As an athlete, worker, or super mom you are always looking for a competitive edge. When it comes to your diet, you should employ the same strategy. Superfoods are foods that have more benefits than the energy they provide from carbs, fat, and protein.
Superfoods contain vitamins, minerals, and other key phytonutrients that support your training, making these foods even more worth your while to eat. By incorporating these foods into your diet, you are giving yourself an advantage in your training and recovery.
1.Reduce Soreness and Improve Healing with Tart Cherry
Tart Cherry extracts, powders, and juices have proven to be beneficial for athletes.
Studies have found numerous benefits, including reduced muscle soreness after training,
Tart cherries are also naturally rich in melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate the sleep/wake cycle in our body. Consuming tart cherry extract in the evening after a training session should promote sleep and recovery.
Studies have shown benefit with doses of 16oz (480mL). Use that as a starting point and see if you can enjoy the benefits of tart cherry!
2. Metabolize Estrogen with Broccoli
High estrogen levels are not ideal whether you are a male or female athlete. Estrogen can promote the gain of fat mass. Broccoli contains a substance called 3,3′-Diindolylmethane (DIM) that is capable of metabolizing free estrogen. Consume broccoli at any of your main meals. Just make sure to cook it properly to optimize digestion and absorption.
3. Recover Post-Workout with Kiwi and Pineapple
Kiwi and pineapple are two great choices for a post-workout carbohydrate. These fruits are high glycemic and will quickly replenish muscle glycogen and hydrate the body after training. They also contain high levels of antioxidants that help eliminate the waste generated from exercise.
Pineapples contain enzymes that can aid digestion and compounds that benefit eye health. Both of these benefits are very important to consider if you are training hard. Shoot for 1-2 cups of these superfood fruits immediately after exercise.
4. Control Cravings and Boost Your Health with Cinnamon
Cinnamon contains a powerful compound called cinnamaldehyde which follows into a class of antioxidants called polyphenols. Cinnamaldehyde has been shown to affect ghrelin secretion and gastric emptying of the stomach making it a great tool to support healthy weight maintenance. Cinnamon may improve insulin sensitivity, helping the body store more carbohydrates as glycogen, and preventing a sharp rise in blood sugar.
It is also a powerful antioxidant that may help eradicate bacteria, viruses, and possibly even cancerous cells in the body. Cinnamon goes great on many foods and adding it is an easy way to incorporate its valuable benefits into your diet.
5. Gain Lean Muscle with Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are a superfood and can truly be a meal in themselves. They contain healthy fats, essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and are a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids.
Brazil nuts are high in the antioxidant and mineral selenium. Selenium has been found to improve levels of luteinizing hormone, which is required for testosterone production. Consume 2-3 of these nuts daily to get the required dose of selenium and all the other benefits of this supernut.
There you have it, 5 amazing superfoods for athletes. If you want to learn more about eating to improve your health and performance we would be more than happy to help!