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Superfoods pack in all the nutrients you need

travel Updated: Feb 28, 2010 20:54 IST
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Any form of intense activity calls for a diet that provides proteins for strengthening and maintaining muscles as well as a sustained supply of energy for fuelling rigorous training sessions. So, unlike the popularly held belief, you don't just need to up the proteins, but you also need a fair amount of carbohydrates and fats as vital sources of energy. You can eat lots of whole grains and beans that provide sustained energy through the day and keep yourself hydrated with plenty of fluids like water and tender coconut water.

Foods that work:
Oats: Oats maintain energy levels for a longer period of time during your workout and curb appetite by slowing the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream.

Fish oil: Omega 3 fatty acids present in fish oil are essential for smooth joint function, which is important for any hard training athlete. Omega 3 fats increase insulin sensitivity, thereby allowing muscles to absorb carbohydrates, which in turn help increase performance and endurance for intensive training. They channelise the insulin to use carbohydrates for glycogen storage rather than fat storage.

Curd: Besides being a great source of calcium and gut-friendly bacteria, curd also provides vitamin B-12. It provides nourishment not only for bones but also helps prevent muscle fatigue, post endurance training.

Green tea for weight loss

To lose weight you have to balance your activity levels with the food that goes in your system. Rather than obsessing about calorie intake, concentrate on the quality of food you eat. The idea is to nourish your body with essential nutrients and also prevent frequent hunger pangs. Try having at least one serving of salad or soup during lunch and dinner and restrict intake of refined flour products like cookies, cakes, pasta, breads and roti.

Foods that work:
Barley: Barley promotes smooth bowel movements, a prerequisite food for good weight loss. It also has low-glycemic index, which is favourable.

Hot chillies:
Hot chillies have capsaicin, a chemical stimulant that causes thermogenisis, which boosts your metabolism and helps you burn more calories.

Green tea: Green tea has a high amount of catechin and polyphenols that give your body a boost in burning calories.

Drink a glassful of good health every day

People who lead active lifestyles are usually balanced in their approach to life. Continue your regular workouts and practice moderation in your choice of food. Limit your daily oil consumption to 3-4 teaspoons. Limit coffee or tea consumption to 2 cups a day.

Foods that work:
Amla juice: Amla juice provides vitamin C, improves the body's immunity and leaves the skin and hair looking radiant and well nourished.

Wheat grass juice: Wheat grass juice nullifies the potential damage of various free radicals and also improves the energy levels of individual.

Vegetable juice: Drinking at least one glass of vegetable juice daily lets us avail the maximum benefits of several enzymes and polyphenols in their natural state, minus the calorific load. Try these juice

combinations like: tomatocarrot, mint-coriander, cucumber-tomato
or any other combination that comes to your mind.