A good nutritional diet is something that has always been confusing for so many people, everyone from
housewives to top level athletes become very confused when you start talking the benefits of nutrition. Fact of the matter
is though no matter how good an athlete or competitor is they can always become better with a sound nutritional plan. The
one thing that every diet should have, no matter what your goal is, it should be based around some good solid nutrition. By
good solid nutrition I mean foods that are very versatile and that bring a huge nutritional value while being super aids in
supplying, vitamins, minerals, energy, and bodily support.
Let us look at 12 foods that I think should be on most people’s diets. This does not mean you should
eat everything on the list even if you don’t like it. These are suggested foods that work well for general diet purposes.
That means they are a good source of vitamins, minerals, provide energy, and help in fitness goals.
are a powerhouse of nutrition. Eggs may be the best high protein food that Mother Nature offers. Eggs have one of the
highest biological values of any foods. Biological value refers to the usefulness of a protein source on the body. With a
biological value of 100, eggs are a must for anyone needing a easily absorbed powerful source of protein.
Eggs are a great source
of Vitamin B, Vitamin A, Choline and vitamin D. Eggs are actually one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring vitamin
D. Eggs are also a great source of iodine, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, calcium, and not just iron but heme-iron.
2. Protein Powders-
One of the biggest
flaws people make nutritionally is not consuming enough protein in their diets. Our bodies are virtually built on protein
and water. Protein provides us with amino acids which are the building blocks of our lives. If you are trying to build any
type of musculature in your body then protein is beyond essential. Even if you are trying to slim down, protein will also
play a key role in your diet. Most diets require .75 gram of protein per pound of body mass or more. Protein is very muscle
sparring and essential on a good diet. Do to variables like work, family and sometimes people’s appetites, getting a
substantial amount of protein in whole food sources can be problematic for some. Protein powders are a great answer for this.
powders provide a fast, easy and very high amount of protein to a diet. Protein
powder also provides a wide range of essential and non essential amino acids. Most balanced diets should have five to six
meals a day. Three to four of those meals should come from whole food meals and the other one to two meals should come from
small snacks. Protein shakes make the perfect snack type meals. Whether you add powder to your food or throw some in a shaker
cup with some water or juice it’s a quick slam of high protein. Whey protein has a biological value of 104. Casein protein
has a biological value of 77. Soy has a biological value of 74. This makes any of these protein sources a great pretty easily
absorbed form of protein. Protein powders can vary in their nutritional content depending on what ones you buy. Some have
high protein, little to no carbs, and little to no fat. Some protein powders have high protein, moderate carbs, and little
fat. Some have high protein, little carbs, and high fat. It is pretty easy to get protein powders tailored to your specific
Yes, listen to your
mother when she says “Eat your vegetables!”
Do you want to better your body and improve your diet? Vegetables
are one of the best ways to to this. Vegetables include an abundance of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phyto-chemicals.
Vegetables are one
of the best sources of vitamins and minerals around. If you are on a diet, trying to gain, or a hard training athlete you
will need an abundant supply of vitamins and minerals. Multi Vitamins will help with this but you will be covered more completely
with whole food sources like vegetables. Veggies have compounds that help the absorption of naturally occurring vitamins and
minerals. Some of these compounds even help absorb vitamins and minerals from meats, grains and some supplements.
Veggies are also one
of the best natural sources of fiber. Fiber is a carb that is indigestible. It does not provide calories but does provide
bulk and slows digestion. This helps by stabilizing blood sugar levels and preventing energy level crashes. When energy levels
crash cortisol levels go up. Cortisol is a catabolic hormone that breaks down muscle tissue and makes recovery harder. Secondly
fiber improves amino acid absorption by keeping your intestines clean. Better amino acid uptake means better use out of your
You should eat a pretty
good variety of veggies. Asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, green beans, mushrooms, onions, peppers (all colors),
spinach, squash and zucchini are all good choices.
many great things can be said about chicken? It’s easily accessible. Have
you ever seen a grocery store that does not sell chicken? It is pretty cheap
and it is a highly bio available source of protein. Chicken has a biological value of 80+ making it very easily digested and
used by the body. It has high amounts of protein and certain parts, very little fat. Chicken is also a very versatile meat.
There are probably over 352 ways to cook a chicken, anything from roasting it whole to chopping some up over a salad. Chicken
is a rich source of B vitamins, selenium and phosphorus.
Oatmeal is probably
one of the most underappreciated foods in a daily diet. Some of the benefits of oatmeal are:
reduced cholesterol and heart disease risk-soluble fiber in oats helps remove bad cholesterol while maintaining good cholesterol,
control thru fiber content-Soluble fiber uses a lot of water. This in turn slows down your digestion keeping you feeling full
stable blood sugar levels-Soluble fiber helps keep blood sugar levels at a more stable rate
contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals and also a fantastic source of complex carbs and even has some protein in
It is a 100% natural food. Barring
some flavored varieties a can of rolled oats has one ingredient, rolled oats.
It is easy and convenient. It takes
ten minutes on the stove or about three in a microwave. Some people even eat their oatmeal uncooked.
is a high protein source that should be a regular part of anyone’s diet. Fish has high protein, no carbs, and the fat
content can vary on the type of fish you eat. Most people stick to salmon, tuna or tilapia but fish comes in so many types
and varieties that there is something for everyone. Cold water varieties like, sardines, salmon, and trout not only supply
a lot of protein but are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3
fatty acids have a wide range of benefits from brain health, joint health, body fat reduction, to natural energy and a whole
host of other benefits. Fish also has a biological value in the 75-85 range. This makes it an easier to digest protein source
than pork or beef. Fish is also a great source of Vitamin A, Vitamin D, iron, zinc, and calcium.
7. Kidney Beans-
Here is probably
another great overlooked food on most people’s diets. Most people don’t realize it but kidney beans are a protein
packer. They are a excellent source of high quality protein, and unlike most protein food they carry a high amount of
fiber. They are also great because they contain no fat. If you are watching your fat intake Kidney Beans are great because
they offer protein, slow digesting carbs to keep you fuller longer and no fat. Kidney Beans are also are a great source of
folic acid, magnesium, and iron.
8. Essential Fats-
Many people are under
the impression that to get lean you must eliminate fat from your diet. Nothing could be further from the truth. The
body needs fats, especially EFA’s. EFA’s are better known as Essential Fatty Acids. They are essential because
your body can not produce them and they need to come from your diet. EFA’s help hormone production, help break down
cholesterol, help development of the brain and nervous system, and help thyroid and adrenal activity. Some essential fats
help balance sugar levels and some help promote fat burning as opposed to fat storage. Fish, Olive, Cod, Flax and Sesame are
some great essential oil choices. Avocados, peanut butter, salmon, sardines,
seeds and nuts are some good natural choices. Fats also are more calorie dense so they take longer to digest keeping you fuller
Most people agree nuts
are one tasty treat but did you know how good nuts are for you. Nuts are full of phytonutrients, antioxidants, and are high
in omega 3’s. Nuts have also been shown to lower bad cholesterol. Nuts give a good amount of protein so they make a
great choice if you are looking to replace foods high in saturated fats. Nuts are very calorie dense because they are high
in fat so you may want to watch overdoing your intake. Some good nut choices are:
Almonds-Almonds are a rich source of
magnesium, potassium, manganese, copper, calcium, vitamin E (an anti-oxidant) and selenium. Unbleached almonds are high in
fiber leading to improved colon function and health. Containing high levels of healthy monounsaturated fats, almonds help
in reducing cholesterol levels and improving cardiovascular health.
are highly revered for being a great source of omega-3 essential fatty aids. These fatty acids have been shown to yield numerous
health benefits: protecting the heart, improving cognitive function, and reducing inflammatory effects of asthma, eczema,
psoriasis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Walnuts contain ellagic acid, an antioxidant compound that provides cancer-fighting and
immune system boosting properties.
Pecans-Pecans contain an abundance of nutrients (over 19 minerals and vitamins) including
folic acid, vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, vitamin B and zinc. Like almonds and
walnuts, pecans provide heart-healthy properties by reducing total blood cholesterol, reduce LDL cholesterol, and create clearer
Cashews-Cashews are rich in magnesium, copper, iron, zinc and
biotin. Cashews contain the lowest percentage of fats compared to most nuts and provide high levels of oleic acid (about 50%
of the total fat in cashews), the same fat found in olive oil.
Other great choices include: hazelnuts, peanuts, pistachios,
and macadamia nuts.
Rice is typically eaten
all over the world. Some of the health benefits of rice include providing fast energy, rich in vitamin D, calcium, iron, thiamine,
riboflavin, and niacin. Rice is typically classified by two groups- whole grain rice and white rice. Those looking for more
health benefits should gravitate more towards whole grain rice because it is not processed much and retains a higher nutritional
value. Some types of whole grain rice are:
Rice- Is one of the healthiest form of rice you can eat. Brown rice provides manganese, selenium, magnesium, phosphorus,
iron, b6, b3, and b1 in plentiful supply. Brown rice makes a better choice than white rice because when brown rice is processed
only the outer layer of the rice is removed. Nutritionally this is the least damaging to the rice. Brown rice is much higher
in fiber than white rice. This makes digestion take longer providing more stable blood sugar levels.
Is somewhat of a cousin to normal brown rice. There are about four main different species in the known world. Wild Rice, Northern
Wild Rice, Texas Wild Rice, and Manchurian Wild Rice are the four main species,
with all but Manchurian being native to North America.
Rice- is a type of black rice. This rice is marketed as a rice reserved only for the past emperors of china as it contributed
to giving them a long, healthy life. This rice also digest much slower than some of your typical rices causing more stable
blood sugar levels. It also has a very high mineral value (especially iron) and amino acid profile. This type of rice has a nutty flavor.
Fiber is a key nutrient
found mostly in plant based foods. Fiber is crucial for good health. Fiber can be beneficial to bodybuilders by helping bodybuilders
stay lean and build fat free mass when combined with a diet rich in protein and carbohydrates. Some of the benefits of fiber
· Fiber improves nutritional absorption
Fiber helps process dietary fats
· Fiber slows carbohydrate digestion
Fiber helps increase insulin sensitivity
· Fiber helps appetite control
Fiberous foods helps give a harder body appearance
Good natural sources
of fiber include broccoli, cauliflower, raspberries, beans, bran, and whole grain rice
12. Water-Okay so technically water isn’t
a food but it is one of the most vital nutrients you can have in your diet. When your dealing with something that makes up
over 70% of your body well then you could say it’s pretty vital. Some of the benefits of drinking water include:
- Regulating body temperature
- Helping digest foods
- Helping metabolize fat
- Giving skin a younger appearance thru hydration
- Helping energy levels
It does everything
from helping mobilize fat to regulating body temperature. If you are not consuming water and lots of it you could be short
changing your diet. At bare minimum you should aim to drink about a half a gallon of water daily. (Click here to calculate
what your daily water intake should be)
Today we looked at twelve foods that that should be a regular
part of anyone’s diet who is looking to achieve more sound nutritional choices. While you may not like every choice
we talked about today you should try to incorporate as many of the group in your regular diet as often as you can for optimal