3 Athlete-Friendly Foods for Energy, Health and Strength

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Sore muscles? Low on energy? Feeling sick lately? All of these problems can be solved with proper nutrition. Use the following three foods to boost your athletic performance by reducing muscle soreness, increasing energy and amping your immune system.

Sweet Potatoes
Menshealth.com recognizes sweet potatoes as "one of the healthiest foods on the planet." This root vegetable is ideal for hard training athletes, because, as research suggests, sweet potatoes provide anti-inflammatory nutrients, which reduce muscle soreness. They're also high in iron, which is key for oxygen production during intense activity. Finally, as noted on livestrong.com, sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index, meaning they provide slowly absorbed carbs and steady energy.

Plums are packed with vitamin C, an immunity-boosting nutrient. Theworldwidegourmet.com lists yellow plums as the perfect portable snack for athletes. Why? Because they are high in sugar and carbs, providing instant energy. One cup of the dried version [i.e., prunes] provides the recommended daily amount of Vitamin A, another immune system booster.

This superpower vegetable is high in potassium, a mineral especially critical for athletes, because it facilitates muscle contraction and regulates fluid balance in the body. Believe it or not, broccoli is also a good source of calcium, a bone-building mineral that's also essential for muscle contraction.

Sources:  menshealth.com, livestrong.com, whfoods.com
Photo:  ourhomeremedies.com

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