Simple Fuel To Build Your Grocery List
Quinoa is one of the few complete plant protein sources that contains adequate amounts of the nine essential amino acids, but that doesn't mean that it's only beneficial for vegans. It's also high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins and a host of antioxidants.
Beside providing protein and fiber, the antioxidants in quinoa may help reduce inflammation and reduce the amount of free radicals that come as a byproduct of strenuous activity and training. This is a super fuel that can boost your performance and decrease your recovery time.
I buy quinoa in bulk and mix it into a variety of dishes. I always opt for organic and it's a good cheap staple food that goes well with any dish.
Here's a recipe I love:
Pumpkin seeds are a great source of healthy fat and have a decent profile of electrolytes. The study below, along with many others, also indicates that pumpkin seeds have anti-carcinogenic and anti-diabetic properties (1).
Pumpkin Seeds also bolster very high amounts of the amino acid arginine, which has a number of health benefits. Some evidence shows that arginine may help improve blood flow in the arteries of the heart. It's easy to see why this may be beneficial to endurance athletes, but more evidence is still needed on that subject.
*If you have a virus, or frequently get cold sores you may want to avoid foods with high arginine content.
Here's a great recipe that is gluten free, keto, vegan, and paleo friendly - how the hell is that even possible?
(1): Xanthopoulou, M. N., Nomikos, T., Fragopoulou, E., & Antonopoulou, S. (2009). Antioxidant and lipoxygenase inhibitory activities of pumpkin seed extracts. Food Research International, 42(5-6), 641-646.
SPROUTED GRAIN BREAD:
The odds are that you're not allergic to gluten; but you might think you are. At the very least, your neighbor or somebody probably told you all of the horrific things that gluten will do to you. They saw it on Dr. Oz and he's widely known as the world's foremost expert on all things nutrition (end sarcasm). Where bread could potentially cause problems is in the form of anti-nutrients like phylate, which could block the absorption of important micro-nutrients. Depending on the type of bread, it's usually loaded with sugar and preservatives and digests very fast, meaning it's not good for regulatory body functions. Is there any solution?
Enter sprouted grains - when the grains are sprouted the bread is healthier. Lower in calories and carbohydrate content and higher in digestive enzymes, this low-glycemic nutritional powerhouse can fuel you for performance. Sprouting the grains also removes much of the anti-nutrient property that it would normally have. Keep in mind that sprouted grains typically have a much shorter shelf life, so be prepared to freeze it and toast it if necessary.
Aldi has great organic sprouted bread with only a handful of whole food ingredients at a really good price. I've also had very positive results with Ezekiel Bread (in the frozen/organic aisle at your favorite grocery store) or Trader Joe's Sprouted 7 grain bread.
Pro Tip #2 if your bread costs $1.29, you probably shouldn't put it in your shopping cart and definitely shouldn't put it into your body.