In case you missed it, we closed out 2016 by taking a deep dive into the numbers behind the entire Under Armour Connected Fitness community — all 190 million of you, worldwide. We tracked your workouts, steps, sleep and, oh, yes, what you ate — the hundreds of millions of foods you logged during the year. We’re taking a closer look at the Top 10 in 2016, calling out some of their nutritional benefits and ways you can use each in recipes. (Yes, even coffee — you drank so much, we know you’re paying close attention…)
The humble egg was logged more than 107 million times in all different varieties, from cooking method (sunny-side up was popular) to presentation (egg whites were pretty in, too). In fact, eggs beat out the second-place food (keep reading to find out what that is) by more than 27 million. So why do we love eggs so much? Besides being versatile for every meal — even dessert — they’re also nutrition powerhouses: a good source of protein, healthy unsaturated fats and a variety of micronutrients such as vitamins A, B, D, E and K as well as biotin, choline, folic acid, iron and calcium. If you want healthy and lean options, check out these 7 quick recipes using hard-boiled eggs.
Ahhh, the nectar of the gods. While caffeine is the most-enjoyed benefit of consuming java, coffee also contains hundreds of other bioactive ingredients, such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. There are dozens of ways to enjoy it, from black to lattes to the ubiquitous Frappuccino. Let’s not forget the dessert power of our favorite bean on earth — check out these easy Espresso Crinkle cookies.
You’ve probably heard that bananas contain a good bit of potassium, but did you know they’re a good source of prebiotics, too? Not to be confused with probiotics, which are the live, good bacteria found in your gut, prebiotics serve as the food for that good bacteria. Bananas deserve a starring role in your house as you begin your day, so check out these 11 recipes that feature them as all-natural breakfast sweeteners.
4. Chicken Breast
The healthiest part of the bird is a versatile centerpiece for any lunch or dinner. Chicken breast also is a great source of lean protein and micronutrients such as iron and vitamins B6 and B12. The ever-present challenge is making sure you’ve got flavors ready to go when you prep it, so try these 60 awesome ways to spice up chicken breasts.
Moo juice complements most meals and is a convenient quick snack. It’s also packed with protein and micronutrients like calcium and vitamin D. If you’re confused on the health benefits of all the different varieties (skim? 1%? Help!), check out this useful guide. And if you need further proof on how versatile milk is in cooking, there are dozens of recipes here to choose from.
Besides being a great on-the-go option to help you from getting hangry, apples get some love for their diversity. Green, yellow or red, there are estimated to be more than 7,500 different varieties around the world. Apples are also great sources of fiber and vitamin C. They’re always in season somewhere, but you can get nostalgic for autumn with these 5 fall apple recipes.
7. Peanut Butter
J barely stands alone without the PB, which is also a versatile topper for oatmeal, fruit and veggies. It’s also immediate protein for smoothies, oatmeal and even sweets. These no-bake peanut butter granola bars are easy to make and taste great packed into your lunchbag.
Behold UACF’s most popular berry! Full of fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants, blueberries are another great smoothie ingredient and are also tasty right out of the freezer — like tiny popsicles. Check out this list of 10 nutritious smoothies under 250 calories in case you need some inspiration.
The only vegetable that made this top 10, cucumbers are surprisingly effective from a nutritional perspective for this simple reason: They provide instant texture to your meal with minimal calories. For instance, they’re at home in gazpacho, on top of a bagel, in a Greek salad or as a star ingredient in this cucumber, avocado and strawberry salsa. Now that’s as cool as a….
Life isn’t the same without butter, which is truly “back,” as The New York Times declared nearly three years ago. It’s still high in saturated fat, but if you enjoy it in moderation — and make sure you’re incorporating a wide variety of fats into your diet from vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, avocados and fatty fish — you’ll be thankful you did. This buttered Brussels sprouts penne recipe is a great example of mixing both butter and vegetable oils to make a tasty dinner.