It is such common knowledge that fruits and vegetables equal good. Regardless of lifestyle, the two have been the face of healthy eating, but that’s about where it ends for some. Differentiating different fruits and vegetables isn’t the main priority for many - as long as it isn’t a milkshake or cake, it’s better. With the right guidance and diet plan, certain fruits can help to optimize the results you are looking for when on a fitness pursuit. Here are some of the best fruits to improve fitness or put on muscle.
Fruits to Avoid
Before looking at the ones you do need, it’s important to first establish why not all fruits are the same and how alternative choices will sabotage your fitness progression. The avocado is one of the biggest culprits of this and not because it’s bad, but mainly because it does not compliment many bodybuilding diets out there.
Most plans involve a strict reduction of fat and sugar, with simple carbs being the primary energy source. Avocado is the antithesis of this principle and primarily contains fat. General strength-based exercises don’t involve much cardio, and fat is the least preferred energy source if your exercises focus on static.
Durians are another type of food that has a high amount of both carbs and fat, which is a lethal combo that can do more harm than good. While avocados at least have the reputation of dominating anything that’s Keto-related, Durian is off-putting too many and offers too few health benefits to substitute other fruits that are both delectable and nutritious.
Coconuts are the final options for fruits to avoid. While coconuts are nowhere near as controversial, the difficulty would be steering clear away from this delicious fruit. Coconuts are more versatile than the two other fruits on this list, which means that some foods you may think are harmless may secretly have coconut oil in them. Coconuts are also commonly turned into shavings and could spell disaster for your waist if they are cleverly used with your favorite desserts. Out of all fruits, coconuts have the highest amount of saturated fat and is deceptively heavy for how light it can taste.
Best Fruits for Muscle Building
As children, oranges were possibly the signature citrus fruit to go for when pursuing a life of healthy eating -and for good reason. Oranges are jam-packed with Vitamin C and are particularly viable before your workout due to the nutrient preventing nitric oxide from being broken down. Alternatively, you could consume the fruit after your workouts and enjoy the fruit for its stellar antioxidant properties. The fruit is tasty and easily made into juices - so having it anyway you like wouldn’t stray too far away from its natural nutritional value.
If fruits had a mascot, apples would be it. From nursery adages to in-depth nutrient charts, none can deny how versatile and valuable this fruit can be. Apples contain polyphenol which helps to increase your body’s strength. While this effect may seem enticing, it is important to note that the fruit still is extremely high in sugar and should not be consumed in excess. Like almost any other fruit, juicing it naturally is a good option, while baked apple paste isn’t too bad of an idea either. Be warned that apple crumbles or apple pies don’t count as progress!
For such a small fruit, cherries have some of the strongest flavors among all fruits. This is why taking more than a handful of them can make it a chore to consume. With the correct amount, cherries are a treat and contain anthocyanin, which is responsible for muscle recovery and helps to reduce inflammation. As we know, muscle hypertrophy is all about recovery and this fruit fits the bill in every way possible. Cherries work best on their own and should be eaten sparingly.
This tropical fruit isn’t as straightforward as the rest when it comes to nutritional benefits. Watermelons help regulate blood flow and contain citrulline, which is responsible for being converted to arginine and nitrous oxide. Watermelons are a good source of fruits if you ever consume them as an assortment, but are not the most vital to have on a daily basis. Once more, be careful about how much sugar you are consuming when feasting on this fruit.
Bananas are perfect for carb-heavy diets and are best before workouts to resupply your body with glycogen. The fruit is renowned for its ability to help muscles maintain their size. Bananas come packing with an incredible amount of potassium which is good for muscle contractions and is a critical electrolyte for the body all around. Bananas are possibly one of the most common fruits to be consumed with a protein shake, but going full natural with it works too.
Managing Your Intake
While sugar cravings can partially be satisfied with fruits, it is important to note that sugar is still sugar and should not supersede the number of carbs taken. It is good as a snack for pre and post-workouts, and never functions as a meal substitute or a snack to be eaten throughout the entire day. Ultimately, gauging the amount of how much you should consume each day depends on your calorie intake cap. Balancing your fruits with oats, nuts, and even vegetables can make for a far more fulfilling role if you are not the type to snack.
Ezra Gideon, UNB & Dhaka Courier Correspondent in Singapore.