As one year ends and a new one begins, thoughts turn to how to make the most of a clean slate and a new opportunity to pursue those fitness goals. While many people focus on getting to a women’s fitness boutique more often, they might overlook dietary changes that can more effectively fuel their bodies. In this and in upcoming articles, we’ll look at eight power foods to supercharge your fitness no matter where you are in your fitness journey. This article looks at two leafy green veggies known for their versatility.
It’s no surprise that spinach tops the list of power foods. Bite for bite, spinach packs an incredible punch. Loaded with calcium, potassium, copper, vitamin A, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin K, folate, vitamin E and manganese, spinach boasts an impressive place on any list of superfoods. When cooked, this versatile veggie has more than 50 percent more potassium then even bananas, which is usually the go-to food for someone low in this essential mineral. Very few Americans include enough potassium in their diets. By adding just this one food, you can go from zero to hero in your intake of this integral nutrient.
Additionally, cooked spinach provides more than 100 percent of the daily recommended allowance of vitamin A, which you need for optimal vision and a healthy reproductive and immune system. When it comes to working out, spinach helps with muscle mass and bone density, important health factors to keep you at the top of your workout game.
Health benefits of spinach include the following:
- Building bones – The high levels of vitamin K can reduce bone fractures, properly balance calcium and increase bone density, especially for women.
- Battling iron-deficiency anemia – Cooked spinach contains more than one-third of your daily allowance of iron, which your body needs to properly transport oxygen to organs. Your need for oxygen increases when you up your exercise levels, and this is especially critical for women.
- Improved skin and hair – Spinach can contribute to improvements in your hair and skin as it boosts collagen production.
- Combatting cancer – Spinach contains loads of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, all beneficial in preventing cancer.
Another power-packed green, kale also provides loads of nutrients, including iron, phosphorus, calcium, manganese, potassium, copper and vitamins A, C and K. Although your body doesn’t easily absorb the iron in spinach, kale’s composition makes absorption of both iron and calcium much easier.
Health benefits of kale include:
- Combatting arthritis – Kale contains more calcium than milk, which is critical for bone support.
- Battling asthma – Antioxidants and vitamin C combine to help block free radicals and reduce asthma symptoms.
- Fighting autoimmune disorders – The high Vitamin C content provides great support for your immune system.
- Providing cardiovascular support – Kale can help decrease cholesterol levels.
- Detoxing your entire body – The high fiber content makes kale a great overall detox, which boosts liver health.
By including these two nutrient-laden greens in your diet, you can up your workout game. Be sure to check out our 2018 schedule at Flow Fitness Boutique as you make plans for the new year. No matter your fitness needs, you will find a class or two that works for you! Happy New Year!