What to Skip (and Eat) to Support Your Run
If inflammation woes are affecting your runs| it’s time to clean up your diet and start incorporating anti-inflammatory foods. Doing so may make that painful run a thing of a past.
When thinking of what to cut out| registered dietitian| Sports Club/LA trainer| and lifestyle coach Julie Barrett says that processed foods are often the source of inflammation. “[Avoid foods] that come in a package or have ingredients that remind you of high school chemistry|”” Julie says. Beyond processed foods| clinical and holistic dietitian Esther Blum explains that when carbo-loading before a long run or race| be smart about your choices by avoiding anything that is known to cause stomach or joint pain. “”Steer clear of the pro-inflammatory gluten products: wheat| semolina| barley| rye| oats| spelt| and kamut|”” she says.
Now that you know what not to eat| the good news is there are tons of delicious foods out there to support your running routine and alleviate inflammation. Here’s what these experts suggest.
| Omega-3-Rich Fish
High in omega-3-rich anti-inflammatory acids| wild fish like salmon| sardines| trout| and mackerel are some of the best lean protein sources for runners dealing with pain from inflammation by aiding in repairing the body.
Eat this: This easy recipe for baked salmon with green beans and tomatoes is a great place to get started if you’re wary of cooking fish in your own kitchen.
| Kale (and Other Leafy Greens!)
Both Julie and Esther agree that dark| green leafy vegetables are a must in any runner’s diet. According to Esther| high-fiber| antioxidant-rich veggies “”quench inflammatory fires”” and are a natural source of other essentials minerals like zinc and iron.
Eat this: Packed with healthy vitamins| fiber| and flavor| this sesame ginger kale salad will soon be one of your go-to lunch recipes. The addition of quinoa ups the protein in this salad to keep you satisfied for longer.
| Sweet Potatoes
When taking inflammation-causing carb sources out of your diet| Esther says to look for nutrient-rich| gluten-free carbs like parsnips| quinoa| and sweet potatoes that offer the fuel your body needs.
Eat this: These roasted spicy sweet potato wedges have the crispness of fries that you’re craving with extra nutrient power. This baked recipe comes together with minimal prep| and the results are absolutely delicious.
High-fiber foods rich in antioxidants can help reduce inflammation| and fresh berries are one of the best sources of both these nutrients. Julie recommends that her clients fill up on black raspberries| blueberries| acai| and cranberries if they’re dealing with inflammation troubles.
Drink this: They’re delicious on their own as a natural sweet treat| but blend berries into this postrun smoothie full of antioxidants and the protein your body needs to recover.