7 Super Foods For Vegan Athletes
7 super foods for vegan athletes explores key dietary choices for individuals following a vegan lifestyle, driven by ethical, medical, or environmental concerns, which eschew animal products like milk, eggs, and meat in favour of a plant-based diet rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
You might think that this is not an ideal diet for athletes to follow because most of them rely on animal protein such as meats and eggs to build a strong body. However, the vegan world can provide several superfoods that are not only good for building a strong body but also capable of increasing an athlete’s vitality.
If you are a vegan athlete or thinking of becoming vegan you’ve come to the correct place. We’ll look at seven such superfoods that you can include in your regular diet right now.
Berries are amongst one the foods that are most frequently advised to athletes, and for good reason. One of the advantages of benefits is that they provide the body with some of the benefits as below:
A study recorded in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition confirmed that significantly speed up muscle recovery when consumed prior to their training, they were better able to recover from muscle discomfort 60 hours later. In this particular study, a blueberry smoothie was taken before exercise.
In the same study, it was discovered that berries significantly decreased oxidative stress since blood samples taken 60 hours after exercise revealed less cell damage. After a workout, an athlete’s body absorbs more free radicals. Berries have a strong ability to partially reverse oxidative damage due to their high antioxidant content.
This is very important for preserving overall wellness as well as muscle health. In addition, berries aid in preventing the growth of fat cells. To stop fat deposits from building up in the body, fat cells must be managed. According to tests done on mice, cholesterol levels were reduced by 73% when the animals chewed on polyphenols, a vitamin found in berries. This confirms that berries can effectively aid in reducing body fat stores.
According to reports, berries can aid in the battle against metabolic syndrome. Reduced metabolism, inflammation, glucose intolerance, insulin resistance, etc. can all be brought on by this syndrome. Those who are unable to exercise for long periods of time will notice a noticeable increase in their stamina after eating berries.
Acai berries are excellent for athletes since they are loaded with antioxidant qualities. The lactic acid accumulation that occurs after an exercise causes the majority of athletes to experience excruciating discomfort. Berries assist in lowering this acid, so lessening the pain.
All athletes should incorporate blueberries in their diets because they are considered the “king of berries.” In addition to having a high level of antioxidants, blueberries also include a substance called lactate dehydrogenase that assists in limiting oxidative damage. As a result, muscles are kept healthier and athletes recover from discomfort and muscle breakdowns more quickly.
Another highly respected berry are Goji berries. Goji berries support cellular respiration growth. This translates into your cells having more oxygen both before and after an exercise, which will improve performance. These berries are essential for your diet because they also contain lactate dehydrogenase.
As you can see, eating a few berries before and after an exercise can significantly improve your athletic performance.
Another of the 7 super foods for vegan athletes is oatmeal. Oatmeal is regarded as a popular morning food worldwide. It makes you feel satisfied and gives your body a lot of fiber. These advantages, however, pale in comparison to those that they can offer athletes.
In a bodybuilder’s diet, oatmeal is a very common item and a crucial part of each meal. It can be taken as a pre- or post-workout snack and is not always necessary to have it for breakfast. Here are a few explanations on why oatmeal is a good choice for athletes
The maintenance of muscle function and metabolism depends on a number of vitamins, including the B vitamins. B vitamins including vitamin B6, B7, B3, and B5 are necessary for enhancing muscle function. Your body can get all the B vitamins it needs from one cup of oats, which also speeds up muscle repair. Additionally, you won’t need to take breaks to eat for several hours because you’ll feel energized.
Magnesium is a crucial part of an athlete’s diet. Magnesium is necessary to ease aching muscles, improve cell regeneration, and reduce cortisol, the stress hormone. Additionally, magnesium supports a sound nervous system. You can get 275 milligrams of magnesium from just one cup of cooked oats, which is a lot more than you can get from numerous vegan dishes combined.
It goes without saying that athletes need proteins in order to develop stronger muscles. Proteins aid in constructing slimmer muscles that are more durable throughout exercise. People might ask how vegans can consume the required amount of protein without include meat and eggs in their diet.
Oatmeal is the solution, since it may simply take the place of these substances and significantly enhance body proteins. Oats that have been cooked can include 7 to 9 grams of protein per cup, which is the perfect amount for athletes. In order to take advantage of the protein content of dry oats, they are frequently incorporated in pre-post workout smoothies.
Iron is essential for our bodies, and in particular an athlete’s body because of its role in the creation of blood. Hemoglobin, a component of our blood’s red blood cells, and myoglobin, a component of our muscles, both contain about 70% of the iron in our bodies. Eating a cooked bowl of this super food in the morning provides us with about 18% of the daily iron requirements, earning it an important position at the dining table.
Oats also include beta glucans, another crucial component needed by athletes. These help to remove cholesterol from the bloodstream and provide the body with a lot of soluble fibre. It is present in some yeasts, bacteria, fungus, and algae as well as in the cell walls of some species of plants.
It has been well researched for its capacity to lower cholesterol levels, reduce inflammation, enhance blood sugar management, and other possible health advantages. If you follow a vegan diet, you have the flexibility to prepare oats by using water as a base, or you can opt to replace regular dairy milk with almond or soy milk.
3. Leafy greens (Kale and spinach)
You are probably aware that leafy greens have played a pivotal role in daily diets for countless generations, dating back to ancient times. They must be made a part of any healthy diet plan because they are loaded with a variety of vitamins and minerals. If you’re aiming for weight loss, incorporating green leafy vegetables into your diet is a great choice because they contain minimal fat and sugar content. However, kale and spinach take first prize for their amazing health benefits.
Kale is rich in essential nutrients such as Iron, vitamins A, C, and K, and B6 as well as manganese, calcium, copper, potassium and magnesium and other critical components. All of them contribute to improving our body’s capacity for muscular pain recovery. Additionally, it has the highest concentration of lutein, a strong antioxidant, giving your body the chance to fully recuperate after each exercise because of its role in boosting cell repair. Kale boasts a low fat content, yet a significant portion of the fat it contains is in the form of an omega-3 fatty acid known as alpha-linolenic acid.
No athlete will be able to resist the urge to dip into their favorite treats, it goes without saying. This includes the wafers and potato chips that athletes frequently consume while feeling bad. However, roasted kale chips make a fantastic replacement for this. They have fantastic flavor and make sure you don’t consume extra calories and cholesterol. In fact, kale is the perfect snack choice for vegan athletes because it has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels.
The real justification for this leafy green’s status as one of the 7 foods for vegan athletes is found in its ability to improve vision, reduced the risk of cancer, and control of blood sugar. Spinach has high levels of iron, folic acid, calcium, vitamins A, C, and K1, and all of these minerals. Additionally, it has potent antioxidants including lutein, zeaxanthin, and quercetin (all of these fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress).
100 grams of spinach contains 23 calories. Just a quick blitz in the blender and you are left with a healthy nutritional juice.
According to reports, the nitrates in spinach help to boost cellular performance. After working out, you’ll feel energized and have the stamina to keep going without getting too exhausted.
Sportspeople, especially female athletes, must pay close care to their bone health. Bones can become weakened and develop inadequacies if they are subjected to excessive pressure during exercise and performance. Including spinach in your daily diet is a fantastic strategy for overcoming this. Vitamin K, essential for maintaining healthy bones, is abundant in spinach. Additionally, it has calcium, which can help maintain good bone health.
To properly digest meals and keep the stomach clean, fiber is necessary. Spinach can provide you with a good dose of fiber. You can get 3 to 4 grams of fiber from just a cup of spinach juice.
You can eat arugula, chard, collard greens, curly endive, and tatsoi in addition to kale and spinach.
4. Nuts (Walnuts and Almonds)
Walnuts are nutritional powerhouses helping to keep your body strong and healthy. A few handfuls of walnuts will improve both your general health and athletic performance.
Muscle and cell maintenance depends on amino acids. In fact, they make up a sizable portion of the cell structure in our bodies. L-arginine, an amino acid found in walnuts, is necessary to keep muscles healthy. Nitric oxide, a substance that widens blood vessels, is produced when this amino acid is converted. This lessens the chance of tearing while improving blood supply to the different muscles.
omega 3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for maintaining heart health, can be found in walnuts. It assists with the conversion of fat to energy and lowers inflammation. Walnuts are actually recognized as the best vegan alternative to fish oils because they might have an equal amount of fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are also thought to improve athletic performance. Longer periods of exercise will be possible for you.
Walnuts can be a valuable addition to your diet. They provide essential elements such as zinc and B vitamins, alongside an abundance of heart-healthy polyunsaturated fats that surpass saturated fats in terms of health benefits. Furthermore, walnuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Research suggests that incorporating walnuts into your diet can effectively reduce both overall cholesterol levels and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. This, in turn, promotes the health of your artery walls by minimizing plaque buildup within your arteries.
Almonds rank as the second-best choice among nuts for enhancing your diet, and they might even outshine walnuts in some nutritional aspects. Here’s why almonds are a great addition to your daily regimen.
The high calcium content of almonds is essential for maintaining healthy bones. You may reinforce your bones calcium and keep them from leaching calcium from your bloodstream by just snacking on a few almonds.
This is what makes almonds great choice.
Almonds have a very high fiber content, making them a great food for athletes. The body is tricked into working hard to digest fiber because fiber can not be digested. This speeds up the body’s metabolism and aids in better digestion.
Almonds include a respectable quantity of protein that can help you meet your daily needs. Before and after your workout, munch on a handful to boost your energy and hasten the recovery of your muscles.
The body needs magnesium to function properly, and athletes need it more than everyone else. It supports higher performance by increasing the release of testosterone and reducing cortisol.
Both walnuts and almonds can be used as salad toppings or added to smoothies.
5. Sweet potatoes
The next vegan super food to add to your diet is sweet potatoes and this is why they should be a staple part of your diet.
You get a ton of energy from sweet potatoes. You will undoubtedly notice a significant improvement in your energy levels by consuming sweet potatoes, regardless of the sport you play. The feeling of energy will be constant and enduring all day.
Vitamin A is abundant in sweet potatoes, which can actually supply all of your daily needs. Antioxidant vitamin A is crucial for enhancing your immune system. It monitors infections and preserves your overall health.
Sweet potatoes significantly reduce inflammation. Athletes are susceptible to developing muscular inflammation. Consuming sweet potatoes is the greatest solution for this problem. They assist prevent non-contact injuries in addition to lowering inflammation.
Foods with a high glycemic index cause an increase in your body’s blood sugar levels. Although this might seem like the perfect diet for an athlete, it’s vital to steer clear of these items as much as you can because they can cause type 2 diabetes. Sweet potatoes have the unusual ability to slow down the release of sugars and regulate blood insulin levels.
Complex carbohydrates included in sweet potatoes are hard for the body to absorb. This makes it a great item to eat after working out because the body will keep burning fat while replenishing lost energy.
magnesium and potassium
Magnesium and potassium are two nutrients found in sweet potatoes that aid in reducing muscle spasms. Additionally, they enhance muscle performance and aid with cramp control. Your desire to perform will be increased because any injured muscles will heal more quickly.
6. Seeds (Chia and Sesame Seeds)
Chia seeds are extremely nourishing and can increase your energy level. They are popular among runners and gym enthusiasts. Here are some of the health advantages.
Chia seeds are quite efficient at keeping the body hydrated, since they have the ability to store nearly 30 times their weight in water. They are perfect for sportsmen and fitness enthusiasts who train in humid environments and need more hydration than others.
Chia seeds, which are high in omega 3 fatty acids, aid in forming a lubricating layer between joints. Movement is made easier and inflammation is reduced as a result. Additionally, these oils aid in reducing hypertension and hyperactivity.
Eating chai seeds will make you feel fuller for longer because they absorb far more water than their capacity. You only need a handful, and you won’t feel as hungry in between meals.
Chia seeds contain amino acids that can aid in recovery time. It can shorten the amount of time it takes your muscles to recover from soreness. As a result, they are best consumed as soon as you leave the gym or finish your exercise routine. A cup of Chia seeds contains 10 grams of fiber.
Consider adding sesame seeds to your diet; they stand as the next best option among seeds. Despite their small size, these seeds are packed with essential nutrition. Let’s look at some of the health benefits that sesame seeds can offer you.
Sesame seeds are high in calcium which is essential for all athletes because it is easily depleted during workouts. Sesame seeds contain 350 grams of calcium per 30 gram serving. This constitutes nearly 40% of the daily requirement.
The body requires iron to produce hemoglobin, which transports oxygen to the various muscle tissues. 30 grams of sesame seeds contains 5 grams of iron, which is 60% of the daily requirement for men.
According to research, athletes and bodybuilders are at a high risk of developing zinc deficiency. This can result in fatigue, decreased endurance, and brain fog. Sesame seeds, which are high in zinc, have the potential to significantly reduce this problem. You will feel more energized and your performance will improve.
Rounding up the list of superfoods is the humble banana. For athletes, bananas represent the perfect choice of nourishment due to their rich array of essential nutrients.
A single banana can contain up to 30 grams of carbohydrates, making it an excellent choice for athletes. Consuming a banana before a workout session will provide you with enough energy to last the rest of the day. You can supplement your workout with another banana to make up for lost energy. Bananas helped gymnasts improve their reflexes, according to experiments. Those who ate a banana before their balance beam routines were less likely to fall.
A single banana contains 15% of your daily vitamin C requirement. Vitamin C is a necessary component for the strengthening of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. It is also responsible for increasing immunity and providing quick relief from wounds caused by exercise. It is also in charge of synthesizing the adrenaline required for daily exercise routines.
Bananas are widely available and reasonably priced. You can eat half a large banana before and after your workout.
Because of their high nutritional value, superfoods are beneficial to your body. It will improve your health and energy levels dramatically. Not only that, but it will also shorten your recovery time after a workout! You can strengthen your mind while also building lean muscle. When it comes to working out, the most important pieces of the puzzle are endurance, strength, and recovery. I wish you the best of luck in developing your dream body and excelling in your sport. Good luck!