As a female entrepreneur and owner of the successful clothing line, Mia Brazilia, I am often required to travel extensively to trade shows, special events, conventions, and pop-up shows to market and sell my collection. For my busy, active lifestyle, it is imperative that my health and fitness are top-shelf in order to maximize my productivity as a CEO. To ensure optimal results, I carefully monitor my dietary intake to provide maximum nutrition and energy. The following five fitness foods for women should be weekly staples of the enlightened, self-educated woman to partner with a stimulating fitness schedule:
- Bananas are best known as a nutritional pillar for the consumption of potassium. Whenever I have finished a challenging, morning workout at the gym and am heading to a Mia Brazilia Pop-Up Show destination, I make sure to peel a banana and enjoy its essential role in restoring my electrolyte levels as well as fluid absorption. Bananas also contain several, other important nutrients in addition to potassium including fiber, vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Copper. This delicious fruit possesses a type of fiber known as pectin which may play a key role in moderating blood sugar levels after meals and reducing appetite by the slowing down the emptying of the stomach. The potassium and magnesium in bananas facilitate blood pressure control and the preservation of a healthy, functioning heart. The antioxidants contained in bananas minimizes the damage from free radicals in your bloodstream and lower your risk of heart disease. Interestingly, the banana also has an indigestible carbohydrate called a “resistant starch” that has been positively implicated as an appetite suppressant. Thus, the banana can make you feel more full than normal after consumption.
- With my clothing company, Mia Brazilia, based in sunny Southern California, it certainly didn’t take long for me to be exposed to the wonderful, nutritional benefits of the avocado. Living in the Avocado County of the United States (San Diego), I never go one day without consuming an avocado after a workout. Avocados are an excellent source of Vitamins C, E, K, and B6 not to mention riboflavin, folate, magnesium, and potassium. While it is true that most of the calories in an avocado is comprised of fats, do not be afraid: these fats are extremely beneficial to your overall health since they are largely derived from omega-3 fatty acids. Eating healthy fats like omega-3 enhances the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and minerals and strengthens the immune system. Avocados also contain a plant sterol called beta-sitosterol that works in conjunction with omega-3 fatty acids to maintain healthy, cholesterol levels. Another serendipitous, health gift from the avocado is vision acuity due to the presence of two phytochemicals called lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin play a pivotal role in eye tissue, providing invaluable, antioxidant protection to minimize eye damage from ultraviolet light. Monounsaturated fatty acids in avocados also stimulate the aborption of other fat-soluble antioxidants like beta carotene, lowering the risk of developing age-related, macular degeneration.
- While I am blessed to be living in California and have the opportunity to host Mia Brazilia shows outdoors, this constant, sun exposure certainly carries the risk of skin damage. For me, berries are an ideal, fitness food to mitigate the risks of sun damage. Berries possess high concentrations of antioxidants that control the circulation of free radicals in the bloodstream. It is the free radical that is often most implicated in causing skin damage that contributes to the aging process. Ellagic acid in berries may protect the health and vitality of your body’s skin by blocking the production of enzymes that break down collagen in sun-damaged skin (Collagen production often declines as we age, leading to the development of wrinkles and skin sagging). These same antioxidants found in berries also exhibit strong, anti-inflammatory properties, enabling the athlete or fitness enthusiast to expedite the recovery phase after a demanding workout. Several medical studies have shown that berries improve endothelial function of the artery system in your body, lowering the risk of heart disease.
- An unrivaled food for most fitness buffs, the egg is a familiar staple of nutritional plans for many active women like myself. In preparation of a new, work week as owner of Mia Brazilia, I often hardboil eggs every Sunday night due to the convenient portability and telling health benefits. Eggs are an excellent source of protein, with just one egg affording six grams of protein. Eggs also can boost your body’s HDL or “good” cholesterol, enabling you to lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. An often overlooked, yet important, nutrient called choline can also be found in eggs. Choline is instrumental in building cell membranes and molecules in the brain that play a vital role in signaling and motor function. The same phytochemicals found in avocados (lutein and zeaxanthin) are also found in eggs, reducing your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Lecithin, a critical component of brain health, also can be found in eggs.
- Speaking of convenience and portability, grapes are an ideal fitness food for the woman “on-the-go.” Thus, it should surprise no one that I always carry a pack of grapes with me in my car while heading to a Mia Brazilia event. Grapes are packed with nutrients and antioxidants including Vitamins C and K. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant complicit in connective tissue health. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an integral role in bone development and blood clotting. The highest concentration of antioxidants in grapes is located in the skin and seed. These antioxidants remain present even after fermentation of grapes into wine. This is why red wine is often offered as a healthy source of antioxidants. Resveratrol is a polyphenol and antioxidant in grapes often studied and cited for its therapeutic protection against heart disease and cancer.
Today’s modern economy and the daily demands on the working woman necessitate strict adherence to a healthy, nutritious diet that fully complements a disciplined, fitness schedule. Bananas, avocados, berries, eggs, and grapes are five fitness foods for women that offer the best combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to optimize a woman’s productivity and sense of well-being.