What To Eat If You Want To Shape Up And Slim Down
Better Nutrition|June 2019

What to eat for strength, endurance, and weight loss.

Lisa Turner

Serious athlete or weekend warrior? Focus on foods that fuel your body, repair damage, reduce inflammation, improve strength, and build muscle. Turn your frame into a lean, mean, exercising machine with these seven super-fitness foods:

1 Eggs are rich in high-quality protein, critical for athletes to repair muscle, maintain aerobic metabolism, and speed recovery and wound healing. They also contain vitamins and minerals involved in energy and protein metabolism, cell growth, tissue repair, and protection against oxidative stress and inflammation. And they’re rich in leucine, an amino acid that’s key in building lean muscle mass, and choline, a vitamin-like nutrient that can speed weight loss without impacting strength.

Recipe Tips:

Bake eggs, chopped kale, and Swiss cheese in muffin cups for quick mini-quiches;

Beat eggs with minced onions and shredded Asiago, and cook in a greased waffle iron;

Lightly whisk eggs and stir into chicken or vegetable broth with ginger, hot peppers, and scallions for instant egg drop soup.

2 Sweet potatoes are high in carbs, critical for energy before high-intensity exercise. Unlike other sources of carbohydrates, such as pasta or bagels, sweet potatoes are grain-free, gluten-free, and rich in potassium, an electrolyte that’s depleted during high-intensity exercise. Low potassium levels impact muscle contractions, energy, and endurance, so it’s important to replenish them with natural sources. Sweet potatoes are also high in beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that reduces inflammation. Drizzle sweet potatoes with olive oil to add more anti-inflammatory compounds that help reduce pain and swelling.

Recipe Tips:

Toss sweet potato cubes with coconut oil, cumin, garlic, and cayenne pepper, and roast till tender;

Mash cooked sweet potatoes with almond milk, cinnamon, chopped almonds, and raisins for a grain-free breakfast bowl;

Make “lasagna” with sweet potatoes thinly sliced lengthwise in place of noodles.

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