Supporting your triathlon training with a good balanced diet is essential for your performance today. I’m going to be looking at which superfoods can give you that natural boost.
Let’s start by addressing the term or word superfood. Now many nutritionists actually shudder at the thought of that word because there is no one singular food that can give you that amazing boost that can make you a better, faster stronger athlete overnight. It is about combination of various and nutritious foods combined with a training plan that will make you a better athlete. That said, some foods pack more of a punch when it comes to our nutrient values than others. It is these nutrient rich foods that are thought to actually be more beneficial to our overall health.
But before we go into the foods that I’ve chosen, I had to obviously cap it somewhere and I couldn’t include every food that’s good for you. I have some research, spoke to some experts and I have chosen my 11 favorite superfoods starting with eggs. The standout reason for eating eggs is for their protein content, this is because they contain all of the essential amino acids and they are easy to digest. Now on top of this macronutrient they’ve also got vitamins, minerals omega-3 and antioxidants.
While all of this combined makes them great for muscle synthesis and recovery. Well one of the important parts for me about eggs is that it’s convenient and it’s cheap. Now. admittedly much to my colleagues disapproval.
I do quite often have a hard-boiled egg in my bag which comes out for a mid-morning snack. But if you don’t want to upset your colleagues there’s certainly other ways in which you can include eggs into your nutrition. A great way is to make a Spanish omelet, so you can have it hot in the evening and maybe make a large one. And then use the other half for breakfast.
If you’re on the go the next day, there’s also a great way using up all the contents in your fridge.
My next superfood in my list is kale. Now this one does get some mixed reviews, but it’s certainly become pretty fashionable in the last few years. I remember as a child actually hating eating kale and my parents today start laughing at me because I include this in quite a lot of my meals these days.
This superfood comes up from the cabbage family and it’s really high in vitamins a k, b6, iron and calcium, these super green foods is full of antioxidants carotenoids and flavonoids which are great for the anti-inflammatory process.
Something really important for athletes. This is because we put so much stress on our bodies and talking you’re putting stress on our bodies. We also need a higher amount of calcium and iron, so it comes in really handy for that. This is especially so for female athletes and those who maybe don’t eat meat or dairy.
So you might be wondering how to make this a vegetable exciting or tasty as well. Recently I actually experimented with popping it in the roasting oven with a bit of coconut oil and some almonds, which toasted nicely and it came out really crispy. Another option is obviously steaming veg or boiling it, But if you do cook it this way just try to keep it to a minimum. This is because you don’t want to lose those vital micronutrients.
Next up we’ve got the humble root vegetable the Petai. Well this has increased in popularity. Recently, partly because of its high antioxidant level in the form of anthocyanin.
But more recently and more significantly for sport. This is because of its high levels of nitrate. Now studies have actually suggested that consuming high levels of nitrate, This can help with athletic performance especially when it comes to endurance athletes.
This veg has become so popular that you didn’t see it popping up in cakes although I would not recommend trying to get your nitrate quantities and out of a red velvet cake for example because the amount of cake you’d have to eat to get enough nitrate would certainly cancel out the benefit there.
But there are so many other ways in which you can use this veg. You can pop it into other bits of baking but probably best kept as a savory dish either roasting it you can grate it in salads or add it into smoothies and juices another root vegetable the sweet potato now this one has a lot more health benefits over the bog-standard white potato one of which being the fact that it has plenty of fiber and slow-releasing carbohydrates but on top of that it also contains beta-carotene giving you vitamin A
It also has a plenty of vitamin C so it’s packed full of antioxidants they also help to lower blood pressure and there are a great food for athletes because they are so packed with vitamins and minerals. They include the likes of potassium, iron, manganese and copper all the demands that athletes are quite often susceptible to lacking and the latter – copper and manganese are great for a healthy muscle function well again.
How to use this root vegetable there are so many simple options roast it mash it slice it and have it fried with breakfast or you could even put it in brownies although I’d suggest keeping that one to a minimum one of the most convenient foods from this food food list is the humble banana.
Not only comes in its own environmentally friendly packaging it also packs a punch nutritionally while it’s full of potassium and vitamin b6 they’ll keep your blood sugar levels more stable as well as replenishing your carbohydrates as well as actually aiding digestion so it’s no wonder that we often see cyclists with bananas in their back pockets and races or other events you have Bernards chopped up as part of a snack and these are one of the easiest things to incorporate in your
food you can pop them into smoothies chop them up in your cereal you can even experiment a little bit and I’ve been making some ice cream with them freezing them adding a bit of milk and then blitzing that and it’s pretty yummy but healthy dessert the perfect recovery drink milk you cannot get away from the health benefits of cow’s milk now support recovery drinks have a ratio of three to one three parts carbohydrate to one part protein which is designed for optimal recovery straight after a workout well that’s exactly same ratio that you find in milk on top of this it’s also got high levels of calcium and vitamin D essential for healthy bones and especially it was doing triathlon running we’re putting a lot of stresses and doing micro damage to our bones so calcium and vitamin D are needed in abundance milk is the obvious food for calcium and vitamin D but it also aids hydration but if you don’t want to drink it then you look at other dairy products to get those micronutrients such as yogurt creme fraiche cheese cottage cheese the list goes on not the sexiest of superfoods next we have whole grains now these have been raved about the last 10 years or so mainly because of their low glycemic index or GI which means they basically got very slow releasing carbohydrates but there is so much more to this a group of grains foods such as brown rice whole wheat pasta barley and quinoa like I have here are also high in fiber and protein which makes them great for sustained energy release as well as slowing down your digestion and the fiber is also thought to help maintain good gut bacteria today I have specifically chosen walnuts because this is the nut that actually has the largest percentage of omega threes as well as having vitamin B’s and vitamin E on top of this it’s got selenium zinc calcium and iron all packed into this little nut and something we haven’t really mentioned so far are fat now all nuts contain a good fats and a monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats all in all it makes this little worn out great for brain house as well as helping physical recovery from training this next one is cooked our and before you get too excited no I’m afraid I’m not talking about the chocolate confectionary that you might find at your local supermarket checkout kakera is actually full of antioxidants which is great for your cardio vascular health as well as defending against free radicals it also contains high levels of magnesium and I found a study recently well actually quite a few studies suggesting that having high levels of kokoa can actually help protect your skin against sun but I’m not suggesting that you replace eating chocolate for your Sun cream right let’s set the record straight as to what I’m talking about when I talk about color well it is the purest form of cocoa so when it comes to chocolate for example you want to find a dark chocolate that says it has a high percentage of cocoa or cacao so for example this dark chocolate hair is 85% I can have to try some that later or you could go for something like cacao powder which again is full of all the same benefits and this you can use in baking or you could even use it in savory dishes and sources right now we’ve got chia seeds these are dense in nutrients they’ve got protein fiber calcium and iron as well as having high levels antioxidants which actually surprised me plus omega-3 you can obviously get them in seed form or as we have here the milled version but it’s worth noting as well that flax seeds or otherwise known as Lin seeds and these have very similar nutritional values but usually fine they come in a little bit cheaper so a great alternative now I’m not a nutritionist but I would say that anything that is this rich in color it’s pretty light to be packed full of goodness and nutrients well the cherry is no exception and one of the selling points of the cherry is a fact that it is full of antioxidants so works really well as an anti-inflammatory and athletes and sports nutritionists have been experimenting with cherry juice actually having higher concentrates of the cherry shot to help aid that anti-inflammatory process the hardest part for this article is actually narrowing it down to just 11 super foods but as I mentioned at the start incorporating all of these foods into a healthy balanced diet is the best way to get their benefit from all the different nutrients and admittedly some of them do overlap so it is going to be a matter of trying out what you like and also something that you’re realistic you can include in your everyday cooking on a regular basis but anyway enough talking of this food I think it’s time I went and did some baking got my fingers a little bit dirty and you might be feeling inspired to go and do so as well but before you do make sure you hit the globe to subscribe hit the signup button if you’ve liked this video and if you are interested in how you can get some of these vitamins or minerals from a supplement form we’ve done a video looking at five supplements for Athan you can find that just here and Mark recently made a video looking into whether you should train when you’re ill and that’s just here