Men’s Fitness Deputy Editor Matt Pomroy shows us how to get fit...
Have a shot of Wheatgrass. Just 1oz of wheatgrass juice is said to contain the same amount of nutrients as 2.5lbs of green vegetables. It tastes pretty rank, but you get your green goodness in one blast and then it’s over. It’s available from the juice bar on the ground floor of Harvey Nichols.
Take daily Omega-3 fish oil capsules. According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a daily intake of Omega-3 can reduce the risk of heart by up to 70 per cent. The fish oil contains the two heart healthy fatty acids, EPA and DHA that the modern diet is generally lacking.
Drink cranberry juice. University of Scranton scientists found that volunteers who drank three glasses a day for a month increased their HDL-cholesterol levels by 10 per cent. Buy quality juice that’s at least one-quarter cranberry.
Get steaming. Boiled vegetables lose a lot of their water-soluble vitamins to the cooking water. Steaming vegetables helps keep the vitamins intact. These include the eight B vitamins, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, folate, biotin and pantothenic acid, as well as vitamin C. Watersoluble vitamins are more common in fruits, vegetables and grains.
A banana a day. Reported to be the best selling fruit worldwide, the athlete’s favourite should be part of everyone’s diet. The benefits are to numerous to list here, but highlights include their ability to boost energy, improve mood, reduce the effects of heart burn and hangovers, the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal and just two provide enough energy for a 90-minute workout.
Brew up. An American Heart Association study found that people who drank two cups of tea a day were 25 per cent less likely to die of heart disease than people who rarely had a brew. The reason: flavonoids in the tea, which not only improves blood vessels’ ability to relax, but also thin the blood, reducing the risk of clotting.
Order garlic bread. In addition to lowering cholesterol, acting as a natural antibiotic and helping to fight off infection, eating garlic may help limit damage to your heart. Researchers in India found that animals that were fed garlic regularly had more heart-protecting antioxidants in their blood than animals that weren’t. They also got fewer kisses, but you can’t have everything.
Goji berries, pound-for-pound contains 500 times more vitamin C than oranges, more beta carotene than carrots and more iron than steak. They are also full of antioxidants, so a handful of them in dried berry form with breakfast are a fine boost to start the day.
Adjust your coffee. Although green tea or water would be better, coffee is not too bad for you and actually contains antioxidants. Just remember to switch to black coffee or use skimmed milk. A Costa Coffee medium latte with skimmed mild has almost half calories than one with regular milk.
Get popping. Having popcorn as a snack instead of crisps or chocolate is a far better alternative. Get a popcorn maker and make your own as it’s quick, cheap, fat-free, sugar free, low in calories and contains no artificial additives.
Joy of onions. If you’re going to have a shawarma, treat yourself to onions with it. Onions have significant health benefits and can boost good-type HDL cholesterol (particularly when consumed raw), reduce total cholesterol levels, increase blood-clot dissolving activity, reduce the risk of diabetes, attack bacteria that cause infection and reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Games are better than television. Plug in the console, as researchers at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York discovered that playing video games improves your performance in situations requiring precise hand-eye coordination. The experience of gaming also releases dopamine, which was found to develop neural pathways from the brain to the hands. It’s also a great stress buster to plug in and mow down hoards of Nazis in Call of Duty: World at War.
Take aspirin. Researchers at the University of North Carolina found that regular aspirin consumption cut the chances of coronary heart disease by 28 per cent in high-risk people who had never had a heart attack or stroke. For maximum impact on your blood pressure, take a low dose just before bed.
Add tomatoes. Make sure you diet it tomato heavy, adding them to salads, side dishes or even a few fresh slices on top of a pizza. They contain high levels of beta-carotene, the antioxidant that supports the immune system and helps maintain healthy skin and tissue lining. You will also get half your recommended amount of vitamin C from a medium-sized tomato as well as antioxidant flavonoids and vitamin E which are essential for maintaining a healthy heart.
Miso healthy. The fermented soya beans that are found in miso soup cut off the blood supply to cancerous cells, starving them of nutrients, according to research in Japan. Go for the miso as a starter and reduce risk from cancer, heart and liver disease and take note that as a country, Japan has the second-highest life expectancy in the world.