Fall…changing scenery, cooler weather, running season, richer, more fattening foods and heavier clothes to hide their effects. I love good food, especially good food that helps me achieve my athletic goals, eating satisfaction and weight goals. Those don’t always line up and with the influx of cakes, pies, cobblers, candy and sweet drinks from the coffee shop. It’s so much harder to steer clear of these foods in the fall and winter. So, I’m sharing something I read recently.
Runner’s World has produced a list of fall foods (written by Liz Applegate Ph.D.) that are good to eat and good for maintaining weight and energy needed for training.
They’re high in cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. A Japanese study found apples also contain an antioxidant that may protect against muscle injuries–particularly those caused by downhill running.
Fuel up: Try an easy apple compote for a healthy postrun treat.
Cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and broccoli contain glucosinolates, which destroy cancer-causing agents. Sprouts pack more of these compounds than any other vegetable.
Fuel up: Lightly steam and serve as a side; or cut in half, toss in olive oil, and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.
One cup of fennel provides 30 percent of your DV for vitamin C. In a recent study, runners who boosted their intake of this antioxidant had less lung tissue damage after running in an ozone-polluted air chamber.
Fuel up: Thinly slice fennel and sauté along with swiss chard; or use it raw in a salad with spinach and persimmons.
This bright fruit is packed with carotenoids and catechins; both have anti-inflammatory properties that may aid in recovery from hard workouts.
Fuel up: Lantern-shaped Hachiyas are best very soft–try blending into smoothies. The tomato-shaped Fuyu is firmer when ripe; eat it like an apple or slice it into salad.
The seeds get their color from anthocyanidins; these compounds help keep cholesterol levels healthy, potentially stave off Alzheimer’s disease, and, according to a study from the University of Texas at Austin, reduce postrun soreness.
Fuel up: Sprinkle the seeds over yogurt; add unsweetened juice to postrun smoothies.
One ounce provides copper, zinc, iron, and magnesium–crucial for energy metabolism. Canned pumpkin is also healthy, with three times more beta-carotene than fresh.
Fuel up: Roast fresh pumpkin seeds and add to hot cereal. Stir canned pumpkin into soups or combine with mashed potatoes.
They contain more potassium (needed for healthy circulation) than bananas. In one study, eating sweet-potato extract for a week boosted levels of antioxidants and lowered markers of muscle damage after a hard run.
Fuel up: Thinly slice sweet potatoes, toss with olive oil, and bake until crispy.
This dark green is packed with bone-building vitamin K (one cooked cup provides more than 700 percent of your DV). New studies show it contains a flavonoid that may help regulate blood sugar.
Fuel up: Chop the leaves and stems and sauté with garlic and red pepper flakes.
Walnuts contain more alphalinolenic acid (a type of heart-healthy omega-3) than any other nut. In one study, eating walnuts and walnut oil eased blood flow and caused a drop in blood pressure.
Fuel up: Use walnut oil in dressings. Add the nut to trail mix with pumpkin seeds.
Fast & Healthy: Fall Fruit Compote
Core an apple, leaving the peel on. Place the fruit in a microwave-safe dish; fill the center with unsalted pumpkin seeds, chopped walnuts, and pomegranate seeds. Sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with honey. Cover and cook on high for three to four minutes, or until tender. Let the fruit cool slightly, and then top with a dollop of vanilla Greek yogurt.
More articles like this can be found at runnersworld.com