Apples
  • Onions
  • Broccoli
  • Berries

Increase Your Metabolism Naturally

Serrano peppers
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Your best fat burner is not going to come in a bottle but by eating foods containing certain compounds. We can increase the rate we burn fat naturally according to nutrition research.

Eating foods that stimulate and enhance the fat burning process will help us reduce fat more effectively. Adding metabolism boosting foods will be a great supplement to your existing workout and nutrition program.

The following foods are shown to increase our metabolism:

  • Hot peppers (active component capsaicin)
  • Green tea (active component caffeine)
  • Black coffee (active component caffeine)
  • Cold water (500 ml of water daily increased metabolic rate by 30%)
  • Whole grains (aiding component fiber and iron)
  • Yogurt (aiding component calcium and probiotics)
  • Apples (aiding component fiber)
  • Nuts and seeds (aiding component essential fatty acids)
  • Fatty fish (aiding component Omega-3 fatty acids)

Peanut Butter Is a Superfood

Peanut butter
Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Peanut butter just so happens to be the number one sports nutrition superfood. It contains healthy fat, is nutrient-dense and shown to provide long-lasting energy for optimal athletic performance.

Selecting natural or organic peanut butter is recommended to avoid added sugar and preservatives. Peanut butter contains quality nutrientsand supplies lasting energy at 90 calories per 2 tablespoon serving. It also contains 7 grams of protein per ounce compared to other nuts only supplying 4 grams. Adequate protein intake is essential for muscle growth.

It is low in saturated fat and cholesterol making it a heart-healthy food. Research indicates consuming 1.5 ounces of peanut butter per day may reduce the risk of heart disease.

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