Food is our fuel. It is what keeps our bodies running and therefore, what we put in that amazing machine we are living in is a matter of upmost importance.
Whether your goal is to get in shape (summer bodies are made in winter!), to improve your physical performance or just to live a healthier life, this article should give you a hand. In fact, it is proven that having a healthy lifestyle helps you reduce stress and improve your mental capacity, consequently helping you get better grades.
So I have made a list of things that you can add to your diet that will help you reach your goals.
Almonds: These delicious nuts have so many benefits and are one of the best things you can put in your body. Almonds contain protein, vitamins, fiber, magnesium and healthy unsaturated fats. ESADE tips: -A handful of almonds is also a good way to cure your headache, for instance after a long day of studying.
-It is a very smart thing to grab a handful of almonds as an in-between-classes-snack as it contains protein that will give you a feeling of satiety and its magnesium will help you concentrate. Another advice would be to buy roasted almonds if you do not like raw ones.
Peanut butter: An amazing source of protein, healthy unsaturated fats, fiber and potassium. It is a great ingredient for gaining muscle and losing fat thanks to its very high content of protein (up to 30%!). TOP TIP: Beware! We’re not talking about unhealthy, mainstream, processed peanut butter with countless ingredients that most brands sell! We’re talking about natural peanut butter and therefore we recommend you to buy 100% organic peanut butter (avoid those with added palm oil).
ESADE tip: You can find very tasty and high-quality peanut butter at the organic store of Mercado Torreblanca, near ESADE.
Avocados: This superfood is among the best things you can have to lose-weight and a better overall health. Avocados are packed with potassium (twice more than in a banana!), monounsaturated fats (helpful for weight-loss and overall fat-burning) and fiber. As it is a nutritionally-dense food, people who eat avocados tend to feel more satisfied and have a lower desire to eat over the next few hours.
The only flaw they could have is that they can be quite expensive if you are on a student budget.
Fish: Eating fish is a great way to increase your daily protein intake. It is a must for both building lean muscle (hey gym-rats) and weight loss. In addition, the Omega-3 fatty-acids found in oily fish help to reduce cholesterol and improve your brain’s health and cognitive functions.
ESADE tip: If you eat at the school’s cafeteria or at Gilda, try to have fish every once in a while.
Lean meat: Chicken and turkey are great because they provide a lot of quality protein with almost no fat. This is therefore, just like fish, a great way to increase your protein intake to build lean muscle, lose fat, and increase your overall health.
ESADE tip: If you are eating on campus try to order chicken or turkey breast when you are not having fish.
If you are a vegetarian you can replace meat with beans, soy or lentils as they are also packed with protein.
Eggs: Great source of protein, vitamins, minerals and omega 3. They would make a perfect breakfast as they provide your body with the nutrition it needs after a long night of fasting. However, do not do it like Rocky, cook them, raw eggs could give you diseases like salmonella! In addition, try to eat the eggs as a whole, as the yolk contains half the protein and most of the nutrients.
Oats: Probably the best thing you can have for breakfast alongside eggs. They will give you the energy needed to get through a busy morning, as they are packed with « good » (a.k.a.
complex) carbs, fiber and protein. Usually oatmeal has a bad reputation because people do not like its taste. Here are some pieces of advice to help you enjoy oats in the morning or as a snack:
1- Porridge: Boil some milk in a casserole, reduce the heat and add the oats with a sweetener like honey, brown-sugar or even stevia. Stir gently for a few minutes and then serve with some cinnamon on top (also great for weight-loss and fat-burning).
2- The oats-omelette: Perfect to get the best of both oatmeal and eggs and make the perfect filling (and muscle-building) breakfast. Beat your eggs with your oats in a bowl and fry the mixture in a pan with virgin olive oil or coconut oil. Wait a moment and then flip it to cook on the other side. Once cooked, add some peanut-butter on top of this big pancake shaped omelette. Enjoy!
Green tea: This incredible antioxidant is one of the best fat-burners out there, and is natural! Indeed, some of the contents of green-tea help to boost your metabolism and break the fat-cells of the body. Green tea is also proven to ease the digestion process.
ESADE tip: Try to take green tea instead of coffee, in the morning or after lunch if you eat at the cafeteria. If you like cinnamon, then do not hesitate to add some in it to benefit from its properties as well.
Other little tips:
- Replace white sugar with brown sugar which is less processed and has higher health benefits or honey which is more natural.
- Remove butter from your diet and use virgin olive oil and coconut oil which are healthy and great to lose weight.
This is not a complete guide to healthy living, but adding some of these foods to your day-to-day diet will do you great. We are not suggesting that you totally change your diet and habits from one day to the next and base your diet entirely around the information present above. What we do recommend you to do is to try to gradually introduce them to into your current diet, alongside regular exercise. When you start seeing or feeling the results you’ll find it hard to get rid of your new healthy diet! Nevertheless, be patient and indulge every once in a while; it’s okay to allow yourself to give in to your cravings. Rome was not built in a day after all, yet there is no reason why you cannot achieve your goals!