What if you knew you could do better in sports, not by working out until you drop, but by fueling your body with healthy nutritious foods that build muscle, by gearing up your immune system, and by giving you more energy and stamina? Would you eat healthier? Sure you would.
Fresh locally-grown produce straight from your farmers’ market will give you the fuel your body needs to golf 18 holes, swim laps in the pool, or play a full game of tennis, without wilting. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein will give your body the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and energy for all kinds of tasks throughout the day, not just for the bursts of energy used in sports.
Building Muscle: Proteins are the way to go for muscle strength and endurance. Lean chicken, turkey, and seafood keep your muscles strong. Nuts, eggs, milk, legumes, and peanut butter are good sources, too. Make sure you take in some healthy fats like olive oil as well.
Energy Boosters: Carbohydrates will give you energy in whole grain pastas and breads, oats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and local honey. Carbs are the body’s preferred source of fuel, plus they raise serotonin levels, keeping your mood even. The body absorbs whole grains and beans slowly because they are full of healthy fiber, stabilizing blood sugar and energy levels and giving you sustainable energy. Exercise itself is an energy booster, so take a brisk walk and stretch a bit before playing a game of baseball with your pals.
Keeping You Well: Your immune system benefits from a variety of whole fresh foods like antioxidant-rich berries, dark leafy greens, garlic and onions, oranges, and beans. Yogurt helps your digestive tract and salmon has the much-touted omega-3 fatty acids.
Water Well: Dehydration can cause fatigue. Studies suggest that dehydration can slow the metabolism and sap your energy. The solution is simple – drink plenty of water. Avoid caffeine and alcohol which are natural diuretics. And don’t drink sugary sodas –they’re full of empty calories.
Before Playing: Eat small meals throughout the day to keep sugar levels even. Keep lots of water handy during your golf game or tag football game.
Have a cool tasty smoothie on a hot day, full of energizing fresh fruit from the farmers’ market. It’s the perfect light meal before you go out and bat a few balls around.
1 cup nonfat peach yogurt
3/4 cup peach nectar
1/2 cup raspberries
1- 1/2 cup ripe medium peaches, diced
Combine the yogurt and nectar in a blender. Add the raspberries and peaches. Blend until smooth. Serves 2.
Remember to eat healthy to stay healthy so you can go out and play your favorite sport, and be sure to Buy Fresh, Buy Local! You’ll support your local farmers and enjoy the best they have to offer.