The best healthy food on Instagram!

//The best healthy food on Instagram!
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The best healthy food on Instagram!

Did you ever wonder why you see the same food on Instagram over and over again?
If you search for the #healthyfood you will see colorful plates and bowls over and over again. In the last years, it has become very popular to take pictures of your food and show it to the world. How often have you seen people in restaurants or in general in public places who make an effort to take the perfect picture of their plate?

Some food might only be on Instagram because it looks nice, has a great color or an extraordinary shape! If you look closer, you might realize it comes down to a hand full of foods you see in every other shot.

nutrients

 

You have variety but you also have “no” variety. You can break it down to the most used foods in the pictures like oatmeal, avocados, chickpeas, spinach, broccoli, salmon, tuna, beans, lentils, eggs (poached eggs), pumpkin, sweet potatoes,  blueberries. The variety is influenced by seasonal food for e.g. you see a lot of pumpkins in October and for e.g. strawberries in Summer. But besides that, the basic foods stay no matter what season it is. The four groups of nutrients (protein, fat, carbs, vitamins) are all covered (see the picture above).

So, other than being photogenic the food comes with a lot of health benefits and let´s see why it improves your fitness.

Protein

Eggs

Eggs are the perfect food to improve your fitness! They are loaded with the highest content of essential amino acids (they can´t be produced by your body, so they have to be eaten regularly) to build muscles for example.

Fat is not water soluble and to be transported in the blood it is dependent on protein as a “vehicle” for transportation.

Protein can´t be replaced by any other nutrient!

Don´t cut out the egg yolk, it brings valuable nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin B 6, vitamin E, zinc.

A lot of people cut out the egg yolk and only eat omelets without the yellow vitamin pack. To make it clear what you get with each part of the egg I will give you the benefits of each one separately.

Egg White

  • Fat: Egg white has zero fat (that´s probably the reason you tend to eat only egg whites!)
  • Protein: Here might come a big surprise! Egg white has less protein than egg yolk

Egg Yolk

  • Protein: Egg yolk has actually more protein than the white part!
  • Cholesterol: Besides the fatty part the cholesterol is one of the main reasons to cut out the egg yolk.
  • Lecithin: Lecithin emulsifies fat and water. It helps to digest fats and moving wastes and nutrients in and out of cells.
    Lecithin lowers the digestion of cholesterol in the gut. Most people fear to get high cholesterol levels when eating eggs, but in reality, the egg (meaning the lecithin) is lowering the cholesterol level by itself. For healthy people eating eggs is not a problem.

 

Chicken

Chicken is for a lot of fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and bodybuilders a preferred source of protein. But let´s be real, the discount chicken meat you buy for a few bugs is probably not so nutritious anymore.
Let´s pretend we are talking about a well-fed, organic chicken!

Packed with a lot of lean protein, chicken comes with only a small amount of fat and that´s what we want to build up muscles and stay lean at the same time. Additionally, there are some more powerful nutrients provided by chicken meat, like:

  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): It has a big part when converting protein, fat, and carbohydrates into energy; it also can enhance your mood, because serotonin production is dependent on B3.
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): A deficiency of B6 means that valuable amino acids can´t be processed and will leave your body unused.
  • Iron: It is part of every cell in our body but in particular in red blood cells (hemoglobin). Iron is needed to build hemoglobin which has the role of a taxi for oxygen and carbon dioxide.
  • Zinc: Supports wound healing and helps growing hair and is also a big part of bones and skin.

Fat

Avocado

Avocados have gained popularity over the last years and the high amount of vitamins and good fats are definitely a reason for that. On the other hand, they not only provide vitamins but also help to absorb other nutrients.

  • Potassium: It is an electrolyte, which means you will lose it while working out and sweating and it needs to be replaced. In combination with sodium, it enables nerve impulse transmission.
  • Monounsaturated Fats: They have been shown to reduce the undesirable cholesterol (LDL).
  • Fiber: Fiber is the indigestible part of plants and it can be helpful with weight loss and also reduces blood sugar spikes.
  • Vitamin K: Supports calcium absorption, some proteins are dependent on vitamin k for bone mineralization and therefore bone growth.

Salmon

You can count fresh wild-caught salmon to the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. Besides the well-known amount of omega 3 fats it also brings a lot of vitamins and minerals to your plate.

  • Omega 3: These fatty acids protect the heart by reducing blood clotting. They also lower the inflammation that comes from intense workouts and also help with muscle soreness.
  • Vitamin D: It brings benefits in so many ways: keeps membranes healthy, muscle and bone strength, antioxidant* (also check out my former blog post on vitamin D here)
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Especially important for athletes as it is part of energy providing processes (breaking down food for energy).
  • Vitamin B12: significant impact on red blood cell production, maintaining hemoglobin with oxygen transportation.

 

Carbs

Oatmeal

Just a few years ago oatmeal was labeled as a not so desirable food due to its texture and lack of a nice flavor. It was mostly something we were eating when we were sick because it is one easy to digest meal. The health benefits of oatmeal have catapulted it to the top foods for fitness and health. And the combination of colorful fruits and seeds makes it even more nutritious it also makes it more beautiful and Instagram worthy.

  • Carbs: Offering good, complex carbs for long-lasting energy. They get digested slow and don´t cause an undesirable sugar peak followed but a sugar low. They keep the blood sugar level constant.
  • Zinc: Essential for tissue growth, helps wound healing. Acts as an antioxidant*.
  • Manganese: Assisting in the metabolism of carbs, fats, and proteins. Promoting nervous system health.
  • Biotin: Assisting in the metabolism of carbs, fats, and proteins. Plays an important part in growth and maintenance of bones, nails, and hair.

Sweet Potato

This colorful vegetable is yet another food, that has gained more and more popularity and is to be found a lot on Instagram. There are so many ways you can enjoy the sweet potato and best most delicious option for me is when they are oven baked with Italian seasoning and garlic.

Compared to the regular, white potatoes, sweet potatoes are higher in calories but they provide much more minerals and vitamins. You will see the biggest difference in the amount of vitamin A (white potato: 1 microgram; sweet potato: 1300 microgram!!).

  • Vitamin A: It is a powerful antioxidant*. It helps support healthy vision, neurological function, good skin and maintains iron absorption.
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): Especially important for athletes as it is part of energy providing processes (breaking down food for energy).
  • Vitamin C: Super boost for your immune system! It also repairs tissues of all parts of your body. Aiding with fat oxidation, energy expenditure, and energy intake.

Chickpeas

In the fitness world and with people becoming more and more health conscious, the segment of legumes got expanded with this little nutritious food. If you look closely at the beautifully composed bowls and plates with #healthyfood on Instagram you will see chickpeas a lot. They are high in protein and fiber which makes you feel full for longer. As a result, you snack less.

  • Folic Acid: Supports cell growth (particularly red blood cells), works as an antioxidant*
  • Vitamin K: Supports calcium absorption, some proteins are dependent on vitamin k for bone mineralization and therefore bone growth.
  • Manganese: Assisting in the metabolism of carbs, fats, and proteins. Promoting nervous system health.

 

Vitamins

Spinach

Spinach is a very well known vegetable and it claims to be high in iron and therefore gives you amazing strength and superpowers like Popeye!

In general, our body can absorb iron from animal sources better than from plant sources. To enhance your iron absorption from spinach, you can add a glass of orange juice to your meal to improve the outcome. Vitamin C has a positive impact on the iron absorption. Let´s see what else this vegetable has to offer:

  • Zinc: Essential for tissue growth, helps wound healing. Acts as an antioxidant*.
  • Manganese: Assisting in the metabolism of carbs, fats, and proteins. Promoting nervous system health.
  • Potassium: Together with sodium, it is responsible for the excitability of nerve- and muscle cells. Positive influence on a regular heartbeat and regulation of water balance in your body.

Broccoli

Broccoli is one of the top foods you will see in most of the healthy and fitness-boosting Instagram posts. It is rich in a variety of nutrients and high in fiber. It´s also easy and quick to prepare as you can either cook it, steam it or roast it. Additional seasoning and some sea salt and pepper and you are ready to go.

  • Potassium: Together with sodium, it is responsible for the excitability of nerve- and muscle cells. Positive influence on a regular heartbeat and regulation of water balance in your body.
  • Vitamin C: Super boost for your immune system! It also repairs tissues of all parts of your body. Aiding with fat oxidation, energy expenditure, and energy intake.
  • Fiber: It maintains regular digestion, stabilizes blood sugar.

Blueberries

I think blueberries got a new hype when oatmeal got popular again and they are often used to decorate and “tune up” the oats. They are so much more than a nice visual accessory to your bowl of oatmeal and here is the reason why:

  • Antioxidants: Blueberries are dense in secondary plant compounds which are known to work as antioxidants*.
  • Carbohydrates: Complex carbohydrates are beneficial to your workout, they are digested slowly and provide energy for a longer time.
  • Vitamin C: Super boost for your immune system! It also repairs tissues of all parts of your body. Aiding with fat oxidation, energy expenditure, and energy intake.
  • Vitamin K: Supports calcium absorption, some proteins are dependent on vitamin k for bone mineralization and therefore bone growth.

 

*Antioxidants are nutrients that help repair damages from free radicals, which are by-products when food is transformed into energy. Cells get also damaged by chemicals from the environment, cigarette smoke or other pollutants.

 

 

2018-05-19T15:51:50+00:00

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