By Vin Sehgal: youthfootballonline.com
As training for the upcoming youth football season kicks into gear, it is pertinent for athletes to focus in on excellent eating habits. The nutritional choices your kids make today will set the tone going forward into their adult lives. For this list we are highlighting highly nutritious, plant and seed based awesome foods that are nutritional powerhouses.
Here’s 5 foods that your athletes need to consume.
Spinach. Vitamins K, A, Manganese, folate and iron. Loaded with nutrients for growing athletes. Cook this slightly in olive oil or add fresh to a sandwich as a lettuce substitute. According to World’s Healthiest Foods, spinach is jam packed with vitamins and anti-oxidents to keep your little guys healthy and is awesome for maintaining optimal bone health.
Dates. Vitamin B6, Niacin, Potassium. Versatile, eat by itself, or combine with natural peanut butter for the perfect quick protein packed snack. Ideally, dates are a perfect natural alternative to refined sugar. Pack these sweet, sticky fruits and snack just before practice for a solid natural energy booster.
Guacamole. Vitamins K, B6, E, C, Potassium, Monounsaturated Fats. Blend a ripe avocado, bell pepper, garlic, a leafy green and a little salt for a nutrient packed sandwich spread. Dina Griffin from USAtriathlon.org says “avocados are a good source of quality calories, but their lesser known nutritional benefits include protection against cell damage/ inflammation, both of which must be managed to keep you healthy and strong.” Guacamole combines several really healthy foods to form a great food.
Pumpkin seeds. Manganese, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc, Fiber, Iron. Add to cereal or have an alternative to salted sunflower seeds. Packed with protein, zinc and magnesium– a mineral that long distance runners benefit from. Reduce fatigue with this snack.
Watermelon. Vitamins C, A, Pantothenic Acid. Great pre or post-workout fruit. We love this fruit because watermelons are over 90% water. Men’s Fitness highlighted a recent watermelon study in Spain- watermelon juices were found to help reduce athletes’ recovery heart rate and level of muscle soreness.
Learning resources on the internet are plentiful so there are no excuses this season. Remember, it is just as important to train a kid’s tastebuds as it is to train his physical body and mind. Good habits taught early will last a lifetime.