As surfers, we are inevitably going to be exposed to some nasty chemicals and bacteria in the water due to runoff and pollution. While not paddling out is not an option, eating healthy, nutrient-packed foods is. We’ve rounded up a list of ten superfoods to add to your diet to enable you to spend more time on the water and less time sick in bed.
Chia Seeds. These small but mighty seeds are loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. Their popularity dates back to Aztec and Mayan times, when warriors consumed them to give them power and energy during battle. Today, these nutrient-packed seeds are ideal for endurance athletes as they prolong hydration and boost energy. Add some to your water, sprinkle on your oatmeal, or make your own energy drink in order to power through your next lengthy session.
Kale. This leafy green is a power mix of protein and fiber, as well as magnesium, calcium, omega 3’s, vitamin K, and vitamin C. This power mix of nutrients helps keep inflammation low, your bones strong, and your immune system in check. Additionally, the magnesium helps prevent build-up of lactic acid, meaning less cramps. Throw a handful of kale in your protein smoothie or chow down on a kale salad to reap the benefits.
Strawberries. Who doesn’t love strawberries? These berries are packed with vitamin C—just one serving alone meets your vitamin C requirements for the day. Additionally, the antioxidants they contain can boost immunity, fight excess free radical damage, and even build and repair the body’s tissue. Add some strawberries to your oatmeal or make a strawberries smoothie to stay strong on the water.
Quinoa. This ancient grain has a mild, nutty flavor and is one of the few grains/seeds that provide all nine essential amino acids. The lysine found in quinoa works to repair and grow muscle tissue quickly, allowing your body to function efficiently during lengthy sessions. Packed with 9 grams of protein per serving, this grain is an essential staple in every athlete’s pantry. Quinoa is the perfect substitute for oatmeal or rice and makes a great side dish for veggies or meat.
Salmon. This seafood favorite is loaded with protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Unlike other nutrients, omega-3’s are not produced by the body itself and therefore must be obtained via food. Consuming salmon is good for the heart and may even decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. Cook up a fresh salmon dinner after a long day on the water to load up on omega-3’s.