– Supporting your triathlon training with a good, balanced diet is
essential for your performance. Today, I’m looking gonna be
looking at which superfoods can give you that natural boost. (robotic burst) – Let’s start by addressing
the term or word “superfood.” Now, many nutritionists
actually shudder at the thought of that word, because there
is no one singular food that can give you that amazing
boost, that can make you a better, faster, stronger
athlete overnight. It is about a combination
of various nutritious foods combined with a training plan that will make you a better athlete. That said, some foods pack more of a punch when it comes to their
nutrient values than others. It is these nutrient-rich
foods that are thought to actually be more beneficial
to our overall health. But before we go into the
foods that I’ve chosen, I had to obviously cap it somewhere, and I couldn’t include every
food that’s good for you. And I did some research,
spoke to some experts, and I have chosen my 11
favourite superfoods. (mellow music) Starting with eggs. The standout reason for eating eggs is for their protein
content, because they contain all of the essential amino acids and they’re easy to digest. Now, on top of this
macro-nutrient, they’ve also got vitamins, minerals,
omega-3, and antioxidants. Well, all of this combined
makes them great for muscle synthesis and recovery. Well, one of the important
parts for me about the egg is that it’s convenient and it’s cheap. Now, admittedly, much to
my colleagues’ disapproval, I do quite often have a
hard boiled egg in my bag, which comes out for a mid-morning snack. But if you don’t want to
upset your colleagues, there’s so many ways in which you can include eggs into your nutrition. A great way is to make a Spanish omelette. So you’re gonna have
it hot in the evening, maybe make a large one and
then use the other half for breakfast if you’re
on the go the next day. It’s also a great way for using up all the contents in your fridge. (mellow music) Next, we have kale. Now, this one does get some mixed reviews, but it’s definitely become pretty fashionable in the next few years. And I remember as a child
actually hating eating kale and my parents now are
laughing at me because I include this in quite a lot of my meals. Well, this comes from the cabbage family and it’s really high in vitamins
A, K, B6, iron and calcium. This supergreen food is full
of antioxidants, carotieoids, and flavenoids, which are great for the anti-inflamitory process,
something really important for athletes because we put
so much stress on our bodies. And talking about putting
stress on our bodies, we also need a higher
amount of calcium and iron. So it comes in really handy for that, especially for female
athletes, and those who maybe don’t eat meat or dairy. So you might be wondering how to make this vegetable exciting or tasty. Well, recently, I actually
experimented with popping it in the roasting oven with
a bit of coconut oil and some almonds, which toasted nicely and it came out really crispy. Another option is obviously
steaming veg or boiling it, but if you do cook it this
way, just try to keep it to a minimum, because
you don’t want to lose those vital micro-nutrients. (mellow music) Next up, we’ve go the humble
root vegetable, the beetroot. Well, this has increased
in popularity recently partly because of its
high antioxidant level in the form of anthocyanin. But more recently and more
significantly for sport, it is because of its
high levels of nitrate. Now, studies have actually
suggested that consuming high levels of nitrate can
help with athletic performance, especially when it comes
to endurance athletes. This veg has become so
popular that you even see it popping up in cakes, although
I would not recommend trying to get your nitrate
quantities out of a red velvet cake, for
example, because the amount of cake you’d have to
eat to get enough nitrate would certainly cancel
out the benefit there. But there are so many other ways in which you can use this veg. You can pop it into other bits of baking, but probably best kept as a savoury dish, either roasting it, you
can grate it in salads, or add it into smoothies and juices. (mellow music) Another root vegetable, the sweet potato. Now, this one has a lot
more health benefits over the bog-standard white potato. One of which being the fact
that it has plenty of fibre and slow-releasing carbohydrates. But on top of that, it also
contains beta carotene, giving you vitamin A, it
also has plenty of vitamin C, so it’s packed full of antioxidants. They also help to lower blood pressure, and they’re a great food for athletes, because they are so packed
with vitamins and minerals. They include the likes of
potassium, iron, manganese and copper, all vitamins that athletes are quite often susceptible to lacking. And the latter two, copper and manganese, are great for healthy muscle function. Well again, how to use
this root vegetable? There are so many simple
options, roast it, mash it, slice it and have it fried with breakfast, or you could even put it in brownies, although I’d suggest keeping
that one to a minimum. (mellow music) One of the most convenient foods from this superfood list
is the humble banana. Not only comes in its own environmentally-friendly packaging, it also packs a punch nutritionally, while it’s full of
potassium and vitamin B6. They’ll keep your blood
sugar levels more stable as well as replenishing
your carbohydrates, as well as actually aiding digestion. So, it’s no wonder that
we often see cyclists with bananas in their back pockets, and at races or other
events you have bananas chopped up as part of a snack. And these are one of the
easiest things to incorporate in your food, you can
pop them into smoothies, chop them up in your cereal, you can even experiment a little bit, and I’ve been making
some ice cream with them, freezing them, adding a bit of milk, and then blitzing that,
and it’s a pretty yummy, but healthy desert. (mellow music) The perfect recovery drink, milk. You cannot get away from the
healthy benefits of cows milk. Now sports recovery drinks
have a ratio of three to one, three parts carbohydrate
to one part protein. Which is designed for optimal recovery straight after a workout. Well, that’s the exactly same
ratio that you find in milk. On top of this it’s also
got high levels of calcium and vitamin D, essential
for healthy bones, and especially with
doing triathlon running, we’re putting a lot of stresses and doing micro damage to our bones, so calcium and vitamin D are needed in abundance. Milk is the obvious food
for calcium and vitamin D, but it also aids hydration,
but if you don’t want to drink it, then you can look
at other dairy products to get those micronutrients, such as yoghourt, creme fresh,
cheese, cottage cheese, the list goes on. (mellow music) Not the sexiest of superfoods,
next we have whole grains. Now, these have been
raved about for the last 10 years or so, mainly
because of their low glycemic index or GI. Which means, they basically
got very slow releasing carbohydrates, but there is so much more to this group of grains. Foods such as brown
rice, whole wheat pasta, barley, and quinoa, like I have here, are also high in fibre and protein. Which makes them great
sustained energy release, as well as slowing down your digestion, and the fibre is also thought to help maintain good gut bacteria. (mellow music) Today I have specifically chosen walnuts, because this is the nut that actually has the largest
percentage of omega-3, as well as having vitamin
B’s and vitamin E. On top of this, it’s got
selenium, zinc, calcium, and iron all packed into this little nut. And something we haven’t really
mentioned so far, are fats. Now, all nuts contain good fats, so the monounsaturated
and polyunsaturated fat. So, all in all, it
makes this little walnut great for brain health as well as helping with physical recovery from training. (mellow music) This next one is cocoa, and
before you get too excited, no, I’m afraid I’m not
talking about the chocolate confectionery that you might find at your local supermarket checkout. Cocoa is actually full of antioxidants which is great for your
cardiovascular health, as well as defending
against free radicals. It also contains high levels of magnesium, and I found a study
recently, well actually quite a few studies, suggesting that having high levels of
cocoa can actually help protect your skin against sun, but I’m not suggesting that you replace eating chocolate, for your sun cream. Right, let set the record straight, as to what I’m talking about
when I talk about cocoa. While it is the purest form of coco. So when it comes to chocolate for example, you want to find a dark chocolate that says it has a high
percentage of coco or cocoa. So, for example, this dark
chocolate here is 85 percent. I’m gonna have to try some of that later. Or, you could go for
something like cocao powder, which again, is full of
all the same benefits, and this you can use
in baking or you could even use it in savoury dishes and sauces. (mellow music) Alright, now we’ve got chia seeds. These are dense in nutrients, they’ve got protein, fibre, calcium, and iron as well as having high
levels of antioxidants which actually surprised me, plus omega-3. You can obviously, get them in seed form, or as we have here, the milled version. But it’s worth noting as
well, that flax seeds, or otherwise known as lin seeds, these have very similar
nutritional values, but you usually find they
come in a little bit cheaper, so a great alternative. (mellow music) Now I’m not a nutritionist,
but I always say that anything that is this rich in colour, is pretty likely to be packed full of goodness and nutrients. Well, the cherry is no exception, and one of the selling
points of the cherry, is the fact that it is
full of antioxidants. So, it works really well
as an anti-inflammatory, and athletes, and sports nutritionists have been experimenting with cherry juice, actually having higher
concentrates with a cherry shot to help aid that
anti-inflammatory process. The hardest part for
this video was actually nailing it down to just 11 superfoods. But as I mentioned at the start, incorporating all of
these foods into a healthy balanced diet, is the best
way to get the benefit from all of the different nutrients. And admittedly, some of them do overlap, so it is going to be
a matter of trying out what you like, and also
something that you’re realistically going to include in your everyday cooking on a regular basis. But anyway, enough talking of this food, I think it’s time I went
and did some baking. Got my fingers a little bit dirty, and you might be feeling
to go and do so as well. But before you do, make
sure you hit the globe to subscribe, hit the thumb up button if you’ve liked this video, and if you are interested in how you can get some of these vitamins or minerals
from a supplement form, we’ve actually done a
video looking at five supplements for triathlon. You can find that just here, and Mark recently made a video looking into whether you should train when you’re ill, and that’s just here.