Fueling Fall Fitness, By Victoria Bruner MS, RD, CD
When fall hits, and the weather is cool and crisp, I love to exercise outside as much as possible. What makes exercise of any kind even more enjoyable is thinking of all the delicious and beneficial foods I can eat that will help me to feel stronger and recover faster.
Certain compounds found in foods, such as nitrate and branched chained amino acids, have been shown to help fuel fitness. Nitrate is a compound with the ability to increase the amount of oxygen delivered to working muscles. More oxygen to muscles means less fatigue, thus allowing for longer and more intense activity. Dietary nitrate can be found in the following foods:
• Butterhead lettuce
The Healthy Living Café makes delicious beetroot juices- experiment by trying one an hour or so before you exercise. Take note of any changes you feel!
The primary role of branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) is to assist in the growth and repair of muscle protein. This results in less muscle breakdown and decreased soreness. In addition, BCAAs can function as a fuel source when our body has used up all of our carbohydrates stores. Foods high in BCAAs include the following:
• Lean meat
• Beans and lentils
• Whole grains
• Nuts and seeds
• Dairy products
Quinoa is a delicious whole grain that provides a healthy dose of BCAAs- try this tasty Curried Quinoa and Apples recipe for dinner tonight!
Not only is it important to incorporate foods that help fuel the body, but also think about incorporating foods that help to heal the body. Incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet can help to mend sore joints and muscles. Some of the best anti-inflammatory food choices include:
• Tart cherry juice
• Turmeric spice
• Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids like salmon, nuts, and seeds
• Antioxidant rich fruits and veggies like berries, kale, and mushrooms.
Interested in learning more about managing aches and pains to improve daily life and activity? Join in-store nutritionist, Victoria Bruner MS, RD, and Physical Therapist, Sue Dodge MS, PT, for a FREE learn by tasting store tour on Wednesday October 8th from 6:00-7:30 PM. Click here to sign up! We will be discussing corrective exercises, like Redcord and Postural Restoration, which help to decrease pain, build strength, and improve performance. Afterwards, we will taste our way through Healthy Living, highlighting beneficial foods that help to decrease pain and inflammation and improve athletic performance.