Power Plants

Meat-free di­ets can rev up your run­ning – as long as you’re smart about es­sen­tial nu­tri­ents

Runner's World (UK) - - In This Issue - NU­TRI­TION AD­VICE FOR HEALTHY, HUN­GRY RUN­NERS BY LIZ APPLEGATE

Stay strong and fast with a meat-free diet

PACK IN PRO­TEIN

This macronu­tri­ent helps you build and main­tain mus­cle and re­cover bet­ter from work­outs. Aim for at least 20 grams of pro­tein at each meal from a va­ri­ety of foods, such as tofu (and other soya prod­ucts), beans, grains, nuts and seeds.

SEEK OUT CAL­CIUM

Spring greens, tofu and corn tor­tillas – as well as cal­cium-for­ti­fied drinks such as or­ange juice, al­mond milk and rice milk – are good sources of this key bone-build­ing min­eral.

DON’T FOR­GET D

Ev­ery­one needs vi­ta­min D. It’s an es­sen­tial nu­tri­ent linked to many health and per­for­mance out­comes, in­clud­ing bone and mus­cle health, anti-in­flam­ma­tion and heart health. Re­search has also sug­gested that vi­ta­min D has the po­ten­tial to op­ti­mise your ath­letic per­for­mance. The rich­est sources in­clude dairy foods, fatty fish and eggs, so if you’re eat­ing less of those, look for vi­ta­min D-for­ti­fied ve­gan op­tions, such as soya milk, ce­real and or­ange juice. And mush­rooms make their own vi­ta­min D when ex­posed to UV light.

FOR­TIFY WITH VI­TA­MIN B12

Cru­cial for healthy nerve func­tion and cir­cu­la­tion, this vi­ta­min is found in foods that come from an­i­mals. Cul­tured or fer­mented foods that con­tain live bac­te­ria, such as sauerkraut and kim­chi, pro­vide a lit­tle vi­ta­min B12 and you can also find it in for­ti­fied ce­re­als.

MIND YOUR MIN­ER­ALS

Iron and zinc play key roles in sus­tain­ing a healthy im­mune sys­tem. Meats, poul­try and seafood are the best sources, but even run­ners who eat an­i­mal prod­ucts can fall short. Eat plenty of whole grains, beans, leafy greens and nuts to make sure you’re get­ting enough.

Phy­tonu­tri­ents in veg, fruit, grains and other plant prod­ucts may pro­tect cells from age-re­lated ail­ments.

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