Are your workouts getting more intense? If they are, or if you're looking to push yourself a little further physically, you'll soon start to see some pretty drastic changes in your body. Getting stronger involves breaking down old muscle and building new ones, a process that can sometimes lead to inflammation and muscles soreness. Your body needs to stay healthy and be properly fueled in order to create new muscles and recover quickly. Eating a balanced diet provides the nutrients needed to stay strong, but there are certain foods that can provide an extra boost for hard working muscles! Here are five additional foods that can be added to the diet - or to your favorite NutriBlast - that are rich in antioxidants, decrease inflammation and help reduce recovery time.
- Turmeric contains a potent antioxidant called curcumin, which creates glutathione in the body, helping decrease inflammation.
- Turmeric was also found to have as many anti-inflammatory properties as the medication hydrocortisone.
- It stimulates tissue repair, mainly the regeneration of muscle tissue, so turmeric is particularly useful for injuries involving muscle.
- ...And it's easy to find! You can purchase turmeric in powdered form or fresh as a root. (It looks like ginger!)
Tart Cherry Juice
- Two, 8 oz glasses of tart cherry juice per day have been shown to decrease muscle soreness and decrease muscle recovery time.
- It's also been shown to decrease exercise-induced muscle damage.
- Look for the juice without any added sugar and add it directly to your Blasts.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- Omega-3's are essential in the creation of anti-inflammatory eicosanoids, which help protect the body.
- They're also beneficial for long term use to build stores in the body and can help decrease pain from chronic injuries like bursitis and tendonitis.
- Good animal sources of omega-3s include Alaskan wild salmon, trout, and canned sardines.
- The best plant source of omega-3 fatty acids are chia seeds; sprinkle them into oatmeal, Blasts, yogurt, or place in water for a fun new twist on staying hydrated.
- The flavonoids in cacao can help improve circulation and more effectively transport oxygen to muscles during a workout.
- The increased platelet activity seen during exercise can be decreased by adding cacao to your diet, decreasing the overall stress placed on your heart.
- A modest amount of naturally-occuring caffeine can give you an added boost of energy.
- Use cacao nibs or cacao to reap the most health benefits.
- Best of all, cacao tastes great in stir frys, in your Blast, or even just sprinkled over your yogurt or oatmeal!
- Gingerols are the powerful antioxidant component of ginger and help the body clear out and eliminate harmful cells.
- Ginger contains analgesic, antihistamine and anti-toxicity properties in addition to proteolytic enzymes, all of which may be useful for athletic injury relief and repair.
- Ginger happens to be a close relative to turmeric.
- It's also great for decreasing pain in people with arthritis when used regularly.
- You can add ginger directly to a Blast with the skin on or off, you can steep in tea or you can even add it to a stir fry.
The inflammatory phase after a workout can last up to 7 days. Don’t you want to provide your body with everything it needs to decrease inflammation and recover faster? Not only are you helping your body heal and recover, you're giving your body nutrients that will positively impact your overall health.