As a fitness coach and instructor, I can’t stress enough just how important good nutrition is for staying healthy and fit. So many people often wonder why their workouts sometimes don’t seem to be working and most of the time, I find out that they simply aren’t including enough fruits and vegetables in their diets. It’s important to understand that fruits and vegetables are essential for overall good health.
In this article I’ll be covering some of the best fruits and vegetables that you should consider including in your nutrition plan. All them listed here are key in not only losing weight but also in helping you to gain muscle because of their micronutrients which are essential vitamins and minerals that you body doesn’t make but are needed in your diet. Even though our bodies don’t need an extreme amount of these micronutrients, they still are quite necessary for your body’s systems to be able to function at their best.
Below, you will find some of my favorite fruits and vegetables that I always make sure I include in my own nutrition plan. My advice to you is to stock up on as many of these as you can so that you’ll always be able to give your body all that it needs to work at its best.
Mangos are a fruit that can be a little hard to find in some areas of the country and they can also be a very challenging fruit to eat. However, it’s an ideal fruit to add to your personal nutrition plan. Just one mango can provide you with five grams of fiber and also includes potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and large amounts of vitamins C and A. Just be careful with how many you eat because they do tend to have more calories than a lot of other fruits.
This is a fruit that has recently been getting a lot of attention. There’s a good reason for this too. Pomegranates are not only delicious but they are full of nutrients. Just half a cup of the seeds alone provides potassium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamins E, C, K, B1, B2, and B6. This is another fruit that’s a little hard to eat but they are very worth the effort. The nutrition and flavor they provide outweigh the work it takes to eat them.
Raspberries are a lot easier to find than both mangos and pomegranates and they don’t get as much attention as blueberries, but they deserve attention. These are a great year round fruit that are delicious and they are filled with vitamins K and C and one cup of raspberries gives you eight grams of fiber. They also are great when you freeze them and then use them in protein shakes or smoothies.
No good nutrition plan is complete without oranges. This great tasting fruit is available all year round and they are a great source of vitamins C, A, and beta-carotene. They also contain minerals such as potassium and calcium. They also contain easily soluble fiber your body needs.
Right away, many shy away from avocados because they think of “fat”. However, the fat in avocados is the healthy fat that our body requires to maintain good health. Just one cup of avocado has ten grams of fiber, 42% of your daily vitamin B5 requirements and 35% of your daily vitamin K requirements. On top of that they give you large doses of potassium and vitamin C.
Yes, kale, right now it’s pretty “trendy” but forget how “trendy” it is and focus on how healthy the stuff really is. This vegetable is full of vitamins C and A. It also contains vitamin K which is a fat soluble vitamin that lets proteins bond to calcium ions in your body. Kale also offers you copper, fiber, manganese, potassium, calcium, vitamin B6, and even some omega 3 fatty acid. This is a must to add to your nutrition plan.
Maybe I’m crazy, but I just love this vegetable. This is a vegetable that is super rich in sulfer containing nutrients that help to enhance your body’s detox systems. They also offer plenty of fiber to help in good digestion. Brussels sprouts also have plenty of vitamins C, K, and B6. They also offer plenty of minerals such as manganese, copper, and folate. They also have a little omega 3 fatty acids like kale. Even if you don’t really like them you still should try to include them in your nutrition plan at least once each week.
This is one of those vegetables that most people enjoy raw or cooked. It’s one of the most popular ones for those who are into bodybuilding. Broccoli is probably one of the most nutritious vegetables in the world. Just a single cup of broccoli gives you more vitamin C and K than you need in a single day. It also contains minerals like potassium, selenium, and calcium. Broccoli also is filled with anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
Since broccoli is extremely low in calories it’s great addition to your nutrition plan if you’re trying to cut down on fat and trying to lower your carbohydrate intake. No matter what your fitness goals might be, broccoli is a must to include.
A lot of people avoid this vegetable mainly because of, well, its weirdness. But it is a legitimate source of fiber as well as vitamin C and folic acid. It’s also one of the best for vitamin K as well. It also contains important minerals such as copper, iron, potassium, and calcium. This should be a keeper for your nutrition plan.
Peppers can be a great addition to your nutrition plan. They offer a ton of vitamin C and also are a great source for vitamins B6 and A. They also contain folate and are a great source of fiber. Bell peppers are great additions for salads, eaten alone, sliced as a snack, grilled, or as an addition to any recipe.
Last but not least there’s spinach. If you are in a bodybuilding program, you don’t want to leave out spinach. This is the number one vegetable that should be included in any nutrition plan but especially for those who are trying to build muscle. Spinach can be eaten raw or cooked and can also be used in smoothies and protein shakes. This veggie is filled with phytochemicals which have anti-inflammatory properties. Spinach is also a wonderful source for getting vitamins E, K, and A along with calcium.
Well, there you have it, my favorite fruits and vegetables that I always make sure I’ve got included in my own personal nutrition plan. I hope that you will include some if not all of them in your own nutrition plan.