Superfood Seeds – Nutrition for Athletes July 05 2016, 0 Comments
We are all looking for that training edge. The fuels that power our workout and race are a good place to look for that edge. Superfood seeds can be one way to maximize the nutritional value of your training diet. Consider adding these seeds to your current nutritional plan, these superfood seeds will help combat free radicals and promote post workout recovery.
- Hemp Seeds. Hemp may be the most super of the superfood seeds. Hemp seeds are packed with more protein than the others and have valuable nutrients to help endurance athletes recover more quickly. Hemp seeds have omega-3 fatty acids, high amounts of magnesium to help energy production, vitamin E to prevent exercise oxidative damage, and do not contain phytates so the nutrients are able to be absorbed easier by the body. Try hemp seeds in a smoothie, sprinkled on a salad, or in yogurt or oatmeal.
Specs: Hemp Seeds
Protein: 10.3 g (21% daily value)
Fiber: 0.9 g (4%)
Zinc: 3.2 mg (21%)
Magnesium: 179 mg (45%)
Fat: 12.6 g (19%)
- Chia Seeds. This fantastic superfood seeds was brought to popular attention in Chris McDougall’s book Born to Run. Chris found that the Tarahumara indigenous peoples used the seeds and were amazing endurance runners. Not exactly a scientific study, but recent research has shown chia is a complete protein containing all the essential amino acids. Eaten after a workout, chia will assist in muscle recovery. Chia was also found to be flush with omega-3 fatty acids that will reduce inflammation. Try them in yogurt, oatmeal, or your favorite smoothie.
Specs: Chia Seeds
Protein: 4.4 g (9% daily value)
Fiber: 10.6 g (42%)
Phosphorus: 265 mg (27%)
Manganese: 0.6 mg (30%)
Calcium: 177 mg (18%)
Fat: 8.6 g (13%)
- Flaxseeds. These superfood seeds are packed with antioxidant manganese that help combat free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in athletes. These seeds also have lignans that is believed to will help reduce cardiovascular disease, hormone-related cancer, and osteoporosis. Nutritionist recommend grinding your own seeds from whole flax seeds to keep the healthy fats fresh and to store the seeds in the refrigerator to protect the omega-3 from oxidation. Try them in smoothies, cooked into bread or muffins, or in oatmeal, yogurt, or cottage cheese.
Protein: 5.1 g (10% daily value)
Fiber: 7.6 g (31%)
Manganese: 0.7 mg (35%)
Copper: 0.3 mg (17%)
- Sesame Seeds. The unassuming sesame seed has more to offer your workout than you may know. The seeds are high in many key minerals valuable to athletes. Manganese to help with bone health, copper for energy, iron to make hemoglobin that helps get oxygen to muscles, and zinc for increased immune health and energy. Especially of importance to endurance athletes, sesame seeds help with collagen production that assists in protection of overworked joints often found in endurance sports. Sesame seeds are relatively high in fat and calories per serving, so be aware and practice portion control. These superfood seeds have many uses; try in salad dressing, baked into bread, or combine with soy sauce for use in oriental dishes.
Specs: Sesame Seeds
Protein: 4.7 g (9% daily value)
Fiber: 3.9 g (16%)
Manganese: 0.7 mg (35%)
Zinc: 2.0 (13%)
Copper: 0.7 mg (35%)
Fat: 13.5 g (21%)
- Pumpkin Seeds. These seeds are packed with magnesium, a mineral valuable to endurance athletes and lacking in many American diets. Nutritionists advise that magnesium helps in protein synthesis, muscle and nerve functioning, and assists in blood pressure regulation. Pumpkin seeds are easy to eat as a snack and that can be a problem. The seeds are high in calories and low in omega-3 fatty acids. Also, store bought roasted seeds can be high in salt. Try the seeds baked into muffins or try roasting them yourself to control the salt.
Specs: Pumpkin Seeds
Protein: 5.2 g (10% daily value)
Fiber: 5 g (20%)
Zinc: 2.9 mg (19%)
Magnesium: 73.4 mg (18%)
Fat: 5 g (8%)
Note: All nutritional content details are per one ounce and based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
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