Fruits are an excellent energy source in the offseason and provide nutrients you do not get in most foods. Besides the well-known benefits of nutrients, antioxidants and fibre, fruit has a unique benefit – it contains fructose and this simple carb replenishes liver glycogen. When your liver glycogen is maximised, so is your thyroid function. You always want to have your metabolism cranking in the off season so you are utilising all of the calories you take in. The best time to consume fruit is in the first meal (breakfast) and after training. These are the times when your body will absorb the carbs the best. The best fruits are bananas, apples, raisins, melons and pineapples.
Guavas are low in calories and fats but contain several vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant poly-phenolic and flavonoid compounds that play a pivotal role in prevention of cancers, anti-aging and boosting the immune system. The fruit is very rich source of soluble dietary fibre, which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fibre content helps protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time to toxins as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.
Guava fruit is an excellent source of antioxidant Vitamin C. 100 g fresh fruit provides 228 mg of this vitamin, more than three times the DRI (daily-recommended intake). Outer thick rind contains exceptionally higher levels of Vitamin C than central pulp. Scientific studies shown that regular consumption of fruits rich in Vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge cancer causing harmful free radicals from the body. Further, the vitamin is required for collagen synthesis within the body. Collagen is the main structural protein in the human body required for maintaining the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones.
The fruit is a very good source of Vitamin A, and flavonoids like beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and cryptoxanthin. The compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and are essential for optimum health. Further, Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotene is known to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. 100 g of pink guava fruit provides 5204 µg of lycopene, nearly twice the amount that in tomatoes. (100 g tomato contains 2573 µg of lycopene). Studies suggest that lycopene in pink guavas prevents skin damage from UV rays and offers protection from prostate cancer.
Fresh fruit is a very rich source of potassium. It contains more potassium than other fruits like banana weight per weight. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
Further, the fruit is also a moderate source of B complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Vitamin E and K, as well as minerals like magnesium, copper, and manganese. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells.
With rolled oats, dates and banana, these are delicious and healthy cookies.
Preparation: 25 minutes
Serves: 34 serving
Energy: 41 calories per serving
– ¼ cup chopped dates
– 1 cup dry rolled oats
– 1/3 cup vegetable oil
– 1 tbsp vanilla extract
– 3 small bananas
1) Pre-heat oven to 350°F (175°C).
2) In a large bowl, mash the bananas.
3) Stir in oats, dates, olive oil and vanilla extract. Mix well, and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
4) Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
5) Bake for 20 minutes in the pre-heated oven until lightly brown.
Coconuts are one of the richest sources of electrolytes, chlorides, potassium and magnesium with some amount of sugar, sodium and protein. Coconut water has the highest concentration of electrolytes than anything else found in nature. This makes it an excellent source of hydration. The potassium content benefits blood pressure and heart function. Coconut water is also found to have dietary fiber, manganese, calcium, riboflavin and vitamin C. Some research has shown coconuts to have cytokinins which have significant anti aging, anti carcinogenic and anti thrombotic effects.
The water of fresh green coconuts is actually fat free and has zero cholesterol and some studies even go as far as to say that it increases the HDL levels in the body. It is low in fat though rich in vitamins and the potassium level is twice the amount found in bananas. Drinking coconut water helps a person to lose weight as it is low in fat and it keeps a person feeling full and reduces food cravings. It is a storehouse of important nutrients, B-complex vitamins like riboflavin, niacin, thiamin and pyridoxine, and folates. It has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. These help when a person has flu or herpes, both of which are due to viral infections.
Many athletes may want to consider adding coconut water to their post-workout nutrition regime. On a macronutrient level 1 cup of coconut water contains 46 calories, 2 grams of protein, 9 grams of carbs and 1 gram of fat, but the micronutrients give this beverage its health power. It also boasts 252 milligrams of sodium, 600 milligrams of potassium, 60 milligrams of magnesium and 58 milligrams of calcium. Sodium and potassium are critical electrolytes that must be replaced after workouts. Coconut water appears to be more of an effective post-workout recovery drink than Gatorade and other sports drinks.
A study published in the Journal of Physiology Anthropology and Applied Human Science reported subjects consumed coconut water after working out in a heated room and achieving a state of dehydration. The coconut water rehydrated them just as well as a carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage, but was easier to drink and caused no stomach upset. Because it contains fewer calories than sports beverages, try mixing your post-workout protein(s) with coconut water to improve recovery.
Coconut water is generally recommended during pregnancy as it helps in constipation, heart burn and slow digestion. The lauric acid present in coconut water has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, which boost the body’s immune system.
Tender coconut water is very beneficial to a person with kidney stones due to its minerals, potassium and magnesium content. This water also acts as a diuretic as it increases the flow and production of urine. Most urologists recommend coconut water every alternate day as it can reduce the size of kidney stones and even help eliminate them.
Also coconut water is wonderful for the skin. When coconut water is applied to affected skin areas with acne, spots, wrinkles, stretch marks, cellulite and eczema and left overnight for two to three weeks, it clears up the skin and gives you a youthful-looking smooth skin. It can be applied to hands and nails for its smoothening and repairing properties.
A great morning smoothie with plenty of protein and taste to spare.
Preparation: 10 minutes
Energy: 454 calories
– 1 scoop vanilla whey protein
– 1 serving chocolate almond milk
– 1 serving flaxseed oil
– 1 cup sliced banana
– ½ cup crushed ice
1) Peel and break banana in half, and put it in the blender.
2) Add a scoop of vanilla (or chocolate) whey protein. I prefer the vanilla as it just tastes better to me.
3) Add the chocolate almond milk.
4) Add a tablespoon of flaxseed oil.
5) Add ½ cup crushed ice.
6) Blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy this tasty treat.