The Best Foods to Eat To Boost Recovery

Exercise takes its toll on our delicate bodies. When we hit the gym or go for a jog, we break down muscle cells and cause damage to our arteries. It all sounds really bad. In fact, it sounds like we shouldn’t be doing any exercise at all! 

 But it’s not the exercise itself that makes us stronger: it’s the recovery afterwards. Our bodies grow back stronger, fitter and slimmer while we rest. And so it seems only natural that we pay as much attention to what we do when we’re resting as we do the exercise itself. 

 The question then becomes: what should we eat to boost our recovery? We’re going to look at all the foods that science has shown can help us recover. Yes, protein shakes are important. But what about the rest of it? Let’s take a look. 

 Turmeric And Ginger

 To Reduce Soreness One of the biggest issues for people who exercise is delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. This is that sore feeling you get after you get in your muscles when you make them work hard. It’s sort of necessary in a way, in that it means that you’ve worked hard. It’s the key to more toning and definition. But it can also get in the way of your job and life in general. 

 Step up turmeric and ginger. Turmeric and ginger are both part of the same plant family. And as a result, they contain some of the same plant chemicals. These chemicals are actually an excellent way to reduce soreness. Scientific studies have shown that eating small amounts of ginger helps boost recovery time. 

 Turmeric is the superfood du jour right now. It seems to do everything, from making us fitter to reducing our cancer risk. But turmeric is also an excellent ally in boosting recovery. People who ate turmeric said that they experienced less pain after exercise, and could do more the next time they went out. 

 You can easily use turmeric and ginger in your cooking. Add both to curries. Or if you don’t like curries, you whizz up both in smoothies.

 Cinnamon To Boost Metabolism 

 If there’s one annoying thing about the fitness community, it’s that they make boring food. Recipes are always so dull and lacking in flavour. But it’s not just that these recipes are boring. They actually miss out on a lot of the plants chemicals that make food great for recovery too. 

 Take cinnamon, for example. It’s been known for a while that cinnamon is great for women trying to lose weight because it boosts your metabolism. It actually makes it easier for your body to use sugar, so you need less insulin. This is ideal for maximising the effects of your workout. Adding a teaspoon of cinnamon to your breakfast can help keep boost the effect of all that exercise you did at the gym.

 Like turmeric, cinnamon also helps reduce soreness after exercise. It has a bunch of similar compounds in it which help muscles to recover faster and better. And this has again been shown in some studies.

 Legumes To Add Protein And Stay Slim 

 You don’t just have to get protein from protein powders. You can also get it from legumes too. The protein might not be as complete. But legumes come with a host of other benefits that are great if you’re looking to recover faster. 

 For one, they help gut bacteria. There’s been a lot of fuss about gut health recently. Scientists believe that the bacteria in our guts control everything from our weight to our mood. And since legumes, like peas, feed good bacteria, we should be eating more of them. So if you’re looking to include legumes, stick with canned beans for now.

 Almonds And Walnuts To Repair Damage

 Nuts have recently been touted as a superfood. They’ve been linked to all sort of health benefits and longer life. So it should come as no surprise that nuts are great for recovery. 

 For one, they help women stay slimmer. Yes, nuts are high in fat. But it’s the right kind of fat packaged up in the right kind of way. This fat actually helps to regulate appetite and burn off body fat. 

 But the main reason we’re interested in nuts is that they are able to boost recovery. After you’ve exercised, your body is crying out for nutrients to repair itself. It needs fats, vitamins and minerals to do this. And that’s exactly what nuts bring. Nuts are high in essential fats, like omega 3 and 6. And they’re high in a whole range of minerals that you’ll need, like zinc, iron and selenium. 

 Including nuts in your diet is easy, so long as you aren’t allergic. You can eat a handful with your breakfast, or chop them up and put them in a salad. You can even use them in things like nut loafs. Just a word of caution, though; you don’t need to eat huge quantities of nuts. A handful each day will be just about right.

 Fermented Foods To Boost Immune System 

 Have you ever noticed that when you exercise hard, sometimes you get sick? Well, there’s a good reason for that. Hard exercise actually depresses your immune system. And this gets in the way of us getting that bikini body we really want.

 But there are ways that you can boost your immune system using food. One way is to use fermented foods. It might sound a bit gross, but most of us have eaten some type of fermented food in the past. What about sauerkraut? Fermented foods are great because they can help us to feed the good bacteria in our guts. And the good bacteria in our guts is great at making our immune systems stronger. It sounds strange, I know. But the bacteria in our gut and our immune systems are very closely linked. 

What’s also cool is that fermented foods can also help give us more motivation to stay fit and train. There's some evidence that they can help boost the production of chemicals in the brain that gives us our drive. 

 There're all sorts of fermented foods to choose from. You can include kefir, pickled veggies and even yoghurt. 

 Drink Water To Reduce Soreness

 Women are always being urged to drink more water. And while there might not be much point drinking more water in general, it’s a good idea after exercise. 

 The mistake that most women make is not knowing how much they should be drinking after they’ve trained. Often they underestimate just how much water they’ve used during a session. A good rule of thumb is to drink about 500ml for every fifteen minutes of exercise. That doesn’t mean that you have to drink that much and bloat yourself while you train. It just means that you take on board extra fluids in the hours that follow.

 Drinking water is good if you want to reduce muscle soreness. People who become dehydrated during and after exercise have much sorer muscles than those who don’t. That means that the next time you hit the gym, you should seriously consider taking a big bottle to swig every now and again. 

Eat Berries For Fewer Toxins 

 By now we all know that berries are a superfood. But just how super are they after a bout of exercise? Well, the good news is that they appear to be great at improving recovery too.

 As I said at the beginning of this post, exercise damages our bodies. That’s OK, so long as we leave adequate time to recover. But it seems that berries help accelerate this process by removing waste products. Each time we work out, we use energy. And in getting at all this energy, our bodies produce waste and toxins that can derail the recovery. 

 But berries, it seems, are experts in getting rid of all these toxins. Blueberries, cherries and blackberries are great at getting toxins out of your body faster. And this should, in theory, help accelerate recovery. 

 The other thing that we need a lot of when we train is sleep. And here again, berries can help. Berries may assist us in sleep because they contain the sleep hormone, melatonin. Though the jury is still out on this one, there seems to be no reason why women shouldn’t include berries in their diet.

 Eat Greens For Lower Stress

 Last on the list is greens. But that doesn’t mean that they are the least important. In fact, greens are probably one of your best allies in the effort to recover quickly. But why are greens so good? 

 The biggest reason is that greens are great for reducing stress. And the less stressed we feel, the faster we can recover. 

 You can use greens in all your cooking. You can even have them for breakfast. Kale and eggs is a popular combo right now for women aspiring to get fitter and slimmer.

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