Sports nutrition isn’t just for professional athletes; for a good workout and quick recovery, everyday athletes need the right diet, too.
To help, CanolaInfo’s “Fuel Up for Fitness” recipe collection delivers a starting lineup of delicious, nutritious dishes made with canola oil to help fitness fans prepare for exercise and repair their muscles afterward.
“These quick and easy recipes are made-to-order meals for the everyday athlete,” says Michele Macedonio, R.D., C.S.S.D., L.D., a veteran sports nutritionist and team dietitian for Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds. “A good workout is draining and can lead to fatigue and sore muscles. The right combination of foods helps restore energy and nutrients used during exercise and prepares your body for the next workout.”
The recipes provide complex carbohydrates, fiber and protein with nutrition-packed ingredients such as whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits and plenty of vegetables. All the dishes are prepared with heart-smart canola oil to supply healthy unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated and omega-3 fats.
“Fat is an important energy source for athletes because it has 9 calories per gram versus 4 per gram of protein and carbohydrate,” Macedonio notes. “But it’s important to choose the right kinds of fats. Unsaturated fats, such as those found in canola oil, in place of saturated and trans fats, are known to reduce ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol.”
The recipes, available at www.canolainfo.org, include:
• Powerhouse Green Smoothie
• Muesli Muffins with Almonds and Cranberries
• Crispy Chickpeas and Pumpkin Seeds with Lime
• Skillet Quinoa with Black Beans, Cilantro and Feta
• Chunky Chicken, Vegetable and Rosemary Stew.
Each energy-boosting recipe has less than 300 calories a serving.
Brussels Sprout, Blueberry and Walnut Slaw
Yield: 8 servings
Serving Size: ¾ cup
1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, thinly sliced or shredded (not grated)
¼ cup chopped walnuts
½ cup finely chopped red onion
½ cup dried blueberries
2½ Tbsp canola oil
2½ Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
In medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Refrigerate 30 minutes before serving.
The nutrient-rich ingredients in the delicious slaw above make it a smart choice for athletes. Brussels sprouts and blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants and phytonutrients, helping to support a strong immune system. Also, walnuts and canola oil are among the top 10 food sources of plant-based omega-3 fat and may help protect the heart.
“Whether you’re fueling your next exercise bout or about to begin your post-exercise recovery, these are healthful foods that can fit into your fitness routine,” Macedonio says. “Eating right helps your body function at its best however active you are.”
Sports Nutrition Score Sheet
Make friends with fat: Fat is an important energy source for athletes but it’s important to choose healthy fats. Canola oil, for example, is a valuable source of unsaturated fat, including monounsaturated and omega-3 fats.
Value variety: Love quinoa? Great, but you can’t live on one supergrain alone. Athletes need a varied diet for the best mix of vitamins and minerals. Good nutrition, which fuels good performance, is about combining a variety of foods.
Avoid portion distortion: How much you eat is as important as what you consume. Even nutritious foods, if eaten in excess, can add unwanted weight that hinders exercise performance. Train your eye to recognize the right portion sizes by measuring and portioning at home.
Don’t ignore complex carbs: Whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruit are four good sources. Combined with protein, carbohydrates speed recovery so you’re ready for your next workout.
See the whole list of sports nutrition tips at www.canolainfo.org. North American Precis Syndicate