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7 Key Foods to Help You Get the Most Out of Your Workout

by David Samra

Great tips from Karen Tonnis to help you reach your results quicker. Original article can be found here.

At some point in your hooked-in, hard-core exercise experience, or even if you’re just getting started, this thought may cross your mind: Wish I could get results even faster.

Well, now you can. Here’s a list of dynamic foods that bring a lot to the table. Not only do they fit within a healthy nutrition plan, they’re capable of sending your lazy taste buds a nice wake-up call.

  1. Tomatoes. Make the lowly tomato your best friend and you could potentially up your chances of staying healthy and recovering faster. They’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients. And because they’re particularly rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, they may boost heart health, fight oxidative stress, protect against a variety of cancers, and combat inflammation. Tomatoes also contain potassium, an electrolyte that helps maintain fluid balance.
  2. Fish. A powerhouse of lean protein, fish lets you load up without blowing your calorie budget. The very leanest choices include white-fleshed fish like flounder or tilapia, as well as most shellfish, including lobster. Even dark-fleshed fish like tuna and salmon are considered lean, and the fat they provide (in the form of fish oil) can help regulate hormones and metabolism and reduce inflammation.
    Of course, all this muscle-building power won’t show up as a six-pack if you’re not careful about how the fish is prepared. Watch out for calorie bombs like deli tuna salad and deep-fried fish or calamari.
  3. Açai berry. What look like ordinary small, purple berries are actually one of the best superfoods in the world. Açai berries contain one of the highest concentration of antioxidants of any known food, along with fiber, iron, amino acids, and healthy omega fatty acids. Add them to your diet in the form of juice or pulp and you can expect a load of benefits, including increased energy, faster recovery rate, boosted immune system, stabilized blood sugar levels, and more.
  4. Dark green leafy vegetables. Breaking news: Popeye was right about eating spinach. Especially if you want to build muscle FAST. The antioxidants found in dark green vegetables help counteract the oxidative muscle damage that comes with heavy training or exercise. So vegetables like broccoli, collard greens, lettuce, kale, and our hero spinach should be high on your list.
  5. Blueberries. Mom could’ve said, “Eat your blueberries and you’ll grow up strong.” This miniature superfruit is chock-full of nutrients and antioxidants. So if you’re involved in strenuous activity, a daily cup or two of blueberries can help reduce cell damage. They also promote healthy blood pressure and contain complex carbs and fiber to help sustain energy and keep you in the game.
  6. Eggs. When you’re trying to add muscle, protein is as important as any dumbbell or training buddy. Most important, you want increased “clean calories” from whole, natural, unprocessed foods—like eggs. Eggs are one of the most perfect proteins for growing lean muscle. By incorporating egg whites into your diet (with a small amount of egg yolk), you can get a high amount of protein for a relatively low number of calories. Six egg whites will give you 99 calories and 21 grams of protein. Now that’s a deal.
  7. Green tea. If you’re working out regularly, giving your body a constant supply of antioxidants can promote quicker recovery on a cellular level. And drinking green tea is a good way to vary your antioxidant intake. On top of its antioxidant properties, green tea can help protect the cardiovascular system and increase metabolic rate (which supports weight control), and may provide some anticancer and blood pressure–reducing benefits.

Add these 7 foods to your oxidant-fighting arsenal.
Go ahead and rev up your engine with these heavy hitters for quicker results. But don’t neglect your regular exercise program and healthy eating plan. Those are the real key. Start with a sound regimen, then add these seven for extra kick.

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