As we head into cold and flu season and continue to wage war against COVID-19, we’re all looking for additional ways to keep ourselves (and our kids) healthy. Simple habits like washing our hands, not touching our faces, and sneezing into our elbows can help prevent the spread of germs, but what about building your body’s natural defenses? Is there anything you can do to help your body fight off illness? You bet!
Good health starts with good nutrition. A healthy immune system needs a wide variety of nutrients so it can fight off inflammation and protect itself. Where do we find these nutrients? In amazing power-packed packages known as superfoods.
5 Benefits of Eating the Right Food to Keep Healthy
Relying on food to keep healthy isn’t just a trendy health craze. Superfoods actually contain the building blocks your body needs to build muscle, boost your metabolism, and fight off illness.
Here are 5 ways superfoods can help you stay healthy:
- Boost Immunity – Foods like citrus, berries, red bell pepper, and tomatoes are rich in Vitamin C, and they help your body build a strong immune system that can fight off illnesses like colds, flu, and infection. Shellfish and salmon are also great immune-boosters. They contain zinc, a key mineral that activates your immune response and helps your body heal faster.
- Reduce Inflammation – Inflammation is responsible for a host of illness-related issues including heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes. Anti-inflammatory foods like ginger, green tea, green leafy vegetables, berries, and even dark chocolate (hooray!) pack a healthy punch to calm inflammation and reduce your risk of certain illnesses.
- Protect Your Heart – While getting your heart pumping at the gym is one of the best ways to keep it strong, healthy hearts are also built in the kitchen. Fiber-rich foods like oatmeal, beans, and apples can help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and so can foods high in healthy fats like salmon, avocado, nuts, and flaxseed.
- Build Muscle – Amino acids and protein are the building blocks of muscle. That’s why it’s critical to make sure you get enough protein when you exercise, especially if you are working to build strength. In addition to animal proteins, you can also get essential amino acids and proteins from quinoa, beans, chia seeds, and edamame.
- Boost energy – Regular exercise is a key component of your overall health, and eating the right foods can give you the energy boost you need to keep your workout routine a top priority. Fiber- and nutrient-rich foods like bananas, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal are excellent ways to give yourself a morning energy boost that will stick with you throughout your day.
Nutrition and Your Exercise Routine
Exercise and nutrition go hand-in-hand as you build a healthy style. Superfoods help you establish healthy eating habits alongside your workouts, and they have tons of health benefits beyond the five we’ve listed above. Choosing the right food to keep healthy can also help you stay full longer, kickstart weight loss by keeping you satisfied, replace refined sugar in your diet with the sweetness of berries and fruits, and much more.
To make the most of a healthy diet, pair your superfoods with a supercharged workout designed to burn calories and build strength.
Need some ideas on how to fill your plate? Check out our Custom Meal Planner to get started!