In athletics or other sporting and physical fitness, observance of restricted diet and restricted nutrients is an absolute must. Many vegan athletes from across the world of Sport, are accomplished because they observed some nutrition strategies. This should never be neglected, as amazing success in Sport does not only base on skills and enthusiasm, but also on discipline and dietary. Regulation of food intakes helps athletes to maintain good health and form, consequently performing very well on the field. Making better choices of diet plans is base on the nutrient’s quality and quantity.
As we know, some athletes regularly select high-quality carbohydrates to obtain energy, but there are other important nutrition for good health fitness. Nutrients from whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa, are good carbohydrate options for an athlete diet. Carbohydrates are very necessary for energy necessary to sustain extraordinary effort and fight fatigue and avoid injuries. Other nutrients to help the dietary plans gotten from organic foods and supplements include fishes and vegetable.
Following a vegetarian or vegan diet is a welcome idea given that this type of nutrient is low in calories; and helps in obtaining some micro nutrients to fight inflammation and quick injury recoveries. Vegan nutrition diet necessarily provides all the nutrients one needs for training and competition. Vegetables are high in carbohydrates, low in fat, and rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it can support or improve physical fitness and athletic performance.
The BEST VEGETABLES FOR ATHLETES AND FITNESS PERSONS
The mere look of the green leaves on your plate can give you a ridiculously huge appetite. Eves seeing the fresh spinach or pumpkins somethings make me think of making a plate of it for my fitness. Green leaves are full of vitality which we all need for your body fitness and physical exercise. Vegetables provide energy, vitamins, minerals and fiber and there is growing evidence of additional health benefits from a range of phytonutrients.
Some vegetable with Phenolic compounds as flavonoids found in Beans, onions, leafy vegetable, tomatoes, have health benefits which include reduction of cancer, diabetes and heart disease risk, helping maintain healthy bones, brain and vision. Without doubts vegetable play major roles in building a strong healthy body. As an athlete, you want to feel great, train well and perform at your best, which requires your body and mind to be functioning at their best.
In your drilling exercise you need more of water and veggies. They improve mineral absorption; they may have benefits for bone health. Vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. This means you can fill up on a lunch of veggies without worrying about going over your suggested daily caloric intake. With many other benefits which we are going to discuss in this article.
STARCHY AND NON-STARCHY VEGETABLES
As already stated, some vegetables contain higher levels of carbohydrate. These vegetable are classified as starchy vegetable. They are usually rooting and tubers vegetable. These include the following: potatoes, yams, kumara, taro and sweet corn. The starchy vegetable are higher in energy (kilo joules) because of their carbohydrate content.
Invariably, non-starchy vegetable are lower in energy but often richer in vitamins and minerals. They have higher water content. Some non-starchy vegetable have a substance called Lycopene (found mostly Tomatoes, watermelon) which may reduce the risk of prostate cancers and even heart diseases by boosting enzymes that detoxify carcinogens.
Some non-starchy vegetable like Garlic, leeks, onions, chives are Allium sulfur, and they contain compounds that function in preventing heart diseases be
cause of their antimicrobial activities in the body.
Other various type of vegetable which athletes and fitness persons could include in their meals to have an amazing health are:
1. Root Vegetables: these vegetable grow under the soil and absorb many nutrients and minerals available in the soil which adds to their health benefits. They are good source of healthy nutrients and one could easily add them to their dietary plans without any problems. These root vegetable include the following: Arracacha, Black cumin, Yams, potatoes, Salsify, Carrots, Beet, Burdock root, ginger, Peanut etc.
2 Greens & Leaf Vegetables: these types of vegetable full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants with tremendous health benefits for the body. Most of them are rich in vitamins A, C & K. Green leaf vegetable are also known as cruciferous vegetable which contain glucosinolates, which can protect the body from certain cancer growths.
They are exceptionally good for fast body weight loss. The green leafy vegetable include: Kale, Mustard greens, Spinach, Collard Greens, Arugula, Swiss chard, Iceberg, lettuce, etc. Dark green leafy veggies contain folate, which has been shown to boost vascular function and blood flow, as well as the antioxidant lutein, which is found in the retina and helps eyes adjust to bright light and filter out harmful blue rays.
3 Sea Vegetables (seaweed): these vegetables grow in the sea or ocean wherever there are solid surfaces and supply marine life with nutrients needed to survive. They are particularly rich in chlorophyll and dietary fibre. Other substances rich in sea vegetables include sodium, potassium, Zinc, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous
4 Fruit Vegetables: Fruit vegetable are notable in pod. They contain seed, peas, or beans. They contain lycopene necessary for protection of the body from lungs cancer, prostate and stomach cancer. The vegetable fruits include the following: olives, squash, avocados, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes, tomatillos, okra, chayote and eggplant.
5 Inflorescent Vegetables Mushroom: Mushrooms are also classified as vegetable, though they have a different form from other vegetable. They have no leaves, roots or seeds and do not need light, for photosynthesis like other vegetable. Thus, botanically speaking, we could not actually say they are vegetable, but they have many similar nutrients and functions to the body. They are great tasting fungi and are known to provide a healthy diet fungus. Mushrooms contain selenium, which is a mineral absent in organic fruits and vegetable. It helps in detoxifying cancer-causing compounds and decreases the rate of tumor growth.
MAJOR NUTRIENT COMPOUNDS FOUND IN VEGETABLE
Not being on vegetable means you may be missing so much in its nutrient properties. There are many sources of nutrients we could benefit from eating vegetable which are important part of healthy body and which gives that feel-good sensation for adequate training and consequently amazing performance. Some of these compounds include the following:
• folate (folic acid)
• vitamins A, E and C.
Potassium: ‘>Potassium is a mineral found in the foods you eat which can be described as an electrolyte. Electrolytes conduct electrical impulses throughout the body. They assist in a range of essential body functions. Potassium is one of the most important components found in green leafy vegetable and other types of vegetable. It helps for the maintenance of body fluid volume, acid and electrolyte balance, also helping in the normal functions of the cell. Potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. And athletes can use find it extremely useful, being that it has dietary fiber from which helps in the reduction of blood cholesterol levels and consequently may lower risk of heart disease.
Lack of potassium can lead to serious health issues like blood pressure, lack of normal water balance, imbalance in the body pH balance (acidity and alkalinity), frequent muscle contractions, irregular heartbeats, irregular nerve impulses and indigestion. Vegetables are good bets for avoiding such issues, especially for Sport and fitness people.
Anyways, some vegetable have high potassium rate while some have low potassium rates. High potassium vegetable include the Bananas, grapefruit and orange (citrus family), cantaloupe, honeydew and apricots. Some dried fruits can be useful too. Fruits like prunes, raisins, and dates, are also high in potassium.
While Potassium is great, excess of its intake can cause chronic kidney disease (CKD), nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal discomfort. Measures should be taken in taking so much potassium foods and supplements.
Some food supplements for Potassium include the following:
1. Country Life Potassium (Available in bottles containing 250 tablets)
2. Metagenics UltraClear PLUS pH (This contains Green Tea Extract for fat burning benefits)
3. Now Foods Potassium Citrate Caps (Available in bottles containing 180 capsules)
4. Emergen-C Super Orange
5. Nature Made Potassium Gluconate
6. Solaray Potassium
Folate (folic acid): another compound found in vegetable is the folic acid. This is needed for the proper development of the human body, and also in producing the DNA, a genetic material in the human body. It is also the synthetic form of folate, an important B vitamin contained in the vegetable and vegetable supplements.
But what important is this to Sport and fitness? Folic acid is ideal to use for food fortification because it is more heat-stable than types of natural food folate. It helps the body form healthy red blood cells. Seriously, green vegetable and best supplemental folic acid seems to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease that may come along with intense exercise. Doesn’t it sound great your fitness exercise? It is recommendable that for a normal diet athlete consumed more food with folic acid. Folic acid can be found in leafy greens vegetable like spinach, lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, orange juice, and bananas.
There are powerful vegetable supplements that are rich in folic acid folate. These include
1. Life Extension Optimized Folate
2. Doctor’s Best Fully Active Folate
3. Designs for Health – Super Liquid Folate with B12
4. Solgar – Folate
5. Pure Encapsulations – B12 Folate
Fiber in Vegetables: As an athlete or fitness trainer, you need a lot of fiber foods. Therefore, you do not need to ignore vegetable because they are high in fiber. Eating veggies like broccoli, carrots, acorn squash, green peas, Lima beans, collard greens, artichokes, parsnips, spinach, fruit, wholegrain foods, legumes, nuts and seeds. Eating fiber helps a lot because it fills you up and make you feel good for a long time through your exercise, training and sporting event. If you do not need so many calories in the body, then this is the food you must enjoy eating. Vegetable gives you the benefit of fiber and helps in weight maintenance.
One of the benefits of a high-fiber food is that it smoothen the digestive tracts and offers guard against cancer, heart disease, and other disease like kidney stones, and obesity. Eating more vegetable like broccoli, carrots, green peas, etc, with high fiber contents protects the athletes from developing diseases that can impair their performances.
Vitamins A, E and C: There are many nutrients in vegetable are important for skin maintenance. These nutrients are found in vitamins A, E and C and are very functional to the mucous membrane structure and contributes to normal collagen formation for the normal function of skin. Good vegetables contain carotenoids that can be converted to vitamin A that can build the body. Carotenoids are found in many vegetable but high in carrots, pumpkin and green leafy vegetable. These vitamins enhance and supports the immune system, bone growth, and muscle strength.
Zinc, Biotin and riboflavin are some substances in vitamin that contributes to normal skin structure and wound healing. It helps injured athletes to recover from their wound injuries. Researches have proved that “taking 400 to 3,000 mg of vitamin C per day for several days before and after intense exercise may reduce pain and speed up muscle strength recovery”. Vegetables rich in these vitamins include oranges, grapefruits and strawberries, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, avocados, peas, winter squash, broccoli and potatoes.
Many endurance athletes, like marathon runners, distance triathletes, footballers and century cyclists, need optimal nutrition to train and compete at their best. Some have vitamins A, E, and C liquid mixtures that they take at intervals. Some have them with them while cycling, some players by the side of the field while some endurance runners have them given to them along the track. To make a wonderful dietary plan, athletes must include in their menus vegetable that are rich in, at least, minimum of at least two of the vitamins and minerals A, E or C.
THE BEST VEGETABLE SUPPLEMENTS FOR SPORTS
There are some important vegetable supplements that can help athletes and fitness people in their performances. These supplements are extracts from organic vegetable and were processed with less chemical side effects.
1. Super Greens Powder Premium Superfood: with 20+ Organic Green Veggie Whole Foods – Wheat Grass, Spirulina, Chlorella & More (Perfect Food Green Superfood Dietary Supplement)
2. Peak Performance Organic Greens Superfood Powder. (Organic Green Juice Vegan Super Food with 25+ All Natural Ingredients for Max Energy and Detox. Spirulina, Spinach, Kale, Probiotics )
3. Seitenbacher Vegetarian Vegetable Broth and Seasoning: (5-Ounce Cans – Pack of 6 )
4. Del Monte Canned Harvest Selects Peas & Carrots: (containing 8.5-Ounce – Pack of 12)
5. Happy Tot Organic Stage 4 Baby Food Love My Veggies Zucchini/Pear/Chickpeas & Kale: (containing 4.22 Ounce -Pack of 16)
Doing veggies is an ice on the cake for athletes. They are sure of many necessary nutrients like protein and carbohydrates without the extensive dose of cholesterol and saturated fats. Athletes need more than just skills and concentration to unlock successful and amazing performance in the arts of Sport. They must learn the magic of success; one of which is good and healthy diet. In dietary, they must have unlocked the strategic way of avoiding recurrence of injuries and fatigues and have more healthy way to manage their training. Have found supplementary foods to incorporate into their diet.
There are many successful athletes and sport people who adhered to vegetarian diet at some point during their life. And came out with touching stories. This shows that vegetarianism is growing more popular in the Sport industry. Sports and athleticism have recorded good number of them. People like Ruth Heidrich (vegan endurance athlete), Meagan Duhamel (vegan figure skater), Alexander Dargatz (vegan bodybuilder), Scott Jurek (vegan ultra marathon runner), Cody Elkins (vegan Racquetball player) and many others. In football, Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Manchester City’s Sergio Agüero are classy examples of vegan footballers, who are achieved the best in their careers being vegans. These athletes found solace in vegetable and other plant-based organic food. This is not to say in any way that only vegetarians succeed in Sport, far from it. What this article is emphasizing is the fact that vegetable are particularly important in building a healthy lifestyle and maintaining physical well-being of athletes and other sportive people.
written by Linus Ihebirinachi