A strict training regiment, proper nutrition, and attention to detail are surefire methods to pack on lean muscle or shed unwanted and unhealthy body fat. However, what we buy in the store believing to be healthy doesn’t always turn out to be the case. A 2014 study found that adding buzzwords to labels — organic, all natural, antioxidants, etc. — often misled consumers into believing what they were buying was healthy, even when it clearly wasn’t. (The fact that shoppers selected “antioxidant-rich” soda as a healthy option demonstrates the point.)
While P4’s NSF Certified for Sport supplement line offers Recovery Push Formula, which kick starts the recovery process by replenishing electrolytes, vitamins, and other nutrients lost during a knock-down, drag-out training session, it’s imperative to fuel yourself and your pre- and post-workout nutrition with whole foods. Three great edibles, according to Jackie Beltramo, RD, are wild salmon, cottage cheese, and avocado. Here’s what Beltramo had to say about each food:
Omega-3 fatty acids can aid in the reduction of inflammation in the body and soreness associated with vigorous activities like working out. Wild salmon is a great source of omega- 3s and lean protein. It’s considered “essential” because our bodies don’t produce it on its own, so it’s critical to get those omega-3s onto your plates. When possible, buy wild caught salmon. Why? Because salmon that are farm-raised can be deficient in omega-3s.
A few easy ways to add it to your diet: bake it, grill it, add it to an egg omelet, or put it onto a salad.
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On average, depending if you consume full-fat or low-fat cottage cheese, it has about 200 calories, 25 grams of protein, and 7 grams of fat per 1 cup; cottage cheese is also made up of 79% water, which is relatively high compared to many other protein-rich food, and it also contains plenty of carbohydrates to replace glycogen (what fuels muscles), and glutamine to assist recovery after a tough workout. High levels of calcium, selenium, and vitamins A, B-5 round out cottage cheese’s usefulness.
Mix in a slice of avocado chunks with a spoonful of salsa, chopped celery and nuts; use it as a mayo substitute with tuna or chicken; or simply add fresh fruit.
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Yes, avocados are high in fat content, but they also provide a unique combination of nutrients that make them a great addition to any nutritional plan. The average avocado contains about 250 calories, 10 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein and 15 grams of monounsaturated fat. Plus, it’s loaded with nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. Need more reasons to eat some? It also has 35% more potassium than a banana as well as a decent amount of calcium, magnesium and electrolytes.
Research shows that substituting monounsaturated fat for saturated fat can shift fat gain away from the midsection. Avocados can also improve the absorption of antioxidants known as carotenoids up to 15 times. Carotenoids are important nutrients for cell growth as well as for supporting a healthy immune system.
How do you choose a ripe avocado? When they’re slightly soft to touch, they’re ready to go. If it starts to ripen too fast, put it in the refrigerator, or if it has been cut open, drizzle some lemon juice on it to slow the ripening process.
There are numerous ways to add avocados to your diet; put them in an omelet, mix them with a salad, mash with salsa as guacamole, sub for mayo as a spread, or drop a little into a smoothie to create a creamy texture. Of course, you can also just spoon it right out of the shell.