A new year brings new challenges. We all know how important the role of nutrition plays in your performance. Altering your diet through healthier eating can make you run faster, train harder and ultimately perform better. What better time is there to start than in the New Year? Let’s get some nutrition into that diet of yours to help you reach the finish line. Here is a list of the 15 best superfoods to eat that will power you through 2015:
1. Red rice
Red is the new brown! With its nutty flavour and soft texture, this colourful rice is packed with slow-release carbohydrates to power your 2015. A great source of protein, iron, zinc and manganese, it also provides more antioxidants and fiber per serving than the brown variety.
A complete protein, quinoa provides an excellent balance of slow-release carbohydrates, protein and fat to sustain energy and keep muscles in top condition. Rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium, eating quinoa with your post-exercise meal will help replenish electrolytes lost through sweat.
A rich source of unsaturated fat, avocados pack a nutritional punch with nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, and contain even more potassium than bananas.
4. Wild Salmon
Two portions of oily fish per week will provide the body with good quality protein as well as omega-3 fats to boost heart and brain health and strengthen the immune system.
5. Almond butter
Choose almond butter over peanut butter in 2015. Delicious when spread on wholegrain bread, it’s loaded with healthy fats, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and phosphorous, as well as fiber and protein.
6. Dried Apricots
Supercharge your snacking in 2015 with dried apricots. These tasty fruits are packed with fiber, slow-release carbohydrates, vitamin A, potassium and iron.
7. Coconut oil
Said to raise the metabolic rate and therefore burn fat more efficiently, coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) which are absorbed directly by the liver to provide instant energy. The “lauric acid” in coconut oil acts as an anti-bacterial agent too. Health benefits aside, this oil enhances flavor in oriental dishes and energy bars.
8. Root Ginger
As well as aiding digestion, root ginger is also a potent anti-inflammatory. Add root ginger to soups, curries, tea and smoothies to aid muscle recovery after workout.
Ditch sugary breakfast cereals and set up your days with a delicious bowl of hot oatmeal with milk, muscovado sugar, berries and toasted nuts or seeds. It’s packed with a low glycemic index, slow-release carbohydrates, protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, fiber, and minerals, including iron and calcium, to sustain you through your workouts as well as help maintain concentration and a healthy digestive system.
10. Garbanzo beans
Rich in slow-release carbohydrates, protein, B vitamins, fiber, and minerals such as calcium, iron and zinc, garbanzo beans are excellent for sustaining energy levels and boosting the immune system. Add to soups, couscous and stews, or blend to make your own hummus dip.
Cheap and convenient, eggs are an excellent source of protein, essential vitamins and minerals such as iron. One of the best superfoods to eat for busy athletes!
Crammed with carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats, B vitamins, fiber, and important minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc and potassium, chia continues to reign in 2015 as a superfood! In fact, gram for gram, chia contains more omega 3 than salmon!
13. Sweet potatoes
Delicious and nutritious, these are an excellent source of carbohydrates, vitamin A (beta carotene), vitamin C, manganese, copper, fiber, potassium and iron. They help maintain steady blood sugar levels and boost the immune system for healthier eating in 2015.
Love it or hate it, beetroot has pretty astonishing qualities for athletes. Said to help your body exercise more efficiently, it contains nitrates, which, once converted to nitrite and nitric oxide in the body, enables muscles to work more efficiently and demand less oxygen.
A great source of fiber, iron, tannins and vitamins A, C and E, this delicious fruit helps prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation and some cancers, including prostate cancer.