Increasing your exercise? Training for a race? What foods are important to eat when the physical activity is upped? In the fast-paced world that we live in, many of us tend to forget about the importance of a well-balanced diet. Here are some great foods that are packed full of nutrients to provide you with adequate energy.
Red Bell Pepper
Just one red bell pepper provides 380 percent of the recommended Daily Value of vitamin C, a vital nutrient for building immunity and facilitating the healing process of scarred tissue. Other foods to consider: papaya, cantaloupe and oranges.
Fresh or canned salmon provides two powerful nutrients: protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Protein helps rebuild muscles and repairs ligaments and tendons after a long run. Omega-3s are great for keeping those joints lubricated. They also contain essential anti-inflammatory properties that calm the stresses in our bodies – even healing those sore muscles. Try Chicken of the Sea’s ready-to-eat Salmon Cups™ along with some whole-grain crackers for a simple lunch.
Red meat provides a great source of iron that provides oxygen to our red blood cells. When we are fatigued – especially if you’re a woman – iron may be the first nutrient to consider in the diet. A T-bone steak is actually a very lean cut of red meat. A three-ounce portion provides 23 grams of protein, less than three grams of saturated fat and 17 percent of the recommended Daily Value of iron. Spinach or dark leafy greens are also great sources of iron but since they come from plants, our bodies do not absorb iron as well from them as from animal sources. To enhance iron absorption from plant sources, try adding vitamin C-rich foods such as red bell peppers to your spinach salad.
Just a half-cup serving of carrots provides 340 percent of your Daily Value dose of vitamin A. Vitamin A keeps the immune system strong by fighting infection and repairs your muscle fibers from any small tears. Other foods to consider are sweet potatoes, spinach and apricots. Pack some carrot chips and dip for a quick snack.
Just a small handful (one ounce) of almonds provides more than 40 percent of your Daily Value of vitamin E. Almonds contain anti-clogging fats such as mono- and polyunsaturated fats that help build healthy cells. Other source include: nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil and nut butters. Try an almond nut butter and jelly sandwich for a quick snack or meal-on-the-go.