Efficiency is key when it comes to nutrition and exercising. This is why I have put together my top list of nutrition superfoods specifically for athletes to take their health and performance to the next level.
Most food today is processed, filled with pesticides, unnatural additives from a lab, grown in poor quality soil and it is just outright not beneficial from an athletic standpoint.
Muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood, bones, nerves, everything in the body all requires quality food to repair after exercise. When poor quality of food is taken in, the body can only create poor quality tissue and excess fat in its place.
These top 10 nutrition packed superfoods will help you regenerate your tissue after exercise the proper way and leave you feeling great.
Best 10 Nutrition Superfoods
1. Coconut oil
The first nutrition packed superfood is coconut oil. Coconut oil contains a high amount of lauric acid which is a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT). This type of fatty acid can help increase endurance and reduce levels of body fat. The MCTs can increase energy and metabolism during and after exercises. (1)
Popular ways to get coconut oil in the diet include:
- Eat a spoonful
- Add to coffee or tea
- Add to smoothie
- Substitute for butter
What is the best type of Coconut oil?
Organic extra virgin cold-pressed and non-hydrogenated Coconut oil will have the most beneficial health effects. Other types will have minimal or adverse health effects.
2. Chia seeds
Chia seeds are easily a perfect nutrition packed superfood for any athlete. The seeds are the highest plant-based source of Omega-3, protein, and fiber! Additionally, the seeds are packed with an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Top benefits from chia seeds include:
- Sustained energy – Chia seeds slow the conversion of carbs into sugar which allows the body to have more energy over a period.
- Better hydration – Absorbent qualities of chia seeds allow better regulation of fluids and electrolytes in the body which increases hydration.
- Reduced inflammation/joint pain – Abundant levels of omega 3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation.
- Fast recovery – Antioxidants and the high-quality protein in chia lead to faster recovery. (2)
What is the best type of chia seeds?
For maximum nutrition consume soaked organic chia seeds. You can soak chia seeds by placing them in water for 1-2 hours before you eat them. This allows the seed to fill with water and form a gelatinous liquid around them. This allows the body to more easily absorb the nutrients in the digestive tract.
3. Wild caught salmon
First off, wild salmon is unlikely to have toxins, pesticides, and antibiotics that most fish from farms have. Secondly, wild salmon far superior nutritional value with more potassium, calcium, zinc and iron, and less sodium. Also, wild-caught salmon has much more beneficial omega 3 fatty acids.
Top benefits of eating wild caught salmon include:
- Reduced inflammation/joint pain – Abundant levels of omega 3 fatty acids which help reduce inflammation.
- Mental health – Omega-3 rich foods are shown to increase the efficiency of various brain functions, including improved memory.
- Heart health- Eating wild salmon can help decrease systemic inflammation and the risk of developing atherosclerosis (blood vessel clogging), hypertension (high blood pressure) and stroke.
How much salmon should you eat?
The recommended amount to get the most nutritional value from wild salmon is at least two oily fish meals per week. (3)
Spinach is an excellent source of more than twenty different nutrients that all positively impact athletic performance making spinach an astonishing nutrition superfood.
On top of this, spinach has an abundance of dietary fiber, calcium, and protein with high levels of vitamin K and vitamin A.
It has high levels of antioxidants which allow spinach to be anti-inflammatory and help the body recover efficiently.
Also, spinach contains a high amount of potassium which is an essential electrolyte to help maintain water balance in the bodies of athletes. Potassium is also great for muscle recovery.
Spinach is one of the best foods at making sure the recovery process has proper nutrition to build the strongest muscles. (4)
Popular ways to eat spinach include:
- Stir fry
- Salad (Best for nutrition value)
- In a smoothie
What is the best way to consume spinach?
For maximum health benefits, uncooked organic spinach is recommended.
Berries have the highest levels of antioxidants out of all fruits easily earning it a spot as a nutrition superfood.
As we know from spinach, these antioxidants are crucial for cellular regeneration and healing muscles during the recovery process after exercise.
Furthermore, berries can help heart health (lowers cholesterol and blood pressure), support digestion, aid in weight loss, and aid brain/memory function. (5)
Tips to get berries in your diet:
- Frozen berries – You can guy a bag of organic frozen berries which are often cheaper, fresher, last longer and are more nutritious than berries that have been sitting on a counter in the store.
- Berry Smoothie – I usually have a berry smoothie with about one cup of berries every other day. I blend the berries using a Nutribullet and water. For added benefits, I add a green superfood powder.
Kale encompasses an unparalleled nutrition profile, making it one of the best nutrition superfoods for active people.
First off, Kale has a low-calorie count, is high in fiber and has no fat. Kale also has a higher iron concentration than beef, which helps the body with oxygen transportation and muscle recovery.
Also, kale also has a high number of antioxidants and is a great anti-inflammatory food like spinach.
Additionally, kale is great for the heart with all the omega 3 fatty acids it contains. Kale also contains a high level of calcium which helps bone and joint health. (6)
Ways to get kale in diet:
- Put some kale in a smoothie. It is great with the berry smoothie I mentioned before.
- Stir fry kale with other vegetables. If I stir fry kale I usually use a sauce or spices with it to add taste.
- Eat Kale in a salad with other veggies.
Eggs are much more than a typical breakfast food. They are a nutrition superfood that can benefit your body in many ways.
Firstly, eggs provide a high-quality protein with all essential amino acids. Eggs are often referred to as the standard protein because the protein is of such great quality.
Eggs contain healthy fats and cholesterol inside of the egg yolk. There are monounsaturated and saturated fats that are easily digestible which eaten in moderation can boost heart health.
Egg yolk also contains lecithin. Lecithin helps to get rid of fat and raise HDL which is good cholesterol levels. Additionally, eggs contain choline which helps the body easily utilize fat and cholesterol.
Additionally, eggs contain choline which helps the body easily utilize fat and cholesterol.
On top of this, eggs have selenium which acts as an antioxidant in the body to protect against damage in the body. Eggs also have many other sources of antioxidants. (7)
What is the best way to eat an egg for health benefits?
Eating an egg soft boiled allows for the egg white to cook and the egg yolk to remain uncooked. This allows for the nutrients in the yolk to be preserved and the egg white will be easily digestible when cooked.
This great green fruit a nice fatty nutrition superfood. Most notably, avocados have a high amount of monounsaturated fat that can be easily used as energy for exercise.
An avocado contains twice the potassium as a banana which is crucial for electrolyte balance in an athlete’s health.
Other beneficial nutrients in avocados are vitamin E, B vitamins, and folic acid. Avocados are also an anti-inflammatory and have antioxidants.
Avocados also help with digestion of foods that are eaten along with it and can increase good cholesterol in the body.(8)
What is the best type of avocado to eat?
Organic avocados are the safest to eat. However, conventionally grown avocados normally do not have a high amount of pesticides so if you are on a budget you can go with non-organic but I do not recommend it.
Most notably almonds are known for their ability to reduce cholesterol.
Furthermore, almonds contain a high amount of fiber.
Almonds are a form of high-quality plant protein which helps with muscle rebuilding in recovery.
Additionally, almonds contain vital trace minerals which are crucial for one health which is overlooked by many athletes.
Almonds can also reduce the urge to eat. Vital for athletes that do not want to overeat but still need vital protein and fats in their diet.
Almonds help heart health by lowering cholesterol and are also beneficial for the brain. (9)
What is the best type of almond to eat?
Uncooked raw organic almonds are the most beneficial for health. Some almonds sold have an excessive amount of artificial table salt on them which is hard to digest and negative for health in general. Also, many almonds contain next to no nutritional value if they are overcooked.
Bonus tip: If you soak almonds in water for around 10 hours it can activate the enzymes in the almond. This can allow for better digestion and access to its nutrients from the almonds.
10. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great natural source of carbohydrates for active people.
Compared to regular potatoes sweet potatoes are a great alternative due to a lower calorie value. This helps with maintaining weight while still getting sufficient energy from the carbohydrates.
Sweet potatoes also have a low glycemic index, which means they do not affect blood sugar levels drastically which can help maintain energy levels for physical fitness.
Sweet potatoes also contain a high amount of fiber which helps digestion.
Additionally, sweet potatoes have a lot of potassium which helps active people with electrolyte balance. (10)
What is the best way to eat sweet potatoes for health?
Steamed organic sweet potatoes are the best way to eat them. They take about an hour to steam cook on average but taste amazing.
Bonus tip: I often add Ceylon cinnamon and local honey (One of my all natural allergy relief remedies) with sweet potatoes and it is amazing for not only taste but overall health as well.
Additional information on nutrition superfoods:
There are stark differences in eating nutrition superfoods compared to a bad diet especially for someone who exercises frequently.
An athlete who works out six times a week but eats fast food 5 times a week will be overall unhealthier than an athlete who works out four times a week that eats nutrition superfoods in their diet.
I have personally experienced this effect. For two years, I worked out with little to no knowledge of nutrition and what I should have been eating. I made very small gains and never felt the progress I should have for working out 5 times per week.
I transformed once I learned how beneficial nutrition superfoods can play a major factor in athletic performance. Once I was on a diet that contained nutrition superfoods and overall better eating habits my performance, strength, and speed all skyrocketed within a short time frame. I will never look back.
The education system, large food companies through advertising and fake news media companies often suppress knowledge of real nutrition superfoods to sell their fake foods.
Please share this article if you think someone you know may benefit from this information.