How much thought do you give to the amount of fruit and vegetables you consume daily?
Fruit and vegetables also provide carbohydrates for energy, an excellent source of Phyto-nutrients, minerals and vitamins, antioxidants like vitamins A and C. Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene gives the dark green and orange colour of many vegetables and fruit. A moderate number of natural antioxidants found in vegetables and fruit are beneficial for recovery. For athletes, try to eat four to five portions of vegetables and two to three fruit daily.
Listed below are some amazing vegetables that are great for endurance events:
- Broccoli is packed with a variety of minerals and vitamins and athletes can benefit from its antioxidant vitamins E and C. It also contains Vitamin K for bone-building, iron content to help energy and it is high in folic acid which is needed for a wide range of body functions. It also includes maintenance of the nervous system and produces red blood cells-3 carbinol to strengthen the immune system.
- Yellow, red and green peppers are higher in vitamin C than most other vegetables and lower in sugar than fruit.
- Carrots are great and can be carried around with you to snack on, they have a good source of betas carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, iron, copper and potassium.
- Sweet potato contains a complex carbohydrate that provide a sustained source of energy. Sweet potato is also one of the best sources of beta carotene, and vitamin A that is required for a healthy immune system.
- Cauliflower can be enjoyed raw or cooked add some broccoli and you have a good source of nutrients which is required for efficient detoxification.
Try the following for fruit:
- Berries contains little sugar and they are packed with a particularly potent type of antioxidant called proanthocyanins that combats free radical damage and may help to stave off post-tun muscle soreness by playing a role in reducing inflammation and berries are high in vitamin C.
- Bananas are great for pre-training as they contain a large amount of carbohydrates that are quickly released into the bloodstream. Bananas contains a good source of potassium that helps to regulate muscle contraction and prevent muscle cramping.
- Pineapple contains a source of bromelain and known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Apricots contains beta-carotene, which is converted to vitamin C and A as well as a wide range of antioxidant substances such as catechins. Dried apricots also contain iron which is great for vegetarians.
- Apples has a good source of soluble fibre which supports the digestive system and contains an anti-inflammatory substance called quercetin.
After reading the above, ask yourself how many of these fruit and vegetable to you include in your weekly diet.