Colourful eating – Vitamins in endurance sport

Cyclists, runners or swimmers – especially endurance athletes need a healthy, well-balanced diet. Since the body transpires and loses important minerals during physical strain, the need for nutrients is high, even in phases of regeneration.
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June 22, 2012 - PRLog -- For a healthy balance of nutrients, athletes should consume a sufficient amount of natural vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables. The important micro nutrients strengthen the immune system and turn out to be true miracle weapons in endurance sport. A good diet plan for athletes has to be diverse to avoid possible deficiencies in advance. Variety in the green kitchen is not only more delicious, but reinforces both physical and mental performance. The motto is: Colourful and healthy!

What is hidden in fruits and vegetables?

While vitamins function as co-enzymes, minerals support the immune system as well as bone development, and transmit nerve impulses to the musculature. Besides dietary fibres, fruits and vegetables contain a wide range of other secondary plant-based substances which have a positive impact on health. According to a study by the German Association for Nutrition, secondary plant-based substances influence many metabolic processes. They protect against severe diseases, affect the vascular system, and have an anti-inflammatory as well as antibacterial quality. An adequate and healthy nutrition includes a high amount of fruits and vegetables.

Miracle weapons in sport

A well-balanced diet covers the daily need for nutrients and takes a healthy supply of vitamins into account. The right choice and combination of micro and macro nutrients is an essential contributor to the performance development of athletes. Besides milk and wholemeal products, a healthy menu also includes meat, fish, lentils, seeds, nuts, and particularly enough fruits and vegetables. When athletes worry about the high content of fructose, it is necessary to point out the advantages of certain kinds of fruits and vegetables. The significant support provided by micro nutrients during intensive strain is often underestimated. They also positively influence efficiency in both training and competition. Whether broccoli against stress or oranges to detoxify – the following overview shows which healthy all-rounder belong on the plate.

The ABCs of sporty fruits and vegetables

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.

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