Fit and fabulous, whether you’re embarking on a new fitness regime, walking, running, cycling, weight training or swimming, get the best out of your workouts with these fitness fighting foods.
The most perfect food for refuelling your body before, during and after exercise, bananas are high in energy whilst providing essential carbohydrates that are essential for building and restoring muscle. Bananas are also packed with potassium that are a great help if you are prone to muscle cramps when working out.
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that combats the damage that free radicals cause in the body, and it can improve cardiovascular health and fight cancer as well, Brazil nuts are packed with it. A small serving of Brazil nuts contains enough magnesium to help with the functioning of muscles and production of protein and absorption of energy from food. They also contain copper which can help the body use iron, maintain bone and connective tissue health, promote thyroid function, support the production of melanin and protect and repair tissues.
Top of the charts for superfoods Broccoli is packed with free-radical-busting antioxidants, digestion-promoting fibre, plus a whole army of vitamins and minerals bone-building calcium. Low calcium levels make you more vulnerable to stress fractures, particularly if you do endurance sports, so make sure you get enough calcium in your diet by eating plenty of broccoli.
This little power package can build muscle and burn fat! Just one egg can supply over 12 percent of the daily recommended intake of protein which includes a number of amino acids such as leucine, isoleucine, valine, methionine, cysteine, lysine, tryptophan, and other essential amino acids that contribute to the repair and regeneration of muscle. If you’re going for the gold in protein, look no further than the humble egg.
A concentrated source of carbohydrate, dried fruits such as apricots, raisins and mango are a great energy booster as they are high in natural sugars. You’ll also get a great dose of fibre, potassium, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals with every mouthful.
Low in calories, high in protein and packed full of nutrients salmon is the perfect food for keeping fit. Lower blood pressure and help your heart, the proven benefits of the fatty acids found in salmon have significant effects on cardiovascular health, including the prevention of a major heart attack.
Spinach contains a valuable strength-building substance called nitrates. Eating spinach at least once a day will ensure that your body is maximizing its strength via its nitrate intake, this will add a big boost to your strength training workouts.
Low GI and a great carbohydrate choice sweet potato is high in the electrolyte potassium, which can help ward off muscle cramping during exercise. Sweet potatoes are a good addition to a carb-loading diet before a long race, such as a half marathon or post-workout snack because they are packed with vitamins and nutrients, including vitamins B6, C, D, iron, magnesium, and potassium. The carbs found in sweet potato are great for replenishing your glycogen stores (stored carbs) after an intense bout of exercise
Linked with natural weight loss hormones in the body such as leptin, tomatoes provide a type of protein which helps to regulate metabolic rate and appetite. Tomatoes are an excellent natural source of potassium with 556 milligrams in just one cup of tomato juice, which makes them a tasty way to replenish your electrolyte after a long run or ride. Tomatoes are high in lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and may decrease your chance of stroke, they can also lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.
Packed with antioxidants, walnuts also supply the body with a hefty shot of the amino acid L-Arginine that when converted to nitric oxide, a compound that causes blood vessels to dilate, it improves the blood flow to all your muscles. Walnuts also supply the body with Manganese and Copper, minerals essential for destroying the free radicals that cause cell breakdown and premature aging.