Most of us know that our diets should include fruits, vegetables, fiber, omega-3s, etc., but do you know which foods pack the most punch?
Milk and YogurtThe whey in milk and yogurt is another source of leucine, a muscle-building amino acid. Bonci recommends Greek yogurt, with a thick, creamy taste that men may like better. It’s also packed with protein, potassium, and friendly bacteria that keep the gut healthy.
The banana is celebrated for its bounty of potassium — and with good reason. Potassium is critical for muscle contractions and bone health. It also helps blood pressure. Getting enough potassium may be as important as eating less sodium when it comes to lowering blood pressure.
Chocolate may improve blood flow if you eat the right kind. The flavones in dark chocolate may curb levels of bad cholesterol, improve circulation, and keep blood pressure in check. But too much chocolate can lead to weight gain. Enjoy 1 ounce a day instead of other sweets.
AvocadoSure, this creamy fruit is high in fat, but it’s the good kind. The monounsaturated fat in avocados packs a one-two punch against cholesterol. It can knock down total cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol (LDL), too. The trick is to use a “mono” fat instead of saturated or trans fats. And eat no more than 25%-35% of all your calories from fat. Olive oil and nuts also contain good fats.
Fatty fish like salmon, herring, sardines, and halibut are another excellent source of healthy fat. They have a special type known as omega-3 fatty acids. These protect against heart disease, the top killer of men in the U. S. Two servings of fatty fish a week can lower your chances of dying from heart disease.
Slices of this spicy root are often served with sushi or grated into an Asian stir-fry. Health-wise, ginger may help calm inflammation in the body — which can come in handy when you push yourself too hard. Eating ginger regularly may help reduce the pain of exercise-related muscle injuries.
Nuts provide protein, fiber, and zinc while satisfying the urge for a crunchy, salty snack. Pistachios are a stand out — higher in plant sterols that can improve cholesterol levels. Eat them from the shell, so you work harder for each one. It’s a fun way to snack and keeps you from gobbling up too many calories too quickly.
Orange vegetables are an excellent source of beta-carotene, lutein, and vitamin C. These nutrients may lower your odds of developing an enlarged prostate, according to a large study. Good choices include red bell peppers, carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes.