These super foods contain the necessary nutrients, antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, and anti-cancer properties to improve athletic performance, enhance recovery, minimize muscle damage, improve strength, decrease body fat, build lean muscle, and most importantly, improve overall health.
1. BEETROOT JUICE
A shot before a workout this will improve blood and oxygen flow in your muscles, increasing your endurance and enhancing your performance. A fab all natural stimulant but add some lemon to lower the GI!
It lowers blood pressure too as Beets are rich in nitrates. Dietary nitrates (found in veggies like celery, spinach, arugula, lettuces, and beets) convert in the body to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide relaxes blood vessels, which is said to increase blood flow to working muscles. Increased blood flow means less fatigue, more endurance, and enhanced performance.
Great in a post workout juice with carrot, lemon and cucumber
This is the yellow colouring in the spice turmeric – well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. The health benefits from turmeric include supporting your endothelial function and reduced cardiovascular disease, reducing inflammation and pain plus reduced weight gain. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease and osteoarthritis. It may also help wound healing and protect against cataracts and liver damage.
Add dried to meat rubs or marinades.
Chop fresh to salad
Add root / powder to juices or lattes
3. CHIA SEEDS
One of my all time favourite super foods they contain near double the protein levels of others seeds and grains, 5 x times more calcium than milk and twice as much potassium as a banana.
Aztec and Mayan warriors relied on these powerful seeds to hold them over during battle. They believed these tiny black seeds gave them endurance and power without weighing them down during long treks without meal breaks.
Sprinkle on salads after workout
Add to juices / shakes post workout
Make Chia puddings
This fermented milk is rich in Vit A, magnesium, folic acid, B2, B1 and calcium thus super easy for the body to digest meaning all its goodness gets absorbed and used by the body.
Good for late night exercisers as it contains the amino acid – Tryptophan that relaxes the nervous system.
Added benefits are its ability to restore good digestive tract bacteria
Drink 30 minutes post workout
5. ACAI BERRIES
Very much ‘In Vogue’ this fruit is super high in antioxidants (10 x higher than blueberries and 3 x higher than goji berries), fatty acids, trace minerals and amino acids which all help our muscles to function better and recover quicker.
Best to make an Acai Bowl with the frozen pulp, banana, buckwheat sprouts and as many toppings as you want post workout.
Experiment and see what makes a difference to you!