Your Summer Shopping List: 6 Fruits and Veggies To Boost Your Dancing
Summer is the best time of year to take advantage of fruits and veggies at the peak of their fresh, ripe flavor. The synergistic symphony of nutrients make them the perfect delivery system for fiber and many vitamins and minerals—all in a delicious, portable package. The natural sugars in fruits are a quick energy boost when dancing.
Here are a few that can reduce muscle soreness and oxidative damage from long hours in the studio.
Berries announce the beginning of summer! Raspberries, blueberries and grapes are sources of resveratrol. Athletes have long known about the muscle protective, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of resveratrol and its family of compounds called polyphenols. These polyphenols and flavonoids in the skins of blueberries and other fruits have been shown to improve recall in both short and long term memory tests as well as cognitive function and the speed at which the brain processes information.
Peaches are beautiful sources of vitamins A, C and fiber, plus 300 mg potassium per cup, which can help prevent muscle cramping. Try some in a kale salad: Peaches and summer kale are made for each other because the sweetness and acidity of peaches balances the more bitter kale, and makes its calcium and iron more absorbable.
Melons are also potassium storehouses. One cup of cantaloupe only has 54 calories but as much potassium as a banana. It’s an excellent source of vitamin A, helpful for wound-healing and immune function. Pair melon with some baby spinach and mint in a summer salad and you’ve met your vitamin C needs for the whole day!
Pineapple is an anti-inflammatory powerhouse because of a compound called bromelan. One cup only has 74 calories, but is a delicious source of vitamin C, and manganese, a lesser-known bone mineral.
Bananas are the ultimate portable snack. Just one medium banana has about 422 mg potassium, a key mineral in muscle contraction, muscle strength, mental capacity and blood pressure regulation. Mashed bananas can replace oils in recipes for baked goods.
Beets are the new darlings of the sports nutrition world because of the naturally occurring nitrates that have been shown to boost athletic performance. The rough outer skins easily rub off under cool water after boiling for about 10 minutes. You can quickly pickle beets in apple cider vinegar and salt, then keep them in the refrigerator for a tangy, sweet salad topper.
Try This: Anti-Inflammation, Immune-Boosting Smoothie:
Combine the following and blend on high:
1 cup fresh pineapple
1 cup fresh peaches
½ cup low-fat coconut milk
1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped
(Bonus points if you add in one pre-cooked beet)