Eating the right foods can help build muscle, improve endurance and speed recovery. Here is a list of the right foods that can make a difference to your lifestyle and the healthy ways to take advantage of their benefits.
Beetroot juice for stamina
This earthy, deep plum superfood could be the boost you need to improve your performance, speed and endurance. An athlete’s super-food, rich with heavy nutrients such as Vitamin B, which is needed for energy production and a range of minerals containing magnesium and iron. Adding beetroot to your diet has the ability to improve stamina, enhance running speed and aid recovery.
Blueberries to reduce inflammation
Most fruits can help fight inflammation in the body, due to them being high in fibre and containing antioxidants. But berries in particular have strong anti-inflammatory benefits because of the power of anthocyanins they possess and the antioxidant flavonoids that give berries their rich colour. Add this into your breakfast meal or smoothie to go!
Salmon to build muscle
Besides being ridiculously delicious, fatty fish like salmon have a huge range of benefits ranging from fighting heart disease to being a potent muscle booster. Aim to eat fish several times a week to cut risk of heart disease and stay healthy. If you’re not a seafood fan, fish oil supplements may help lower inflammation and provide some nutrients.
Dark chocolate to prevent stress
If we ever needed an excuse to indulge a little this would be it. The high concentration of cocoa in dark chocolate offers more health benefits than milk or white chocolate. Eating it in small amounts can have positive effects on your health as it is rich in antioxidant flavonoids called flavnols. This sweet treat can help reduce stress and anxiety levels while staying on top of your diet.
Kale to help lower cholesterol
A member of the cabbage family, kale is a popular vegetable rich in nutrients and vitamins. It contains very little fat, is low in calories and among the most nutrient dense foods in existence. Kale contains substances that bind bile acids and lower cholesterol levels in the body. Try steaming kale to maximise the health benefits of this superfood.
Bananas to regulate blood pressure
Bananas are loaded with valuable micronutrients especially potassium. This is one of the most important electrolytes in the body helping to regulate heart function as well as fluid balance, which is key in regulating blood pressure. Consumption of foods rich in potassium are important in managing high blood pressure as potassium helps ease tension in your blood vessel walls, helping to further lower blood pressure.
Cottage cheese to strengthen bones
The benefits of consuming calcium rich foods, within reason, include bone strengthening and weight loss. The amount of calcium in cottage cheese is 8% of the daily recommended value. It provides a good supply of protein, healthy fats and is a good source of various minerals including magnesium and potassium which play a vital role in bodily functions. Its nutritional value helps build muscle and other tissue for post-workout recovery periods.
Watermelon to reduce muscle soreness
Consuming watermelon juice before exercise can help relieve muscle soreness due to citrulline, a natural substance found in watermelon that’s been tied to improve artery function and lowered blood pressure. If you suffer from muscle soreness a day or so after exercise - often called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) - give watermelon juice a try next time to help aid muscle recovery. Be sure to bite into the white rind of the watermelon where citrulline is found to be in higher concentration.