When we go out for a long run or a hard workout, and the next day that familiar soreness creeps into our muscles. In many ways, it’s a sign of a good training and well done, our training session produced microtears in our muscles, leading to natural inflammation. Given proper rest and nutrition, those tears will heal and make us stronger and faster.
If we skip recovery strategies such as downtime and eating right, we may find ourself in a state of progress-plateauing fatigue. If we skip recovery efforts enough times, we might set ourself up for chronic inflammation, which can lead to health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, dementia and even cancer.
It’s okay to have some inflammation in the body, inflammatory cells fight off injury, infection and even disease, but if inflammation lasts for months or years, that’s when other problems can occur.
Reducing chronic inflammation is crucial for runners, intense exercise can lead to higher levels of inflammatory markers compared with moderate physical activity. The more we demand of our body, the more we should provide good nutrition.
Eating anti-inflammatory foods can promote overall health. We should choose colourful and plant-based foods, many are high in fibre, antioxidants, healthy fats and vitamins. Runners ask a lot of their bodies, so it’s really important to include these foods.
Top Anti-Inflammatory Foods Runners Should Eat
1. Colourful vegetables
These vegetables contain carotenoids, a phytonutrients known to reduce inflammation.
2. Cherry juice
To drink two cups of tart cherry juice a day for 12 weeks can fight inflammation and oxidative stress in generally healthy older adults.
3. Oily fish
These oily fish are full of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have strong anti-inflammatory benefits.
4. Nuts And Seeds
Nuts and seeds provide lower inflammatory to support healthier muscles and better health.
Healthy fruits are full of disease-fighting nutrients, especially berries and citrus fruits, which are full of vitamin C, and antioxidant, shown to fight inflammation.
6. Healthy oils
Healthy oils, such as olive oil, or coconut oil used for cooking, dressings and sauces, help reduce inflammation. The recommendation is to consume about two tablespoons a day.
7. Turmeric, Cinnamon And Ginger
Turmeric, a traditional Indian spice used in curry dishes, soups and lattes is rich in the polyphenol known as curcumin. Turmeric is super-efficient to lower inflammation. Ginger and cinnamon are also super-efficient and delicious flavour to lower inflammation. We can add it to food and drinks.
Inflammatory Foods To Avoid
Just as anti-inflammatory foods can reduce inflammation in the body, other foods can increase it.
Refined Carbs and Starches-White Breads, White Rice, Waffles, Pastries
Trans Fats or Saturated Fats
Processed Meats- Bacon, Pepperoni
We should look at food labels and avoid anything with processed and inflammatory foods.. If we feel ourself collapsing after workouts, we should limit consumption of treats with lots of artificial sugar, such as sweets and cakes.
Post-run or workouts we should focus on good refueling to support our muscles, joints, bones and energy. To eat healthy fruits, vegetables, protein and healthy carbs will make us feel much better and healthier.
And as runners we need plenty of protein, we should avoid too much red or processed meats as our primary source, they’re linked to inflammatory markers, especially for women. Instead, we should eat some lean chicken or fatty fish. Regularly consuming highly processed foods, such as soft drinks or deli meats, won’t provide our body any benefits, it will actually cause some muscle damage and diseases.
As runners, if we eat enough anti-inflammatory foods regularly, it will support some good recovery and good overall health.
Eat Some Healthy Anti-Inflammatory Foods, Feel Good And Strong, Enjoy Some Great Runs And Workouts!