Research Proven Super Foods!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Good Morning Everyone,

Happy Hump Day! I really can't believe it is already Wednesday. I love it when I actually have time to blog in the morning. Today's training called for 6x400 sprints. Since I haven't found a track close to my house yet, I did my sprints on a treadmill. They went ok, but I am definitely not a sprinter! Slow and steady is more my pace.

I was reading an article in Runners World the other day, and the information was just too good not to share. The article discussed foods that research has proven to improve your health and running performance. I'm a facts kind of person, so I love it when I can see the research behind why a certain food is good for me. Anyways, here are four of the nutrients the article recommended adding to your diet to improve performance:


Chocolate Milk: To protect your muscles
The Research: Researchers at the University of Connecticut had men run for 45 minutes and then drink 16 ounces of either fat-free chocolate milk or a carb-recovery beverage with the same number of calories. Three hours later, the dairy drinkers had lower levels of muscle protein breakdown. This suggests the protein in milk provides a recovery advantage over carb-only beverages. Look out Gatorade here comes Mrs. Daisy!
When to consume it: Try drinking a glass of low-fat or fat-free chocolate milk after runs longer than 45 minutes to speed your recovery time. Make sure you read the nutrition label before you dive into a huge glass of Hershey's. Watch out for the calorie and sugar count!


Pomegranate Juice: To ease muscle pain
The Research: Physically fit study participants drank pomegranate juice or placebo daily for 15 days, and then completed a strength-training workout. Physiologist at the University of Texas in Austin (hisss-Aggies form of Boooo) discovered that those who drank pomegranate juice had less post workout soreness and weakness than placebo drinkers. They believe that ellagitannin, a phytonutrient found in pomegranates, helps reduce inflammation that causes soreness and weakness.
How to consume it: Purchase 100% pomegranate juice to avoid tons of added sugar. You should also eat other dark purple and blue fruits, such as blueberries and blackberries- they are also a good source of this important phytonutrient. I like to mix my pomegranate juice with a little bit of diet sprite or fresca. It cuts the tartness and turns regular juice into a delicious sprtizer.

Fish Oil: Helps you slim down
The Research: For six weeks, participants took a fish-oil campsule with EPA and DHA (omega-3s in fish) or a vegetable oil placebo. Scientist at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania found those who took fish oil lost a pound of fat and gained a pound of muscle. However, the placebo group put on a pound of fat. EPA and DHA reduce inflammation, which may impact fat storage. (I'm convinced!)
How to consume it: To get a good dose of omega-3s, eat fatty fish (such as salmon, sardines, and mackerel) twice a week. I don't know about sardines or mackerel but I love salmon! If you don't like fish, you should take 1,000 milligrams of omega-3-rich fish oil daily.


Folic Acid: Improves blood flow (this one if for the ladies)
The Research: Some women runners who develop amenorrhea (irregular menstrual cycles) also have poor vascular function. For four weeks, researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin gave normal cycling and amenorrheic runners a daily dose of folic acid. Vascular function significantly improved in amenorrheic runners, while there was no change in normal women.
How to consume it: Boost your folic acid intake by eating leafy greens, asparagus, citrus fruits, and fortified grains and cereals. It is safe to take up to 800 micrograms of folic acid daily in the form of a supplement.

Try adding in these super foods for added health and performance benefits! 

Food for thought?
Are there any super foods you swear by?

Yours truly,

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2 Responses to “Research Proven Super Foods!”

  1. I'm definitely not going to say pomegranate juice is unhealthy, but articles like this make me think first before spending my money on it (especially from certain companies)

  2. I actually was told by my doctor to take fish oil! It not only helps with losing weight (not why I'm taking it), but it helps lower unexplained fat/lipid/bad stuff in your blood (why I'm taking it). I have normal blood pressure, normal cholesterol, but through the roof sometheing-er-rather that is related to lipids in my blood (don't remember).

    Great side effect I didn't know about and now love: my hair is healthier and stronger.


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