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Celebrities are all about trends. Along with each season’s fashion trends, celebs seem to switch up their go-to diet foods, too. Sometimes it begins with a new piece of scientific research surfacing, or a celebrity guru trainer will start preaching the gospel of a new tropical berry or some other miracle weight loss superfood. Athletes, on the other hand, are always looking for a performance edge. At this year’s Olympics there were some new foods everyone seemed to be raving about.
Do these trends hold any nutritional weight? The answer is….sometimes! We’re all smart enough to figure out that it’s diet and exercise on the whole that make a difference and that no one food is a magical weight loss solution or miracle performance enhancer. However, at the very least, changing trends in healthy foods keep things interesting!
Let’s have a look at some of the most popular celebrity and athlete diet food trends right now and see which ones hold up to the hype!
1) Coconut Water
Forget about Vitamin Water – that’s old news. Coconut water has become the new favorite post-exercise drink for celebrities like Madonna, Courteney Cox, Mischa Barton, Rihanna, Gisele Bundchen and Sienna Miller. In fact, Madonna likes coconut water so much that she’s invested in the Vita Coco company. Made from the water of a young green coconut, it is said to rehydrate naturally by boosting sodium, potassium and magensium levels.
Unsweetened Coconut water has the benefits of a sports drink with fewer calories (just 60 calories per 11 oz) and less sugar. However, it’s important to watch how many you drink in one day as the calories do add up. It’s also important to avoid coconut waters with added sugar or juices which nutritionally may not be much different from drinking a sports drink.
Is coconut water better than plain old H2O? Probably not. Both will help you to rehydrate post workout. If you can’t get motivated to drink plain water and you really enjoy the taste of coconut water, it’s certainly a better choice than sugary fruit juices or sports drinks. However, if you already drink a lot of water, there’s probably no need to get on the coconut water bandwagon.
Move over flax! Chia seeds are the new Omega 3 Superfood. Related to mint, chia was the third most important crop for the Aztecs after corn and beans. Today it is commonly grown in Mexico and Guatemala. Some sources state that chia seeds are one of the best plant-based sources of protein, and stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Orlando Bloom and Miranda Kerr are huge fans. Oprah and Dr. Oz are also praising the weight loss benefits of these seeds which – YES – are the same ones that gave your Chia Pet hair when you were a kid!
Apparently chia seeds can help with weight loss because they can absorb about 9 times their weight in water within 10 minutes! This means that they can help you feel full. They’re also very high in fiber and antioxidants and are a good source of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, niacin, phosphorus, and zinc.
While not all studies are able to confirm that chia really helps with weight loss, you shouldn’t let that stop you. The other health benefits of the seed make it worth incorporating it into your diet.
Agave nectar as a natural alternative to sugar? That’s SO 2007! Stevia is made from the leaf of a South American bush as is 300 times sweeter than sugar! With no calories, this makes it a great all-natural sweetener for your smoothies, tea and coffee. Interestingly, the FDA has not approved whole-leaf stevia as a food additive because its safety has not been proven. However, the sweetener Truvia, which is made with a combination of a patented stevia extract, sugar alcohols and ‘natural flavors’ has been FDA approved and is being aggressively marketed as a natural sweetener.
While Truvia might be more natural than some of the synthetic sugar substitutes like sucralose and aspartame, there is no data on long term human use of Truvia. However, if you can get ahold of whole leaf stevia, that’s when you’re getting the real deal.
4) Tart Cherry Juice
Pomegranate is out and tart cherry is in! At this year’s Olympics, many an athlete was spotted drinking tart cherry juice due to claims that it might help by reducing muscle pain and weakness following intense exercise. Other sources tout the tart juice as having anti-inflammatory properties, anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties, and benefits for sufferers of insomnia.
What are the differences between pomegranate and tart cherry juices? First, tart cherry has slightly less sugars and carbohydrates. While both contain antioxidants, pomegranate contains a bit more vitamin C while tart cherry provides a few more minerals like iron and calcium. It certainly can’t hurt to incorporate tart cherry into your diet, but be sure to choose a tart cherry juice without added sugar.
5) Beetroot Juice
Beet juice or beetroot juice is getting a lot of press lately. It’s a great antioxidant and the nitrates within it may improve help give you the stamina to exercise longer, as well as improve blood pressure and blood flow. Another favorite at this year’s Olympics, some were calling it a ‘legal blood doping’ because of its alleged athletic performance benefits. Rich in potassium, antioxidants and folic acid, beetroot juice is a nutrient powerhouse, so it definitely can’t hurt to add this root into your juicing repertoire!
One note of caution – if after drinking beetroot juice your pee or poo is blood red, don’t be alarmed! This is a side effect experienced by about 10 – 15% of people. While, it’s not cause for serious concern, it may indicate a problem with iron metabolism, so consult with your doctor.
At Athlean-XX for Women, we’re all about healthy nutrition because it helps us lose weight and have energy for our tough workouts! Regardless of which healthy fruits and veggies you include in your diet, be sure to round them out with lean proteins and slow-burning carbohydrates. Want to really rev up your metabolism? The Athlean-XX recommends you eat more often – 5 – 6 times per day! Combine this with our killer 30 minute workouts, and you’ve got a recipe for the best shape you’ve ever been in. Yes, with Athlean-XX for Women, eat more, exercise shorter but harder and weigh less! Join us on Team Athlean to start your lifestyle makeover now!
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