Protein Foods

Lean Red Meat (93% lean, top round, sirloin)

In addition to being a great metabolism boosting protein source, red meat is full of B-vitamins, the most absorbable iron, CLA (a fat-burning fatty acid), and creatine (for muscle building).

Salmon

Salmon offers the dynamic duo of fat burning - protein and fish oil. At this point, you should know all too well that protein does a great job of revving the metabolism. But what you might not know is what fish oil can do for you. According to numerous research studies, the right amount of the kind of omega 3 fats found in fish oil can boost metabolism by a whopping 400 calories each day. It does this while fighting diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Better eat your fish.

Omega 3 Eggs

Omega 3 eggs pack a similar one-two, protein, omega 3 punch. Protein plus the heart-healthy, disease fighting, metabolism boosting omega 3 fats is a hard combo to beat. Don't fear the yolk, that's where the omega 3s are.

Low-fat Plain Yogurt (lactose-free if you can find it)

Yogurt is a smooth and creamy way to boost the protein and calcium content of your diet. You already are wise to the benefits of protein. Eat yogurt and you also get some great calcium. Research from the University of Tennessee shows that increased calcium intake speeds the metabolism and promotes fat loss. That's right, calcium is not just for bones and teeth.

Supplemental Protein (milk protein isolates, whey protein isolates, or rice protein isolates)

Supplemental protein powder powers up your metabolism in a quick, easy, and convenient way. Can't get a feeding? No problem. Whip up a shake and get the muscle building, metabolism boosting power of protein without having to cook food. For an extra calcium and antioxidant boost throw in some yogurt and berries.

Spinach

Spinach ranks top of the veggie list because of its strong base content. A spinach salad or some cooked spinach can neutralize nearly any dietary acid-forming food and that's good for the bones and the muscles. Spinach has also got fiber to improve gastrointestinal health and promote fat loss. It's also got folic acid for reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, and memory loss with aging. Popeye was right; you'd better eats your spinach!

Tomatoes

In addition to being good tasting, full of fiber and vitamin C, cooked tomatoes (even those in tomato sauce) are rich in lycopene. Increase your lycopene intake and enjoy a 50% reduction in heart disease risk and risk of prostate cancer.

Cruciferous Vegetables (Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower) These veggies contain a special class of nutrients called indoles that have been found to protect against a variety of cancers, balance hormonal status, and offer antioxidant benefits. When mother nature made these veggies, she also added in some fiber for good measure. Next time you sit down to a feeding; put aside your salad in favor of a vegetable medley.

Avocados

Avocados are actually fruits, not vegetables. Surprised? Well how about this, avocados are probably the healthiest fruits on the block. Avocados contain a heaping portion of B-vitamins, fiber, folic acid, and zinc (among other nutrients). And of course, let's not forget the monounsaturated fats in avocados. These are the same healthy fats we find in olive oil. While it should be obvious these are darn good for you, here's a hot tip. The zinc thing is big for men, since zinc status is related to testosterone production.

Mixed Berries (Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, etc.)

Berries are one of the best antioxidant foods around. In fact, they rank highest in their ability to soak up those nasty, cell-damaging oxygen free radicals. If you want to reduce the signs and symptoms of aging, berries are one of your best choices.

Oranges

Oranges are best known for what? Their vitamin C content, of course. But they also happen to be great sources of fiber as well as folic acid. An orange a day may keep the doctor away.

Quinoa (Ancient Grains)

The nutritive properties of quinoa have given it the title of super grain. Even back as far as the Incan empire, Inca warriors fed themselves quinoa to make them strong for work and battle. This is due to the fact that quinoa is rich in a variety of energy-producing vitamins and minerals calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, and B-vitamins. In addition to these benefits, quinoa is one of the only grains that provide complete protein. Finally, since quinoa contains no gluten, it's the best grain for those with gastrointestinal problems with other grains.

Whole Oats (Large Flake)

Oats and quinoa run neck and neck for the title of healthiest grain, so make sure you include both of them in your diet. Oats have a low glycemic index therefore they control blood sugars well. They are also rich in the B-vitamins and vitamin E, are hypoallergenic relative to wheat and other grains, and contain more soluble fiber than any other grain. Just remember, though, you'll want to save your grains for the post-exercise period. That's when your body best tolerates carbohydrates.

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