by Abby Evans in Health + Nutrition, image by michi louise turner

5 Foods You Aren’t Eating But Should Be

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To stay healthy, in addition to exercising, you need to include healthy foods in your diet. Athletes should select foods that keep their bodies and internal organs in pristine condition. There are likely several foods that you are not eating but should be eating. If you have not considered any of the following, you will want to give due consideration to adding them to your list of healthy foods for an athlete.

Sardines

Most fish is considered to be healthy, but sardines are loaded with vitamin D, which is essential to keeping your bones hard and strong. In addition, sardines are good for your heart. They contain a lot of omega 3 fats, which are known to boost your mood.

If you don’t think you can stomach plain sardines, spice them up a bit. Put a little mustard on a cracker, and top it off with a sardine and a few drops of lemon juice. Another thing you can do is make a sardine salad, which consists of lettuce, croutons, hardboiled eggs, sardines, and vinaigrette dressing.

Elderberries

Elderberries are a rich source of potassium and vitamin C, shortening the duration of colds and boosting the immune system. The benefits to athletes are that eating elderberries prevents cartilage loss, stops inflammation that can damage joints, and slows osteoarthritis.

Elderberries can be eaten raw, although you may find them a little bitter. Sweetening them with sugar or honey makes them tastier. It’s best to wash and cook them with a mixture of other fruits, such as pears and apples.

Jicama

Jicama is more commonly known as the Mexican potato. It has a starchy/sweet taste similar to a sweet potato. Its texture is not as rough as a traditional potato. This vegetable provides 40% of your daily requirement of vitamin C and 25% of your daily requirement of fiber. It will boost your immune system and ward off cancer.

The best way to eat jicama is with dip. Much like potato chips, you can slice up a jicama and dip it in French onion or ranch dip.

Greek Yogurt

Yes, yogurt is good for you, but Greek yogurt provides more protein and meets your daily requirement of calcium. Athletes should add Greek yogurt to their diets to strengthen their bones. This yogurt has a tangier taste and is thicker than traditional yogurt.

You can use Greek yogurt as a dip or as a base for tuna or chicken salad. You can also use it as a substitute for oil in pancake recipes. Mix it with some elderberries for a delicious dessert.

Lentils

Lentils are beans that contain lots of protein dietary fiber and iron. You can purchase them whole or split into halves. The green and brown varieties of lentils retain their shapes the best after they have been cooked. Lentils are good for your heart. They increase your energy level and stabilize your blood sugar. These beans should be in every athlete’s diet.

The best way to eat lentils is by boiling them. Add some sweet peppers to your cooked lentils for a tasty salad, or make lentil soup by adding chopped vegetables and your favorite spices.




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