I’ll be honest with you. When I first started doing the research for this two-part article on best fitness foods for women, I managed to discover the most boring material on food you could possibly find. I distinctly remember falling asleep between “avocados” and “broccoli” on one particular list – which was quite impressive seeing as how they were right next to each other. The problem was that I kept finding endless lists composed strictly of vitamin and mineral content, with no real link to the effects the food had on the body. So I dug a little deeper, did a little more research, and finally came up with some fascinating details on the subject. The best fitness foods for women are ones that contain the vitamins, minerals, and compounds necessary for a woman's body to function optimally. While many of these foods will also benefit men, I tried to choose those that would best address common health concerns for women - everything from smoother skin, to bladder infections, to simply staying as healthy and illness-free as possible. This list is by no means exhaustive – there were simply too many foods to include, but I tried to highlight in part one some of the most common foods you’d normally expect to see on a post like this. In part two, we’ll cover the unexpected foods that made the list. Believe me, some of them are pretty shocking.
Avocados: These vegetables are on the best fitness foods for women list for the very same reason they were vilified in the 80’s – they contain fat. Low-fat diets have definitely done their damage to the body by weakening joints and muscles. The good fats found in avocados will do more to help you keep your weight down than any low-fat food will.
Nuts are great for the same reason as avocados but with some added twists. Here’s a quick breakdown of different nuts and why they made it on the best fitness foods for women list:
Almonds: In addition to being delicious (they’re my personal fav), almonds help to reduce cholesterol in the body.
Hazelnuts & Sunflower Seeds: these babies are high in Vitamin E. This translates to better looking skin!
Walnuts are in the same boat as hazelnuts and sunflower seeds with their ability to repair elasticity in the skin. But what makes this nut a good addition to the best fitness foods for women list, is its Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids content. An imbalance of these fatty acids can bring on diabetes, obesity, hormonal imbalances, dyslexia, depression and more. By eating walnuts, you can help to balance your omega fatty acids and fight against these illnesses.
Brazil nuts are perfect for those of you wanting to look younger, longer. These nuts contain selenium which will help to slow down the aging process. Brazil nuts will also aid in reducing the risk of sunburn on the skin. Any food that can do that should definitely be included as one of the best fitness foods for women.
Cottage Cheese is another food that contains selenium for smooth skin. It’s also a good source of calcium and protein for healthy bones and muscles.
Berries: These include raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries. All are high in anti-oxidants, which protect your muscles and tissues from attacks by free-radicals.
Cherries are a part of this group as well, but get their own special place on the best fitness foods for women list because they help with sleeping problems, heart problems, and arthritis.
Cranberries similarly deserve special recognition for their help in preventing and fighting urinary tract infections. This is due to the proanthocyanins that they contain. Throw some dried cranberries on your oatmeal in the morning and with a little peanut butter, you have a meal complete with protein, fiber, anti-oxidants and infection fighting compounds.
Eggs might sound like a no-brainer, but before you skip ahead on the list of best fitness foods for women, consider this: The yolks, which we’re constantly warned to stay away from, are actually really good for you. They contain iron, and lecithin, which is used to keep your brain healthy.
Kidney Beans are just a bundle of essential minerals, from folate, to magnesium and iron. They’re also high in anti-oxidants, fiber, and protein. Next time you decide to cook up some chili, or another southwestern dish, substitute these for other beans and you’ll walk away knowing just why they made our best fitness foods for women list.
Lentils are wonderful legumes that contain no fat. What they do contain, however, is a burst of iron, protein and fiber.
Green Leafy Vegetables like kale and spinach are known to provide more calcium than dairy will. Both are simply full to bursting with much-needed vitamins, so take a cue from The Sailor Man (a.k.a. Popeye), and add some to your meals. While this post could go on for several more pages, we’re going to cut it off here. In the next best fitness foods for women post, we’ll cover some of the more unusual foods that you should definitely incorporate into your diet.