Regardless of what your fitness goals are, carbohydrates play an important role. Believe it or not, I think fruit is a valuable catalyst to any weight loss or fitness program. Many diet enthusiasts make the mistake of eliminating or cutting back carbohydrate intake when they are trying to lose weight. This means that for many dieters, fruit has to go! However, not all sugars and carbohydrates are created equally. I believe that fruit is the best carbohydrate you can eat for your health and your overall fitness. Fruit is extremely high in nutrients, fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins. Fruit can also play a vital role in metabolism regulation. Ever heard of the Grapefruit Diet? Or the Lemon Diet? This is because fruit has been proven to help your body increase its metabolism and thus can help you lose weight and give you more energy.
As a fitness model I strive to maintain a low body fat percentage year-round. I try to eat fruit at least 3-4 times a day and it makes for a quick and convenient snack throughout the day. Fruit plays an integral part in allowing my body to fight free radicals with their antioxidant properties. This actually plays a huge role in keeping your energy levels high and regulating your metabolism. Free radicals wreak havoc on your body, but fruit is generally considered a low-to-medium glycemic carbohydrate, meaning that it won’t spike your blood sugar and be stored in your body as fat. The fiber in fruit helps it to digest more slowly and keep you full as well. The vitamins and minerals in fruit will help your body recover faster from workouts and also give you increased, long-lasting energy for your workouts!
Top 5 Fitness Fruits
- Blueberries. Blueberries play such an integral role in your overall health and should be consumed daily. Blueberry consumption is like giving all of those free radicals in your body the death penalty! That is why blueberries increase your energy levels. Blueberries have one of the highest concentration of antioxidants and are also very high in necessary muscle-building vitamins and nutrients. Throw some blueberries in your morning smoothie or granola and get your day off to a healthy start!
- Bananas. Although bananas are considered high in calories for a fruit, they are incredible at giving your body fiber, vitamins, minerals and the all-important potassium! Reduced levels of potassium could result in cramping at the gym during an intense cardio or weight training session. Eating a banana about an hour before your workout will help to prevent cramping and keep your muscles fresh for training.
- Grapefruit. Grapefruit is fantastic because it helps to increase your metabolism. A study found that when you mix grapefruit with a high caffeine beverage, such as coffee, it helped to accelerate fat loss and helped people lose a good amount of weight. I love to eat a grapefruit every day with my breakfast and it really helps to increase my energy levels for my workouts. Grapefruit juice is also better for you than orange juice and will still give your body a nice boost of Vitamin C.
- Grapes. Grapes are a high-glycemic fruit and are absolutely loaded with vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. Grapes are ideal for a post workout snack because they help to restore depleted glycogen levels due to their high-glycemic index. A handful of grapes will help to repair damaged muscle cells faster and will give you a nice overall vitamin and nutrient boost.
- Cherries. When you are training hard in the weight room or with your cardio sessions, chances are that you might have developed some kind of inflammation in the joints. Cherries help to counteract the inflammation and help your muscles and joints feel better. Cherries play a vital role in giving your body key muscle-building nutrients as well as reducing overall joint inflammation.