8 Healthy Foods All Men Should Have in Their Diets

If you are what you eat and abs are made in the kitchen, it stands to reason that you should put at least as much energy into fueling your body as you do to working it out. Eat with mindful intention, and it shouldn’t be long before noticeable changes ensue. Here’s a look at eight foods that are particularly beneficial for getting stronger and leaner, while increasing your overall health and stamina.

1. Wild salmon

salmon

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Dr. Nicholas Perricone, a pioneer in ushering the anti-inflammatory diet into the mainstream, believes that wild salmon is such a potent health booster and anti-ager that he recommends eating it twice a day. “If you feel you need a change from all the salmon, you may substitute poultry or tofu — but remember the special essential fatty acids and antioxidants in salmon give skin a remarkable suppleness, radiance and youthful glow,” he says. “Wild Alaskan Salmon is far superior to farm-raised salmon.”

2. Chia seeds

These tiny seeds are a nutritional powerhouse. Versatile, you can add them to smoothies, soups, or salads or opt for something richer like Chia Pods. No matter what you’ll get the benefits of added antioxidants, protein, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, and soluble and insoluble fiber to ease digestion and help you feel fuller for longer.

3. Avocado

avocado

Source: iStock

The epitome of “good fat,” avocados are ripe with heart health-boosting monounsaturated fat as well as nutrients including fiber, vitamin K, copper, folate, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin E, and vitamin C, all of which work to help protect our bodies from heart disease, cancer, degenerative eye, and brain diseases. They’re also an easy way to add a creamy base to workout smoothies.

4. Blueberries

All berries are smart additions, but blueberries in particular are high in phytochemicals, flavinoids, and soluble fiber which help fight disease while boosting satiety. They’ve also been shown to help fight inflammation, boost energy and memory, and lower “bad” cholesterol.

5. Pomegranates

Not only are they a great way to satisfy a sweet craving, pomegranates are high in antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and fiber and preliminary research is showing they may help decrease muscle soreness. One study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, for example, gave 17 resistance trained men either pomegranate juice or a placebo. Pomegranate juice was supplemented twice daily after high-intensity exercise involving both the arms and the legs. Strength and muscle soreness measurements were made at baseline and six predetermined time periods post-exercise. There wasn’t a statistically significant improvement in leg strength, but arm strength was significantly higher post-exercise with pomegranate juice compared with the placebo.

6. Cruciferous vegetables

broccoli

Source: iStock

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and bok choy have all consistently been shown to help inhibit the growth of certain types of cancer cells. They also work to boost heart health and pack in protein, especially broccoli.

7. Probiotics

Live and active probiotics are critical for digestive support and a great base for fermented foods. They’re a go-to for wellness experts like Moon Juice founder Amanda Chantal Bacon, who says that “they help nurture intestinal microflora, heal the gut and recolonize intestines with organisms that defend against disease, viruses and yeast. They boost nutrient potency and help with assimilation of all the other healthy foods you’re eating, while helping to decrease sugar cravings. A healthy gut is truly the key to success; you’ll immediately start to notice smoother digestion, increased energy, elevated mood, glowing skin, stronger immunity and potent liver cleansing.”

8. Bone broth

Forget traditional soup, bone broth is the staple for your winter diet. Rich in anti-inflammatory and immune boosting minerals and nutrients like magnesium, potassium, and calcium, bone broth is actually part of the LA Laker’s official team diet. As a bonus it has skin, hair, and nail boosting collagen, glycine, which helps you sleep better and improves your memory, and glucosamine, which helps keep your joints healthy and functional.

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