5 Super Foods that can dramatically improve your athletic performance
We have all heard the term “superfood” by now. Super foods are praised due to their high vitamin and mineral content and antioxidant qualities. Some common super foods you may know by now are blueberries, walnuts, flax seed, and even wild salmon. But did you know that there are even more all natural whole super foods that can specifically benefit athletes and competitors by seriously enhancing your athletic performance? As an athlete myself I can say these foods are powerful and will push and fuel you to a new level. Here are my top 5 Super Foods for athletes.
- MACA is a plant native to the Andes Mountains in Peru. People consume it as a vegetable and it has a high nutritional value. The dried and powdered roots are available at most health food stores. I add 1 teaspoon 1-2x daily into smoothies or protein shakes. Maca is used to increase energy and stamina. It is also an adaptogen helping your body adapt to the stress of intense exercise. In other words it helps with quick recovery. It delivers high levels of glucosinolates (nutrients that detoxify) giving you even more endurance enhancement you have been looking for! Maca is also high in minerals and essential fatty acids.
- Chia Seeds are a very rich source of ALA (plant-based) omega -3 fatty acids. The seeds are smaller than sesame seeds and can range in color from white to brown and even a grayish tint yet all are the same nutritionally. Marathoners and other elite athletes have paid particular interest to chia seeds due to chia’s endurance and hydrating qualities. The seeds can absorb up to ten times their weight in water and that physically slows down the process by which our bodies convert soaked chia seeds carbs into simple sugars. Hence longer endurance due to long-term energy stores from Chia Seeds.
- Liver! Yes liver but be sure it’s from humanely raised animals that were allowed to forage and roam pasture. According to the website Primally Inspired liver gram for gram is one of the most nutrient dense foods humans can eat. Liver contains something scientists call the “anti-fatigue factor. “ Scientists have not been able to pinpoint what it is specifically in liver that prevents exhaustion. Either way it is like taking an extreme energy pill but all natural. As a matter of fact according to the Weston A. Price foundation website, liver is high in B vitamins, contains a highly usable form of iron, has natures most concentrated source of vitamin A, is our best source of copper and other trace elements such as zinc and chromium, is abundant in CoQ10 which is a nutrient that is especially important for cardio-vascular function, and of course the unidentified anti-fatigue factor.
- Bee Pollen contains essential free amino acids (complete protein). Mercola.com states bee pollen is the food of the young bee and it is approximately 40% protein. It is considered one of natures most completely nourishing foods. It contains nearly all nutrients required by humans. About half of its protein is in the form of free amino acids that are ready to be used by the body. This highly assimilating protein can contribute significantly to one’s protein needs. Cultures throughout the world use pollen as an energy and nutritive compound that can improve endurance and vitality, aid in recovery from illness, and extend longevity. Pollen contains more amino acids than beef, eggs, or cheese. According to the British Sports Council strength increases of as high as 40-50% were recorded in those taking bee pollen regularly. Antii Lananaki, coach of the Finnish track team that swept the Olympics in 1972, revealed, “most of our athletes take pollen food supplements. Our studies show it significantly improves their performance.” Renowned German naturalist Francis Huber was a great proponent of bee pollen and called it “the greatest body builder on earth.” The way I like to use bee pollen is simply putting a teaspoon into smoothies and homemade juices.
- Goat Mineral Whey + Vital Whey Protein is my choice for a workout recovery meal. Goat mineral whey is a mineral/electrolyte supplement that is made by a gentle extraction process that captures the nutrients in goat milk whey. It contains over 20 different minerals and electrolytes hence its remarkable benefits when used in a recovery drink. It contains high levels of protein for muscle strength but also potassium, magnesium, chloride and phosphorous all minerals our bodies need and crave! Goat whey is restorative and has a high metabolic absorption rate for rapid restoration of tired spent muscles. Its valuable amino acids help fight muscle fatigue. I use the brand called Capra Mineral Whey and add about 2 TBLS to my recovery drink. VITAL WHEY is a clean protein powder I found after realizing how toxic some regular and popular store bought brands can be. Vital Whey is the “Finest biologically-active non-denatured whey protein” on the market! It comes from cows that are pasture fed all year round. This is important because the CLA content is 5X’s that of grain fed cows. This whey is pesticide free, chemical free, hormone treatment free, and GMO free. There are no artificial ingredients. Actually the only ingredient in the product is 100% native whey protein concentrate. That’s it! These foods can be found at www.radiantlifecatalog.com but maca, chia seeds, and bee pollen you can get at your local health store or whole foods. Below is my recipe for the perfect post workout recovery drink/light meal! So skip the chemical laden protein bars and toxic energy drinks and try adding some or all of these 5 super REAL foods into your daily diet and start to see your energy increase and workouts excel naturally!
- 1 scoop Vital Whey,
- 1 cup coconut milk+handful of ice
- 1 TBLS Goat mineral whey,
- 1 teaspoon Maca powder,
- Handful of goji berries,
- 1 TBLS bee pollen,
- 1 TBLS Chia seeds,
- ½ banana,
- Handful of frozen berries,
- ½ teaspoon stevia or raw honey,
- Other add ins include dried unsweetened coconut, cacao powder, or camu-camu powder. Mix in a small blender or in a cup with a hand blender until creamy and smooth, delish, enjoy!