Most times in the journey of fitness, the focus falls on the more demanding physical efforts, like strolling, jogging, going to the gym, yoga, etc. However, research has shown through concrete evidence that proper dieting has a greater effect than the physical activities mentioned above. Darla Leal, in an article titled Why Nutrition is the Most Important Part of Fitness, posted on VeryWellFit, an online fitness information platform, says that:
“Eating right allows us to reduce body fat, lose a few pounds, feel more confident and reduce our risk of illness.”
According to an article on the website of the US Department of Health and Human Services:
“Unhealthy eating habits have contributed to the obesity epidemic in the United States: about one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) are obese and approximately 17% (or 12.5 million) of children and adolescents aged 2—19 years are obese. Even for people at a healthy weight, a poor diet is associated with major health risks that can cause illness and even death.”
This reveals that an unhealthy diet not just affects fitness levels, but is also hazardous to health. With the statistics above, the effect of food to fitness and health cannot be overemphasized.
Most times it is not about the food as much as it is eating these foods in a balanced diet, to achieve most effectively the range of nutrients they offer. Therefore to keep fit, your feeding should consist of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, et al.
Darla Leal in her article, recommends “superfoods” which “are a rich source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.”
Antioxidants help remove oxidization agents from the body before they damage cells. Powerful oxidants can be found in leafy greens and vegetables. Darla Leal also speaks of another function of foods to fitness: the increase of metabolism, which is very useful in the burning of fat.
Quercetin is one of the antioxidants one can get in fruits and vegetables. According to Darla Leal:
“…quercetin research indicates it to be one of the most potent antioxidants with numerous health benefits. Many athletes supplement with quercetin to reduce muscle inflammation caused by intense workouts.”
This quercetin can be found in apples, onions, green tea, and coffee, to mention but a few. So, yes, putting these food items into your daily diet sets you on the path of physical health and fitness.
When it comes to burning fat by increasing the body’s metabolism, foods like fatty fish, hot peppers, and yoghurt are recommended. This is because they contain component nutrients that boost metabolism, and they are: Omega-3 fatty acids, capsaicin, and calcium and probiotics respectively.
There is a long list of other foods, whether they be “fitness foods”, or “superfoods” that contain nutrients that will keep the body fit and healthy. It is very important that they be made part of the daily diet if physical health is a desired goal.
Emphasizing on this importance, Sophia Smith, in her article, Why Nutrition is The Most Important Part of Your Fitness, posted on “The Art of Living Healthy” on September 29, 2018:
“…real superfoods should find their way into your plate every single day, so that you can not only achieve your weight loss goals, but also fight inflammation and boost your immune system naturally.”