A Whole-foods, plant-based diet will do wonders for your energy and your health, not to mention speed up your workout recovery time and help you build lean muscle. However, if you want an extra “dose of power”, you might consider adding some wonder-foods into your athletic performance plan. Wonder-foods won’t save the world and aren’t the magical answer to all our problems (despite what marketing labels may tell you otherwise) but they definitely are note-worthy when it comes to adding nutrition to your diet.
Wonder foods are just real, whole foods that just happen to have extremely high amounts of nutrition, more so than other foods do. For example, one tablespoon of chia seeds has 15 times the magnesium of broccoli, six times more calcium than milk, and more potassium than two bananas. Acai berries contain even more antioxidants than apples, blueberries, and other common fruits. The acai berry puree packs you can buy at the store contain more protein than an egg!Spirulina contains 65% protein, which is more than any source (including beef) in just one teaspoon. It’s especially helpful for lowering blood sugar and cholesterol, two very important health factors for everyone, including athletes that want to keep themselves healthy and fit.
While these foods may sound exotic, they truly are just regular foods that provide more nutrition in a smaller dose. Hence the word, wonder food. And while you should still be eating common fruits and vegetables, wonder foods can provide a little “uppity-up” to your energy levels, if you will.
How are they Helpful to Athletes?
Wonder-foods are great for athletes because their higher nutrition content can increase energy, stamina, and aid in recovery. When it comes to working out, strength, endurance, and recovery are the most important parts of the puzzle. You can’t perform to your maximum potential if you’re tired and short-winded, malnourished, or still aching from your last workout. Adding in some high performance wonder foods to an already healthy, whole foods plant-based diet may help take you up a few notches during your next workout.
Certain berries such as acai and goji, which are extremely high in antioxidants, also help increase healthy blood flow and prevent or treat high blood sugar and high blood pressure.And koanchbeej, goji berries, and flax seeds are all packed with amino acids to increase lean muscle mass and prevent muscle breakdown. They’re a great recovery agent or can be used pre-workout in a wonder-food smoothie (Please go to our recipe section).