Top 5 Foods to Enhance Your Physical Fitness

If you’re trying to get in better shape, but just can’t seem to shed the pounds or build the muscle you were hoping to, maybe you need to add more than just a new workout routine into your everyday life.  There are other things to consider, like the amount of water you drink and the types of food you consume.

You might think that when it comes to your diet, the only thing you need to think about is the caloric value of each food or beverage item you put in your mouth. But did you know that there are actually certain foods and drinks that can enhance your fitness and help you shed those pounds or build that muscle tone more effectively? Check out these seven food items that will surely change your physical health for the better.

Bananas – Bananas are considered by some nutritionists to be the ideal fitness food. Not only is it delicious and easy to eat, it is filled with potassium and other essential nutrients to promote overall health. If you are feeling crazy, even try throwing the peel and all in the blender with other yummy ingredients for a fruit smoothie. The peel has been found to contain huge amounts of potassium as well as serotonin and lutein. Eat a banana just before or after a workout to help your body refuel on healthy calories.

Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are jam-packed with tons of disease-fighting elements that our bodies need, such as iron, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. It is especially helpful to consume a meal with sweet potatoes before a long workout because they help to alleviate and prevent muscle cramping and soreness.

Salmon – Salmon is the ideal fish for enhancing overall health, especially when it comes to keeping your heart healthy. It is the ideal meal for after a tough workout, especially since it contains proteins that will allow your muscles to rebuild and repair themselves. Even if you are not a seafood lover, try adding salmon to your diet here and there. It is known to be a less fishy form of seafood, so you might just love it. Dress it up with some lemon juice, dill, and salt and pepper.

Brazil Nuts – Just about every nut is considered to be a great pre or post workout snack, but brazil nuts are in a league of their own. They are the best nut for enhancing your physical fitness for several reasons, including the fact that they contain selenium. This mineral is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and protecting the body from cancer and other diseases. They are fairly high in calories and fat content, but are perfect for snacking on here and there to avoid feeling hungry throughout the day.

Milk – Many people do their best to avoid dairy when they are trying to lose weight, but milk is extremely hydrating and helps to rebuild muscle rapidly. Its good amount of calcium helps to strengthen bones and give you the energy you need to complete your workout. Athletes often choose to drink a large glass of chocolate milk after a workout, or even a fruit smoothie containing milk and yogurt.

Best Attractions in Washington D.C. for History Lovers

Washington D.C. is a top tourist destination for travelers from all around the world, especially for history-loving tourists. As the capital, D.C. is one of the best cities in America to learn about the historical past of the nation. It is the perfect educational destination to learn about the government of the United States, the wars that American men and women have served in, and to see the stunning architecture throughout the city. To start planning your trip, check out the best attractions throughout Washington D.C. for the history lover in you.

The National World War II Memorial

The World War II Memorial was dedicated in 2004 to the many Americans who died in the war – just over 400,000 brave soldiers. The memorial can get fairly congested in the spring and summer months, but it is still definitely worth your time. Try visiting after sunset when the bright lights surrounding the memorial make it picturesque. This attraction is free and is open 24 hours a day.

The Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial is a must-see hotspot in the capital city, and not just because it is home to a larger-than-life statue of one of the most iconic American presidents of all time – Abraham Lincoln. You’ll also get the chance to see the famous words of Honest Abe etched on the walls surrounding the monument. The words are from Lincoln’s most remembered speeches, the Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural address. This attraction is free and is open all day and night, but consider visiting after dark when it is less crowded and impressively lit up against the night sky.

The United States Capitol

If you are interested in government policies and laws, be sure to check out the Capitol building. It is where pretty much all of the action happens; the Democratic and Republican parties come here to debate and vote on national policy before they are denied or passed. Even if you have no interest at all in how laws are passed, you’ll be amazed by the impressive architecture and artwork within this government building. Inside you’ll find a variety of sculptures and paintings depicting the nation’s interesting past. Keep in mind that this attraction is only open from Monday to Saturday from 8:30am to 4:30pm, and even though passes are free it is a good idea to inquire about them ahead of time. Visit the website to obtain visitors’ passes to tour the Capitol building.

The Washington Monument

Yet another free tourist attraction in D.C., the Washington Monument is possibly the most popular among travelers and locals alike. It stands at a whopping 555 feet tall and was the tallest structure in the world for many years. For amazing views of the city, take the elevator all the way to the top, where there is an observation deck with stunning panoramic cityscapes. The exterior grounds of the monument are open to the public 24 hours a day, but keep in mind that the interior is only open until 10pm.

The Best Under-the-Radar Restaurants in Italy

When it comes to Italy, there is a general consensus among travelers around the globe that Italian food is some of the best in the world. Who doesn’t love a creamy pasta or cheesy pizza? In Italy, you’ll find something to satisfy your hunger around every street corner, and the number of top-rated world renowned restaurants is too many to count. You could easily Google search which restaurants are recommended in your area, but do your best to check out the local hotspots that are not frequented by tons of tourists. Start off by checking out these under-the-radar restaurants throughout all of Italy.

Pagnanelli near southeast Rome

The impressive Pagnanelli restaurant can be found on the shores of Lago Albano just twenty kilometers southeast of Rome. If Rome is on your Italian itinerary, making the quick drive to this restaurant is a must-do activity. Not only will you be surrounded by picturesque views of the lake and countryside as you sit down to enjoy your meal, you’ll get a chance to try some of the most delectable food in the area. The restaurant is situated right next to the summer villa of the Pope, and famous icons from all over the world have sat on the Pagnanelli terrace enjoying wine and food, including Robert De Niro, Nicolas Cage, Justin Timberlake, and Catherine Zeta Jones.

Osteria di Passignano just outside of Florence

The Osteria di Passignano restaurant is actually within the walls of an ancient monastery that originated in the year 395. The Vallombrosan Order monks still live there to this day, so you’ll get the chance to learn about medieval times and Italy of the past. The restaurant was founded in 2000 and features authentic Tuscan cuisine and aged wine originating from the surrounding vineyards. You can even sign up for classes in the cooking school if you are interested in learning about classic Italian food.

Amerigo 1934 in Savigno

Amerigo 1934 is located in the small town of Savigno, about 40 miles southwest of Bologna. The main draw of this restaurant is the chef’s use of truffles, which pair perfectly with the homemade pasta. It has been around since 1934, so you know it has to be a top option in Italy. The people that dine here rave about the simplicity of each dish, but also the deliciousness. Just about all of the ingredients come from the nearby vegetable patch and farmhouse, moving from farm to table the very same day it hits your stomach.

La Locanda di Pietracupa

This restaurant is located within the walls of a charming bed and breakfast found in Poggio, Italy. If you get the chance, you should book a night or two at the B&B, but if not definitely stop in for a meal. The food is best known for being authentic Tuscan cuisine, but usually with a unique twist. Be sure to book your table in advance, it is the most popular restaurant in the area amongst its guests as well as travelers passing through.