We are more than month into the "new year, new me" season, in which grandiose resolutions abound. Of all the self-directed promises, vows and affirmations made in the headiness of the New Year, sticking to a diet might be one of the most difficult to maintain.
Even if you’ve fallen off the wagon, there’s still time to set your training table right by putting these five “power" foods on the daily menu.
The old Quaker on the label said: “There is nothing better than thee, than me.” He might be right.
This heart-healthy whole grain contains soluble fiber to help you feel full longer. It's packed with complex carbohydrates, the fuel that runs an athlete’s motor. Oatmeal maintains energy for a longer period during your workout and curbs appetite by slowing the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Oats are also a good source of B vitamins, and are perfect on a cold winter morning.
Yogurt is a valuable source of calcium, which supports bones and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Don’t look at yogurt as exclusively a “chick food.” It can be added to any meal—top a potato for example—or eaten as a snack plain or with fruit added. This super food is rich in vitamin B-12 and helps prevent fatigue.
Small but mighty, chock full of nutrients and the star of the show when it comes to antioxidant properties. Antioxidants can help limit damage to cells resulting from free radicals produced during strenuous activity. In scientific terms, free radicals attack the nearest stable molecule to “steal” its electron. When the attacked molecule loses its electron, it becomes a free radical, which starts a chain reaction that can disrupt a living cell. Bottom line: free radicals don’t like blueberries.
Sweet potatoes are nutrient-dense and can be used in a myriad of recipes. They contain more of the antioxidant beta carotene than any other fruit or vegetable. They are also a source of vitamin C and one of the only fat-free sources of vitamin E. Free radicals hate sweet potatoes, too.
A source of high-quality protein, iron, and vitamin B-12, which is important for optimal athletic performance. Salmon also contains Omega 3 fatty acids, which are widely credited for their anti-inflammatory effects. The nutritional fats in salmon have been shown to reduce heart disease. Researchers say diets that include salmon and other fatty fish like tuna and mackerel have also shown to be effective in the prevention of some cancers.
Source: Matt Zepeda - Zoom Performance Head Coach, USAT Level 1 coach