When you start training, many things start to happen. For one, you will find that you have an increase in appetite. Another is going to be that you will start to think about the food choices you make, before you make them. A big one is that you will find that you have pain. Muscles will begin to ache where they usually do not and sometimes for longer than you are used to. We have all heard tales of rough training sessions.
What do you do when you start feeling some pain and inflammation from training? Inflammation is a natural body response that facilitates healing. Some people choose to use ice, heat, or pain medications. Other people will use recovery methods such as foam rolling and saunas. What if you could add foods to your diet that can give you vitamins, minerals as well as reduce the amount of inflammation you have in your body?
There are many foods that you can easily add into your diet that will aid the body in reducing inflammation. Everything from certain types of fish, to certain vegetables can provide the body with nutrients that may reduce the inflammation and pain that training can cause the body.
Fatty fish are a great addition to any diet. These fish include mackerel, wild caught salmon, and herring. These fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids which are known for having many health benefits.
Capsaicin is the chemical that is in the peppers that have heat like ghost peppers and habaneras. The kinds of peppers that are higher in capsaicin such as chili peppers and habanero, are known to speed up healing by increasing the movement of blood through the system, which in turn reduces inflammation. Capsaicin is also the ingredient that is used in many of the sports and heat gels and rubs to create the heat they give off.
Garlic and Onions
These strong scented vegetables have been shown to have the same anti-inflammatory properties as ibuprofen. Garlic has been shown to shut off the pathways in the body that lead to inflammation. These pathways can be shut down equally, with onions. They contain a similar chemical including certain phytonutrients like quercetin and allicin. These chemicals break down the free radicals in the system like sulfenic acid. This breakdown reduces the inflammation.
Being known for the power behind the Mediterranean diet, olive oil packs healthy fats as well as the compound oleocanthal. The compound oleocanthal has been shown to produce the same effects as NSAID painkillers. This can be seen by people who follow the Mediterranean diet as it is used liberally in that diet plan.
Aside from being a great way to reduce the occurrences of gout and insomnia, tart cherries also have the highest level of anti-inflammatory properties of any other food. These cherries have shown to decrease inflammation by about around 50%. For many people consuming these can reduce the dependency on pain medicines. It will take ingesting a minimum of 1 cup of tart cherry juice to gain the pain reducing effects.
There are many benefits to using soy in your diet. Everything from proteins to the phosphorus that the provide can be used to increase the levels of your training. Using isoflavones in soy are found to reduce the negative effects of inflammation on both the heart and bones. Try to avoid too many heavily processed soy products.
Aside from being a great source of vasodilators, beets also contain betaine. Betaine is a nutrient that protects the cells, proteins, and enzymes from the stress of training. It also has properties that include anti-inflammatory functions.
Another member of the Mediterranean diet. Nuts have many benefits including their protein and healthy fats. These healthy fats are in the form of ALA or alpha-linolenic acid. These fatty acids aid the body in reducing inflammation the same way that omega-3 fatty acids do. Nuts are also packed with fiber, calcium, and antioxidants.
When the body is sore it can reduce motivation or slow down progress. It is also important to include these ingredients in our diets on a regular basis to keep inflammation down even on rest days. There are countless benefits that come from each of these ingredients. Everything from decreasing certain levels of illness to increasing vasodilatation. A glass of tart cherry juice might not be that bad after a good workout!