The Paleo Diet: Pros & Cons At A Quick Glance

Paleo diet is the contemporary version of what our ancestors ate from Paleolithic era about 10,000 years ago. The diet plan mainly lays stress on foods that can be gathered or hunted naturally like fruits, vegetables, eggs, nuts, seafood, seeds, poultry etc. Small quantity of healthy oil is permitted though dairy products, grains and processed foods are a complete no-no.

So let’s take a closer look at pros and cons of the Paleo diet and whether it is good to follow it or not.

paleo diet

Pros

Paleo diet is packed with soluble fiber, photo chemicals, antioxidant vitamins, monounsaturated fat, omega 3 fatty acids as well as low glycemic carbs. Also, it is gluten free and has less added sugar, salt, trans fat.

Foods that people generally overindulge in include chocolate caramel brownie etc and they are completely off the limits in Paleo diet. Thus, the health benefits like high energy levels may be less linked with this diet and could be a result of cutting down the high caloric processed food.

The diet stresses on the importance of eating grass fed, raw, organic foods. As our agriculture system is not like the way it used to be in previous times, our food has thus become low in quality. With toxic pesticides, harmful animal feeds etc, the food we eat these days is not safe for our health. Thus the Paleo diet places much emphasis on eating the food items that are grown naturally and organically. So, in a way, going Paleo simply means going back to basics of old times.

Cons

Paleo eating has a number of qualities and benefits. It emphasizes on fruits, lean proteins, whole foods, fruits, healthy fats and vegetables. Including more of such food items in your diet will surely help a great deal in maintaining a healthy and fit body. However as there are two sides to a coin, the diet has some cons as well.

First of all, it allows low carbs. As bodybuilders, fitness freaks and athletes, such people need more carbs than the average individual. The brain and body is fuelled by carbohydrates and by following an active life, it is impossible to get all these carbs you require from the vegetables only and that too when majority of them are non starchy.

A lot of Paleo athletes follow modified version of the diet that incorporates some rice and potatoes in order to meet the carbs needs.

Also, the diet is a bit restrictive when it comes to choosing what to eat. Talking about the Paleo diet, some foods that are generally considered to be healthy are not allowed in this diet. Legumes, grains and dairy products seem to get bad reputation today due to Paleo popularity. But for majority of people, such good nutritional staples do not have to be avoided even when they follow this diet.

These are just a few cons of the diet. But on the whole, Paleo living is more of a boon for the population.

 

paleo diet
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Beginner’s Guide To The Paleo Diet

If you are new to starting with Paleo diet, it is about eating natural food with no or little processing. In simple terms, paleo diet lays emphasis on eating in a way in which our Mother Nature has intended for us to eat.

When starting with the Paleo living, a lot of experts recommend taking the 85/15 approach after the very first month. It means 85 percent of the time you can stick to Paleo diet strictly while 15 percent you can have the non paleo items. When doing this, pay close attention to the way you feel as you reintroduce such things in your diet.

paleo diet

In a way, paleo diet helps in removing simple carbohydrates from the diet. And when this happens, our body can no longer be healthy with cheap carbs as they need energy and so the body is forced to make use of the fat stores.

Without constant flow of cheap carbs that the body would generally turn into sugar, the blood sugar falls to normal and insulin level starts regulating. And so, regulated insulin level allows lipolysis to take place. Lipolysis is basically the process where your body releases fat stores to be then burned in the form of energy. So, by lowering down the cheap carbs in your body, paleo diet helps the body to start burning fat in no time.

Further, the diet works through focusing mainly on the unprocessed and real foods which have been there for thousands and thousands of years.

Below we present a quick guide to what foods are allowed on paleo diet. These are the foods that our ancestors had access to.

Lean meats – beef, veal, venison, lamb, chicken, bison etc (try eating grass-fed version of these)
• Fish – salmon, tilapia, bass, etc.
• Seafood
• Eggs
• Vegetables – don’t leave these
• Berries and the less sugary fruits are good
Nuts – not too much (avoid peanuts)
Natural oils – olive, coconut and avocado oils

So, keep in mind that you can eat such foods when on the paleo diet. Make your diet plan accordingly and enjoy paleo living effortlessly.

How To Recognize What Is and Isn’t Paleo?

Many times it is clear what paleo is. Beef is found naturally and so it is paleo but ice cream is not paleo as it is manufactured by the humans. But there are certain times when you cannot judge between paleo and non paleo food. Like you may think that peanuts are paleo as nuts are considered to be so but you will be surprised to know that peanuts are legume and not paleo.

The basic reason why people find paleo diet to be so good and effective is that it helps in losing fat and turns the body from carb burning machine into fat burning system.

So, by now you must have got an idea as to what is the paleo diet, what to eat in it, what is paleo and what is not. This beginners guide can be of your help if you are looking forward to start paleo living and have a healthy life ahead.

paleo diet
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Paleo Vs. Primal Diet (wonderfully fit review)

A lot of health specialists believe that modern civilization’s rate of diseases like heart attacks, diabetes, cancer etc. stem from adopting a diet that is rich in processed foods, further exacerbated by sedentary lifestyle and eating habits. But by adopting healthy ways of eating, one can enjoy having a healthy body.

The two popular diets that follow the early times of eating and living include the Paleo diet and the Primal Diet. Paleo or the Caveman diet was introduced by Loren Cordain in the year 2002 and it follows the plan that dates back to the times when people ate meals that were there with freshly caught fish, grass fed game, seeds, berries, vegetables, nuts and fruits.

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Created by Mark Sisson in the year 2009, the Primal Blueprint is in a way similar to Paleo diet to certain extent. For instance, as you follow primal diet, you can easily consume the healthy meats, fats, vegetables, fruits and even dark chocolate. The main concept behind this is that such foods are mainly made up of fats and proteins.

Linda Larsen, the popular author as well as follower of The Big Book Of Paleo Recipes says that both the diets focus mainly on the way the ancestors ate. The main goal is to stay away from the grains and processed foods which are manipulated differently when compared with the cavemen period. She further said that the main difference between the diets is respective attitude of them towards saturated fats.

People who follow the Paleo diet avoid saturated fats. On the other hand, the Primal blueprint followers consume fatty meats etc. Also, primal diet lays emphasis on your whole lifestyle like there is emphasis on immunity and fitness. There is much stress on taking the antioxidants and supplements. The Paleo diet focuses more on the diet over exercise.

How to follow the diets? What to keep in mind

Eating more of healthy fat and less foods which spike the insulin level is the very first step towards primal diet. It is also important to avoid the industrial oils such as corn and soy that are rich in omega 6s and trans fat. As you eliminate taking refined carbs, industrial oils and sugar, you eliminate all the convenience food items.

It is observed that these days there are toxins almost everywhere and some pollutants cannot be avoided at any cost. However you can avoid some. It is good if you eat the organic foodstuffs whenever possible, use the natural cleansers etc. In fact, primal living is more than just a diet. It is a kind of lifestyle that you follow. As you eat in the way that is optimal for your body, you don’t have to look back again.

Also if you are thinking if treats and cheats are allowed on these diets, then don’t fear. Both the diets have many options for desserts and other treats. An easy dessert on Primal diet can be coconut macadamia bars with coconut oil, unsweetened coconut, macadamia nuts, salt and chia seeds. And what can be your favourite Paleo dessert? The blueberry coconut crisp can be made from honey, lemon juice, coconut, blueberries, vanilla, butter, coconut flour and salt.

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Primal Living Benefits Quick Guide

Following the primal diet and choosing foods that are natural and organic is in fact the best approach towards optimum health. Going Primal means that you eat and exercise just the way our ancestors did before the agricultural dawn. This approach is indeed the best that we can do in 21st century where life has become so fast and we indulge in poor, unhealthy eating habits.

Agriculture has been there for about 10,000 years, which is just a small sliver of long existence of humanity. Before that an average the human spent most of the time gathering and hunting food, foraging fruits, plants, seeds and nuts.

primal

So, what does a primal follower actually consume? Well, they put emphasis on fruits, animals, oils, nuts, plants and seeds. Going deep in what you can eat on a primal diet include:

Plants

Vegetables of all sorts can be eaten

Animals

Meat of all sorts like chicken, pork, beef, fish, eggs etc can be taken in large quantities in a primal diet

Seeds

Pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and others are good to eat in this diet

Nuts

Walnuts, almonds, macadamias are included. Peanuts are not allowed in primal living because they are legumes

Oils

Coconut oil, olive oil and fish oil are some options that can be chosen for primal meals

What’s not included?

The non primal foods include sugars, processed items, dairy products and grains of all sorts like rice, bread, pasta etc.

The benefits of a primal lifestyle are wide but let’s take a look at some of them including:

• Fat burning and weight loss
• Increased level of energy
• Slower pace of aging
• Less risk of facing heart disease and other problems

In all, this diet abstains from the foods that the metabolism was not actually made to eat or digest. Our modern day diet has changed considerably since the Cavemen times but the metabolism is still unaltered genetically coded mechanism of our ancestors.

Benefits

So, is the primal lifestyle worth the efforts and time? Surely, if you start eating the diet for some time, you will notice marked difference in your overall well-being and health. Your sleep pattern will improve, you will be more alert with better mental clarity and will have enhanced energy all through the day.

The benefits of primal living can be great. By eliminating unhealthy foods, increasing intake of healthy Omega 3 body fat as well by reducing the intake of high glycemic index sugar, you will be able to reduce pounds from your body in no time. Also, your cholesterol level will improve and you will face reduced risk of serious illnesses. Your resistance to diseases will also improve and you will face better performance of your body cells.

So, to conclude, it can be said that eating like our ancestors is a great way to remove modern meals and lead a healthy life. What are you waiting for? Go ahead and lead a primal life.

 

primal
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All About Paleo Diet- What Is It And How It Helps?

If you are looking for a healthy diet to change your life for the good then Paleo diet is the best option available. This diet is actually based on the idea of eating foods that our bodies were actually made for thousands of years ago. Such foods were there to the early people through gathering and hunting.

During the modern times, innovation in technology have made other foods like processed items, dairy products etc. which are not that simple to digest. Foods that are recommended in this diet provide the body with longer lasting and more efficient results that even help in burning the fat.

paleo diet

The Paleo diet is believed to be perfect for regulation of blood regulation, digestion, better sleep and metabolism. There is no right way of eating in this diet. Everyone eats as per their body type and preferences. While some eat low carb diet, others opt for high carb one with loads of plants.

What types of foods are included in the Paleo diet?

It is often confusing as to what all to eat in the Paleo diet. There are a lot of fish, meats, poultry, vegetables, fruits, eggs, healthy fats from avocado, coconut etc that can be had in this diet. Actually the options are innumerable and your plate will always be filled with something interesting to eat

So, what all to eat? Let’s check it below:

Meats: Beef, lamb, chicken, turkey, pork and others.
• Fish and Seafood: Salmon, trout, haddock, shrimp, shellfish, etc. Choose wild-caught if you can.
Eggs: Choose free-range, pastured or Omega-3 enriched eggs.
• Vegetables: Broccoli, kale, peppers, onions, carrots, tomatoes, etc.
• Fruits: Apples, bananas, oranges, pears, avocados, strawberries, blueberries and more.
Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and more.
• Healthy Fats and Oils: Lard, tallow, coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil
• Salt and Spices: Sea salt, Himalayan salt, garlic, turmeric, rosemary, etc.

What to avoid in Paleo Diet?

Soy, refined sugar, alcohol, grains, pasteurized dairy etc. are some of the items that you need to avoid when following the Paleo diet. Also, you don’t need to keep a record of the macronutrients or calories on this diet. But if you want to lose weight then it is recommended that you cut on carbs and restrict your consumption of potatoes and nuts.

So, now as you are aware of what all to eat and what to avoid, you can prepare your meal diet properly and follow the diet without any hassle.

More than a diet

Apart from providing a fit body, there are a lot of health benefits as well that can be enjoyed with the Paleo diet. For many people the very fact that this diet offers best results is what all they need. Enhanced blood lipids, less pain from autoimmunity and weight loss are the proof. A lot of people are not actually satisfied with following the recommendations like a strict diet or exercise schedule.

So, in all, it can be said that Paleo diet is not just any diet which helps in keeping fit, it is a healthy lifestyle to adopt.

paleo diet
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Why Our Diets Are Badly Failing Us and What We Can Do About It

Right now, there’s a good chance that your diets is woefully inadequate when it comes to ensuring you are in the best possible health. In fact, there’s a good chance that your diet may be killing you.

And what is the culprit here? The answer is empty calories and processed foods.

diets

These days, a huge proportion of what we eat is ready prepared and ‘processed’. That means that it has spent a lot of time in a factory and thus bears little resemblance to what the ingredients originally looked like.

A good example is a bag of crisps, which doesn’t tend to have much potato left in it at all. Chocolate is made from a cocoa bean but the rest is purely processed. And ready made lasagne will have had all the goodness fried out of it and a ton of salt, sugar and bad fats added to try and keep it preserved.

All this means that you’re getting calories from your diet – calories that will provide you with energy and make you gain weight – but no nutrition.

Why We Need Nutrition

It is a mistake to think of food as fuel. Calories are fuel and they happen to be in our food. But food is more than that.

Apart from also being a social event and a hobby, food should also be a source of raw materials. The saying that you ‘are what you eat’ is literally true and when you eat any meal, your body will break it down into its constituent parts and then reassemble those parts in order to build your muscle, create enzymes and hormones and even produce neurotransmitters (the chemicals that make our brain work).

When you don’t get these things, you’ll find yourself feeling considerably worse. If you don’t get enough vitamin C for example, then your immune system won’t be able to perform at its best and you’ll be much more likely to get ill. Worse, vitamin C is also crucial for helping you to produce serotonin. Take that away and your mood will plummet. It also helps us sleep!

Similarly, when you don’t get enough omega 3 fatty acid, it can cause inflammation – this makes your joints hurt, it creates brain fog and it can lead to illness.

A lack of amino acid will mean that your muscles are weaker and smaller. And it will result in your skin looking grey and your nails being brittle.

The short term issues are worthy of a lot of concern but more worrying still is what this does to your health in the long term. The damage here is cumulative and in the end you will be more likely to suffer with a range of diseases.

What to do About It

The answer is to stop thinking of food as fuel and to instead think about the quality of the raw materials you’re putting into your system. Find ways to get more nutrition food in your diet -even if that means just adding a smoothie into your routine!

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Top Tricks to Make Your Smoothie More Exciting!

Once you’ve added the liquid, the base, the fruits and vegetables and blended them all into a smooth drink, you might think that your smoothie would be complete. And it can be, sure, but if you want to get more inventive and creative and make something really memorable and really healthy, then you can instead start experimenting with some exciting additional ingredients, tricks and tweaks.

Here are some ideas to get you started…

smoothie

Herbs and Spices

You can add a herb on top of your smoothie as a garnish or drop it in in order to make it more attractive and add a nice flavor. Mint leaves are particularly popular and will go very well with green smoothies (for a mojito-like effect) as well as milky ones.

Better yet are spices. Cinnamon and vanilla are spices that can add a little sweetness and that might seem like a more logical choice for a smoothie but you can also get more adventurous and add cooking spices to your smoothies. Why not give your smoothie a spicy kick with a little cayenne pepper? This will make it spicier but it will also act as a thermogenic; increasing your heartrate and thus increasing your calorie burn!

Honey

If you’re looking for a sweetener, then honey is a great choice. Sure, honey contains sugar and won’t work that well in a low calorie or low-sugar diet. But it’s also very healthy in a number of other ways, potentially fighting inflammation and certainly acting as an amazing hangover cure and a good source of antioxidants.

Ice

If you want to make an exciting smoothie for summer, then consider ice. You can add this at the end to have your smoothie fit around blocks of ice, or you can blend the ice to create a slushy. Either way, this will be a very nice way to chill your drink and also a fun way to make it a little like an ice cream – great for kids.

This too can actually enhance your metabolism as your body tries to warm itself back up. And what’s more, is that ice is a great way to wake yourself up in the morning!

Protein Shake

Add protein shake to your smoothie if you want to turn it into a muscle building tonic. Protein shakes taste great in milk-based smoothies and in smoothies with bananas or strawberries in particular. This will help you to recover from training and can be useful as a way to reduce your diet in other areas as a quasi-meal replacement and thereby lose weight as well.

Nuts

If you want to garnish your smoothie with something pretty, then sprinkling a few nuts on top can be a great way to do so. You can add walnuts for a chistmassy smoothie for example and this can add to the look of the smoothie while also providing additional healthy fats, magnesium, zinc and protein!

Get creative and think about what else you can do to make your smoothie more exciting!

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Top Tips for Making it Easier to Make Smoothies

The great thing about smoothies and the main reason they’ve become so popular, is that they provide a very easy and convenient way to get a lot of extra nutrition in your diet. Eating healthily isn’t always easy and a lot of us will find we run out of time to prepare homemade meals and that it can even be quite expensive trying to eat fresh!

But then making smoothies isn’t always a walk in the part either and sometimes that can even seem like too much effort. The aim of this article then is to help you make it even easier to make smoothies, so that you stick with this healthy habit and don’t turn back to the soda any time soon!

smoothies

Use Tinned Fruits

Some fruits and vegetables that you will want to include in your smoothie can take a lot of time and effort to prepare. Take peaches for example. You might want to remove the skin from these and you’ll certainly want to take out the stone and all that involves a lot of time when you’re in a hurry in the morning.

The solution? Use tinned peaches instead! These are soft and pealed and stoned and ready to go, so you can simply drop them into your blender and hit blend!

The thing to be cautious of here though, is that you need to avoid tins that contain a lot of added sugar or syrup. Be careful to choose the types that say ‘in juice’ and then drain it off unless you want to risk altering the flavor of your smoothie!

Purees can also work in a similar manner!

Pre and Pick Up

If you are really in a hurry in the mornings, then you’re not going to want to slave over the chopping board no matter how quick it is to make your smoothie. The solution then is to prepare your smoothie in advance and then to just grab it on the way out. This is called ‘prep and pick up’ and you can do it by decanting your smoothies into bottles and dropping them into the fridge. Simple!

Bulk Buy and Freeze

Another issue is that fruit can get expensive. It’s not expensive per unit but because your fruit is constantly going off, you might find you need to keep replacing it – which is a waste.

One solution is to freeze certain fruits like bananas, which will also have the added bonus of making your smoothies nice and cool. Another tip is to bulk buy and order online. This way, you can set up a standing order so that you receive a regular selection of ingredients to your door and you don’t need to worry about constantly replenishing your fruit bowl!

Or instead of freezing, how about going the opposite route and sun drying your ingredients instead? They actually taste even sweeter this way and will last a lot longer – just make sure you give them longer in the blender!

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Top Liquids for Your Smoothie

When you create your smoothie, you will likely be super excited as you think about all the different types of fruits and vegetables you can put in! This is what is going to dictate the main flavor of your drink and also provide most of the goodness, so no wonder it’s exciting letting those creative juices flow! (There’s a pun there somewhere…)

But while you’re at it, try not to overlook the ‘boring’ part of your smoothie either – the liquid. This might just be ‘water’ but it’s actually one of the most important ingredients in there. And actually, this area allows for a little creativity too…

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The Role of Your Liquid

The role of your liquid is of course to provide the fluidity of your drink. This is what makes it a drink and otherwise it would be a kind of strange mash. Of course it’s up to you whether you prefer a smoothie to be very runny or a little thicker, so choosing the quantity of your liquid is going to be a big area where you can right away influence the outcome.

At the same time, your liquid will also make your smoothie hydrating while affecting the flavor itself. As we’ll see in a second, some liquids can have a big impact on the way a smoothie functions and tastes!

Your Liquid Picks

Water

‘Boring’ old water is perhaps the best choice of liquid if you want your smoothie to be optimally hydrating. It also helps some elements to dissolve and improves your digestion. What’s more, is that it’s plain flavor allows you to be more experimental when combining fruits and vegetables later on. It’s a great pick for ‘green smoothies’.

Tea

Yep, you can also add tea to your smoothie! This might be an iced tea or it might be a green tea. Either way, this makes your tea more energizing thanks to the caffeine content and that also has potent antioxidant and neuro protective properties too. Oh and it tastes great!

Ice

Ice will make your smoothie much colder and almost like a cocktail to drink! When you blend the ice, you can make a kind of slush puppy that is a lot of fun and a great way for parents to get their kids to drink smoothies. What’s more, is that the coldness of ice actually gets your body’s metabolism working overtime. This in turn means that it will increase its metabolism and have a thermogenic effect leading to increased fat burning and weight loss. See, I told you that the liquid could be exciting too!

Milk

While we’re at it, adding milk to your smoothie is a great way to completely alter the flavor and make it much smoother and creamier. Because milk is a source of fat, this can improve your absorption of various nutrients too (the fat soluble vitamins in particular) and it can also provide you with a great source of protein, of healthy cholesterol (which boosts testosterone) and calcium!

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The Top Nutrients to Get In Your Smoothies

When you create a smoothie, you might think of it in terms of what fruits and what ingredients you want to put in. Arguably though, you may be might be missing out on the real point of your smoothie by looking at it in this way. Instead, why not think about your smoothie in terms of what it can do for you? And more specifically, in terms of what amazing nutrients you can get from it?

This is really where the magic of the smoothie comes in and it’s how it delivers its amazing benefits for your energy, your immune system and more! So what nutrients can you expect to get from a smoothie and what are the best ones to hunt for? Let’s take a look at just a few example of amazing nutrients you can get from those fruits and vegetables…

Omega 3

Omega 3 fatty acid is found in avocados as well as nuts and is a very important nutrient for our brain health. This is because it helps to improve the ‘cell membrane permeability’ of our brain cells. In short, this allows more things to pass through the walls of the neurons and this in turn means they can communicate more quickly and effectively.

Another benefit of omega 3 is that it can reduce inflammation. It does this by decreasing the amount of omega 6 – which most of us have too much of. This can reduce brain fog, further enhancing omega 3’s status as a brain food. Better yet, it can also help to reduce swelling and combat a lot of aches and pains!

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is the one that everyone knows about but do you really know just how much good it can do for you?

Vitamin C is first and foremost a great tool for enhancing your immune system. That means fewer colds and flus and fewer illnesses in general. Vitamin C also helps to fight stress though by increasing levels of serotonin. This makes things like apples and oranges a great pick-me-up and highly beneficial for improving sleep and even enhancing muscle growth.

It’s also an antioxidant, just like…

Resveratrol

Resveratrol is a very powerful antioxidant, meaning that it can help to combat free radicals. This is seriously good news, because free radicals will otherwise roam around the body and damage cells, eventually leading to the signs of ageing and even causing cancer. Resveratrol is among many nutrients in your smoothies that can help to serve this role but it also has the ability to greatly enhance the function of mitochondria. This is important because mitochondria provide you with your energy and ATP. The more mitochondria you have, the more energetic and vibrant you feel! You can get this one from your red grapes.

Zinc

Zinc is an important mineral that boosts testosterone production, aids in neuroplasticity, helps us get to sleep and even improves our sense of smell!

These are just a few nutrients and there are countless others out there that have just as many benefits!

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The Top Bases for Your Smoothie

Many different elements go into a smoothie…The first of these is of course the fruit and this is what is going to give the smoothie most of its flavor and most of its goodness. Then there are added things like water and possibly honey.

But what’s also highly important is that your smoothie contains a base. The base is going to be a fruit or perhaps something else that provides a) a very strong flavor and b) a smooth and creamy texture. Choosing your base will often serve as the first building block of your smoothie which will define the strongest flavour and provide the ‘smoothness’ that gives the drink its name!

smoothie

But what makes a good base for a smoothie? What options are there? Let’s take a look at some of the best…

Banana

Banana is perhaps the most popular smoothie base and is the key ingredient in the very most popular smoothie recipe: banana and strawberry. These two go perfectly together and also offer a large amount of potassium to keep cramps at bay. Banana is also a great source of vitamin B6 and is generally very delicious and creamy.

Avocado

The avocado is a very popular health food right now and this is down to numerous factors. Perhaps the biggest benefit of the avocado is that it is a healthy saturated fat. Fats have been vindicated recently as it has been shown that they have nothing to do with heart disease or many of the other conditions that they were previously accused of.

What’s more, is that avocado is delicious and very creamy. It also happens to be an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acid, which is one of the most impressive nutrients for its ability to improve the communication between cells, combat inflammation and more!

Mango

Mango smoothies are perfect for summers days when you want something really sweet and delicious. Mango is very smooth and has a great texture and it also happens to be a great source of numerous vitamins and minerals. In particular, it is an excellent place to get your vitamin C.

Peanut Butter

Not all your bases have to be fruits and vegetables. An option that is somewhat different is to choose peanut butter, which will provide you with lots of magnesium and zinc, lots of healthy sugar and good helping of protein. This is particularly useful for those looking to build muscle and if you combine it with other protein sources – like protein shake – then it can be highly effective in aiding with muscle building.

Protein Shake

Or why not add protein shake itself? This will add even more protein to your mixture and will also often add a lot of delicious flavor. Note that a lot of protein shakes are high in fats and carbs, so you should check the back of your shake before you add it to your healthy drink. Choose a plain whey protein and then add your own flavor instead by making it into a delicious smoothie!

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The Best Nutrients and Fruits for Runners

Looking to enhance your running performance? Believe it or not, a smoothie might just be exactly the secret weapon you’re looking for! In this post, we’ll look at some incredibly powerful ingredients that will taste great in any smoothie and that will help you to run a little further a little faster…

smoothie

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a common ingredient in smoothies that are used as a ‘base’. This means that they will help to give the smoothie the smooth and creamy texture that it is known for and prevent it from just being a fruit cocktail!

Chia seeds are of particular interest to runners because they help to hold water and hydration. Chia can absorb large amounts of water and swell to several times their normal volume. Then, once in the stomach, they will release that water into the body to hydrate you. This is one of the secrets that allows the Native American ‘Tarahumara Tribe’ to run huge distances on a regular basis without becoming tired or dehydrated.

Beetroot Juice

Beetroot juice is another powerful aid that might just let you run a little bit further and faster. That’s because beetroot juice is a natural vasodilator. This means that it can help to dilate the blood vessels – the veins and arteries – and thereby help more blood to find its way around your body. If you consume beetroot juice then you should find your body becomes much better at mobilizing fat stores, helping you to breathe heavily and take in large amounts of oxygen and more.

Beetroot juice is actually a favourite choice among a large number of athletes for these reasons and is broadly considered a performance enhancer!

Red Grapes

Resveratrol is a substance found in red grapes. This is a highly powerful antioxidant and on top of that, it is also very good at enhancing the function of the mitochondria.

Mitochondria are small ‘energy factories’ that live inside your cells and allow you to use ATP. The more mitochondria you have and the more efficient they are, the longer and faster you’ll be able to run or otherwise exert yourself without tiring out. Red grapes are a great inclusion for this reason and might just give you an added edge!

Protein Shake

While we normally think that protein shake is for bodybuilders, it can also be useful for runners and the reason is actually very similar.

That’s because running is highly catabolic. Not only does running burn fat, it also burns muscle to a great extent and this is something that most runners would rather avoid where possible. By consuming protein just before a run – and especially a source with added BCAA (branch chained amino acids) – you may be able to protect your muscles against being catabolized.

Green Tea

Green tea is a great source of caffeine which can increase the heart-rate and metabolism and give you a big boost in energy. For this reason, caffeine is found in a large number of performance enhancing supplements and pre-workouts.

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