Food is the body’s fuel. The brain and muscles take nutrients from food in order to function properly, so the better the food you consume is, the more efficient your body is in daily activities and in sport. There are various power foods that can help to provide the body with everything it needs for optimum nutrition and performance. These foods are rich in protein and good fats — both vital for maintaining a healthy body and mind.

The metabolism slows down as we age, and this is one of the reasons people can gain weight. It is important to try to find ways to keep the metabolism ticking over, and there are a number of foods which can help to speed it up, helping your body to function more effectively. The first thing to be aware of is to eat enough food, as cutting calories can slow the metabolism down. A good breakfast can help to speed up the metabolic system first thing in the morning, keeping it going all day. More fiber in your diet also helps, so a bowl of fiber-rich cereal can be a good choice.

48Image source: http://www.theyummylife.com/Easy_cooking_with_granola

 

The Importance of Protein

Protein is vital for a fast metabolism, as this is your main muscle food. This is especially important for athletes, who have a greater need for muscle growth, repair and maintenance. The more we exercise, the more fuel our bodies need, so always remember to eat enough food before exercise and to refuel adequately afterwards.

In addition to muscle health, protein is also crucial for good brain function and helps your memory and concentration levels.

  • Lean meat and eggs are good sources of protein, while it is always a good idea to remove any visible fat from meat cuts.
  • For another dairy option alongside eggs, Greek-style yoghurt contains nearly double the amount of protein of other dairy foods.
  • Fish can be an excellent power food and a good source of protein and essential fatty acids. Aim to consume three to five portions of fish per week.
  • Nuts, especially walnuts, are excellent for brain health, as they contain essential omega 3 fatty acids. They also contain phytosterols and antioxidants, which are good for preventing brain aging.
  • In a similar way, blueberries have also been shown to improve brain function with regard to learning and memory.
  • Another protein-rich food is avocado, which contains all nine essential amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for the heart.
IMG_4021Grilled Chicken on Kabobs with Veggies is a great meal ^^

 

Alternatives to Meat

Many athletes and other health-conscious people are looking to reduce the amount of meat they consume or even cut it out altogether.

Vegetarians can get protein from many plant sources and dairy options, while vegans can have adequate protein in their diet if they research the right foods and include plenty of tofu, lentils, legumes and beans.

Tempeh is one of the lesser-known power foods and works well in a vegetarian diet. This smart choice has a nougat-like texture, which makes it ideal for vegetarians looking for an alternative to meat while still wanting to achieve that rich texture.

Of course, it’s important that you know how to cook healthy food in order to create tasty meals, increase your enjoyment of food and ensure you can prepare food safely. There are many courses in cookery I have found, such as those run by Taste Budds Cookery School, which teach you how to use healthy ingredients to cook good food! I got Food Safety certified through ServSafe and now have a certification to prove I’m capable of cooking safely 🙂

People who are active every day are in a good position to maintain a fast metabolism from their naturally energetic lifestyles, but food can also help to speed the body’s natural processes to ensure greater efficiency. A faster metabolic rate also means a faster mind and a more youthful brain. Healthy foods which are high in protein and rich in good essential fats are the key to maintaining a fast metabolism through diet.

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This is a Mediterranean Salad with “Tofu Cheese Cubes” and chickpeas that I got in LA this summer. Tofu and chickpeas are a great source of protein for vegetarians as mentioned above!

Have any questions on this? Never hesitate, comment below 🙂