Colourful Eating – The ABCs of Sporty Fruits and Vegetables
Cyclists, runners or swimmers – especially endurance athletes need a healthy, well-balanced diet. Consuming a sufficient amount of natural vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables can work miracles in sport: They strengthen the immune system, support bone development and transmit nerve impulses to the musculature. The right choice and combination of micro and macro nutrients is an essential precondition for the aspired success in sport. But be sure to create enough variety in your personal menu! That’s not only more delicious, but reinforces both physical and mental performance. In our overview, you’ll see which healthy all-rounder belong on the plate. The motto is: colourful and healthy!
Apple – Source of vitamins
Whether red, green or yellow – all kinds of apples are great sources of vitamin C for the immune system. They also provide important minerals for bones, teeth, as well as blood formation, and lower the cholesterol level. The skin already contains 70% of the valuable micro nutrients.
Banana – Stomach friend
Marathon without a banana? Unthinkable for many athletes. The reason for the popularity of bananas in running events is quite plausible. According to data provided by the University of Düsseldorf, the yellow fruit contains 20% carbohydrates (among which many oligosaccharide), 1.2% protein and only 0.2% fat. Because of the high content of water, bananas are easily-digestible and neutralise stomach acid.
Broccoli – Nutrient bomb
The green broccoli is one of the healthiest kinds of vegetable. Besides the high level of magnesium, it is rich in calcium and vitamin C. These nutrients are particularly vital for metabolism, muscles and heart. Athletes suffering from extreme pressure to perform should include the green vegetable in their menu, since it helps against stress.
Strawberries – Prevention
The red fruit is the number one supplier of secondary plant-based substances and strengthens the cardiovascular system with a vitamin C content of 65 milligrams in 100 grams. The contained ferulic and ellagic acid are known for their cancer-prophylactic effect.
Pomegranate – All-rounder
The red seed’s delicious taste between sweet and sour can be enjoyed purely as well as with sweet desserts, hearty or tender meat or as fresh juice. Pomegranates do not only taste great, they are also ideal for competitions and regeneration. Besides containing 16 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams, they also provide a lot of vitamin C, calcium and iron.
Carrot – UV-protection
The vegetable with the highest concentration of carotenoids protects from the inside against harmful UV-rays and strengthens the immune system as well as the ability to see. 100 grams already cover the daily need.
Passion fruit – Relaxation
The tropical fruit helps in endurance sport because of its relaxing effect before and after a competition. In addition to a carbohydrate share of 13%, it contains 2.5% proteins (which is above the average). The high content of vitamin B and C as well as calcium and iron are further convincing arguments for the healthy effect of a passion fruit.
Tamarillo – Evergreen
The little tree-tomatoes are rich in beta-carotene and minerals. With approximately 10% carbohydrates and a low acid-level, tamarillo fruits are ideal to consume before an endurance run.
Citrus fruits – Detoxifier
Oranges, lemons, grapefruits and mandarins are some of the most popular citrus fruits. They contain vitamin C and strengthen the immune system. Free radicals that emerge through stress, smoking and other environmental poison are made innocuous by the contained antioxidants.
(Image: © Andrea-Kusajda – pixelio.de)