Fruit is good for you. Maybe you’re tired of hearing that. And if you work out, fruit will bring extra benefits to your body and health.
Eating fruit is never boring. There’s a variety of colors, structures, flavors, and different ways to consume it.
1. Eat Bananas
Bananas contain potassium, essential for regulating fluid levels in cells.
Bananas also keep up blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke.
Magnesium plays a key role in the formation of new cells and muscle contraction.
The fiber in bananas is important for protecting against bowel cancer, lowering cholesterol and stabilizing blood sugar levels.
Bananas are a good source of vitamin B6, which promotes production of red blood cells.
Bananas are best eaten 30 to 60 minutes before exercise or right after training.
Eat them on their own or blend with some milk or yoghurt for a nutritious smoothie.
For extra flavor and nutrients I add some avocado.
2. And Berries
Berries are densely packed with vitamins and other phytonutrients. They contain compounds called anthocyanins that mop up damaging free radicals and help prevent cancer and heart disease.
Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries contain ellagic acid, another powerful antioxidant that fights cancer.
Berries are rich in vitamin C, which, together with the anthocyanins, helps to strengthen blood capillaries and improve blood flow around the body.
Blueberries may help slow the ageing process.
Blueberries and cranberries help ward off urinary tract infections, ulcers and gum disease.
Eat at least three to four portions of fresh berries a week. Dried berries in muffins, bread and pancakes retain most of the antioxidant properties of fresh berries but contain less vitamin C.
3. Fruit Smoothie
Smoothies made with fresh fruit are a great way of meeting your five-a-day target for fruit and vegetables. They are packed with beta-carotene, vitamin C, phytonutrients and potassium.
Make your own smoothie by blending fresh fruit with yoghurt or milk. For extra nutrients you can add almonds or omega-3 rich oil.
Ready made versions often contain minimal fruit, high levels of added sugar and artificial additives, so be sure to read ingredients carefully before you buy it.
Smoothies are great for breakfast, snack or as a refreshing post-workout drink.
And one a day may not be enough. They just taste too good.
4. Eat Dried Fruit After Your Workout
Dried fruit (raisins, dried apricots, dried figs…) makes a handy and nutritious snack for eating on the go. Dried fruit is a concentrated source of carbohydrate and it gives a quick energy boost.
Dried fruit provides concentrated fiber, potassium, phytonutrients and vitamins and minerals.
Apricots are rich in beta-carotene, while prunes and raisins contain very high levels of antioxidants.
Eat a handful of dried fruit after exercise (with water) to speed up glycogen refueling.
5. Fruit Yoghurt
Yoghurt is low in fat and a rich source of protein, calcium and B-vitamins.
It has a high satiety index.
Fruit yoghurt contains a near-perfect combination of carbohydrate (lactose,
or milk sugar, and sucrose) and protein for post-workout recovery.
One pot of yoghurt provides almost one-third of the daily need of calcium (200 mg) as well as a healthy dose of B vitamins.
It is thought that getting enough calcium stimulates the body to burn fat and also reduces the new fat the body lays down. Keeping up your calcium intake will also help prevent osteoporosis.
Opt for probiotic yoghurt because it has lactobacillus and bifida bacteria, which, if consumed regularly can boost levels of beneficial probiotic bacteria in your bowel and colon. At the same time yogurt will prevent the growth of harmful bacteria and it will promote efficient digestion.
Yogurt is highly recommended at times of stress, and to repair imbalance caused by use of antibiotics.
Yogurt can be taken any time, but it is particularly good after intense
workouts as it’s protein–carbohydrate combination encourages faster glycogen replenishment than carbohydrate alone.