Being a top athlete requires your body to sustain a high level of physical stress. Exposing your body to constant weight lifting, bench presses, push ups, sit ups, long distance runs and sprints week in week out may lead to an inflamed body, even though you may not be aware of it These physically draining activities can have a profound impact on your health. They can increase strength, endurance, and muscle growth, but they also lead to an increased level of inflammation.
Inflammation inside every athlete’s body can be due to the release of extra cortisol, swelling of the joints, and the building and breaking down of muscle proteins when lifting heavy weights. It is usually due to the small traumas in connective tissues, muscles, joints and bones that result from exercising and training.
Make no mistake, small traumas should also be addressed. Right now, it may seem like it doesn’t affect your health, but without the right nutrition and knowledge on what food to eat, you will not be able to support and heal your body as well as you should.
Here are foods to focus on to help every athlete fight inflammation in their body. Unless you’re already supplementing or eating these foods, you can seriously impede the results of your training if you do now focus on getting proper nutrition.
Eating cold water fish such as salmon or tuna can supply the EPA and DHA that your body needs. These omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties that can treat the swelling of your joints generally caused by too much physical activity and too much consumption of omega-6 fatty acids. So, if you are an athlete that loves to eat red meat, you need to balance your omega-6 with omega-3.
What probiotics can do for you is it supplies your gut with good bacteria to help boost your immune system to aid cellular repair. Since athletes’ bodies undergo a lot of muscular wear and tear, urgent tissue repair is needed. You can improve your gut health by eating more fermented foods or supplementing with probiotics.
This fruit is a good substitute when you’re craving for something sweet. It’s an excellent source of Vitamin C and bromelain and can help break down the proteins you eat to aid digestion. Pineapple can also help reduce swelling caused by inflammation and improve blood circulation which helps deliver more oxygen to help with the body’s healing process.
A great source of Vitamin C, K and beta-carotene, broccoli is a vegetable that you should have at least every other day. Its anti-inflammatory properties can also reduce muscle and joint swelling. It is the most recommended vegetable for body-builders and athletes.
A main ingredient/spice used to cook curry, its yellow pigment contains the compound curcumin. Curcumin aids in blocking inflammatory chemicals in the body. One of the many benefits of taking turmeric supplement is preventing the release of pain receptors called prostaglandins. This is why turmeric is also a great remedy in treating body aches and pains caused by inflammation.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive oil contains monounsaturated fats. These essential fatty acids can turn into anti-inflammatory agents to help lower the risk of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis or asthma. Olive oil is also good for your heart health.
As an athlete, there are certain foods that you also need to avoid to prevent inflammation. Although not all of the foods mentioned below will cause every person a visible issue, taking them in large quantities will definitely bring about health problems even if you are living an active lifestyle as they are contributors to inflammation in the body.
Also called hydrogenated fats, you can find these in baked goods, margarine, and many other processed foods. These trans fats can increase the bad cholesterol in your blood and ultimately negatively affect your body. They promote obesity, insulin resistance and inflammation.
We have to admit that some athletes love to eat red meat. But some meats sold in the market are often fed with corn and grains – which increases the omega-6 in the meat. Over consuming foods with omega-6 can bring about an imbalance with omega-3 and cause pro-inflammatory cells to agitate and wreak havoc in the body.
Table sugar increases insulin levels in the body which triggers inflammation. Aside from that, sugar can be very addictive, so you ought to be careful in using this. If possible, get rid of sugar for good.
This beverage enjoyed by many people doesn’t really bring about major issues in the body. But when it is over consumed, it can cause liver problems and gut flora imbalance which promotes inflammation in the body.
Athletes or people enjoying exercise need to understand that getting fit is not just about training in the gym or on the court. Knowing what food to eat contributes to the speed at which you can become better at your favorite sport. Understanding what kind of diet exacerbates and alleviates inflammation is one key to boosting your health and keeping your body in its tip-top shape.
As always, your feedback and comments below. Don’t forget to share and help someone reduce some of that inflammation.