How much protein?
Despite what many active people think, protein from foods like meat, chicken, eggs, or fish is not an important source of fuel for exercise. While weight lifters and long-distance runners may need a little more protein than the recreational athlete, most of us will get more than enough protein from eating regular meals and a variety of foods.
Get your vitamin C and E
Experts have suggested that being active produces harmful free radicals - particles that can damage cells and genetic material (DNA). It may be important to eat foods rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C and E to help repair this damage. Foods rich in these vitamins include strawberries, oranges, grapefruit, kiwi fruit, olive oil, wheat germ and nuts.
Eat iron-rich foods
Studies have found that runners, particularly female runners, may have low levels of iron. This may be because they eat less meat (which is high in iron), absorb less iron and consume fewer calories. It is important to eat enough iron-rich foods such as dried fruit, spinach, enriched cereals and low-fat meat.
Add some omega-3
Early studies suggest that adding marine-sourced omega-3 fatty acids may provide benefits to both athletes and those who are just beginning to exercise, by reducing inflammation and muscle soreness. Omega-3-rich foods to consider adding to your diet could include fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring, Arctic char, and trout.
Other general nutrition tips
Here are a few simple tips for enjoying nutritious foods:
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