At Quarry Rock -- Trail Running in Deep Cove, North Vancouver
What's the best energy refueler after a two-hour run through the trails to replenish your energy and nutrients....?
While this tropical is a North American favorite, bananas are actually classified as a herb. Bananas are an excellent source of cardioprotective potassium. They're an effective prebiotic, enhancing the body's ability to absorb calcium, and they increase dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin --the brain chemicals that counter depression.
A fully ripe banana with dark patches on the yellow of skin produces a substance called TNF (Tumor Necrosis Factor), which has the ability to combat abnormal cells. The darker the banana, the higher anti-cancer quality it has.
- Anti-Inflammatory-- Almonds have two very important fatty acids, both linoleic and linolenic acids. Those fatty acids help to reduce inflammation all around the body, which is a general condition that many people suffer from. The fatty acids also help to reduce the levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL cholesterol), and they promote healthy skin and hair! All in all, almonds pack a powerful, healthy punch.
Many people think that the word “fat” means something negative, but in fact, certain fatty acids are essential, and can be very beneficial for overall health. The body can’t create its own fatty acids, which is why we need to get them from dietary sources.
- Boosts energy-- The presence of manganese, copper and Riboflavin in almonds helps in energy production and metabolic rate. If you are on the go, a handful of almonds can get you through the day without filling you up with unhealthy calories or fat.
- Weight loss: The mono-unsaturated fat contained in almonds satisfies appetite and prevents over-eating. The dietary fibre in almonds also contributes to the sensation of being full, despite eating only a small amount. Studies have shown that those people who regularly consume almonds (at least twice a week) are far more likely to remain at their ideal weight, rather than those who rarely or never consume almonds and suffer from weight fluctuations. Finally, the fiber contributes to consistent bowel movements, which helps in weight loss and the general health of the body through the elimination of toxins.
- Prevention of constipation: Almonds are rich in fiber, and like most other fiber-rich foods, almonds help prevent constipation. However, it is also important to drink a significant amount of water when eating almonds to speed up the digestive process and beneficial effects of the nut. You don’t even need to eat an excessive amount, the amount of fiber in 4 or 5 almonds is enough to keep your digestion and bowel movements regular.
Raw Cacao ... why?
The cacao bean in its natural state, before it is processed, is extremely beneficial for health. It is packed full of antioxidants. It also contains iron, copper, calcium, magnesium, chromium, manganese, zinc, sulphur, phosphorus, vitamins A, B, C and E, amino acids, and omega 6 fatty acids. It is one of the richest natural sources of magnesium - an essential mineral for runners, as it aids bone strength, prevents muscle cramps and improves heart health.
Muscle recovery: try mixing raw cacao with raw carob powder, which is high in calcium, making it a great magnesium-calcium combination. This perfect duo allows your body to obtain these nutrients from a whole food source it can easily absorb and utilise.
Cacao contains the natural stimulant theobromine:
- Boost of natural energy, stimulating the central nervous system,
- Dilates the blood vessels and relaxes smooth muscles
- Contains phenylethylamine, which controls the ability to focus attention and stay alert, and epicatechin, a flavonoid beneficial for cardiovascular health.
- Improves blood flow, learning and memory capacity.
*TIP* When cacao is cooked, it loses its flavonoid content and a lot the health benefits are lost.
Cacao also contains anandamide, known as the 'happy hormone' which releases serotonin in the brain making you feel happy, as well as tryptophan, a natural anti depressant amino acid. This is a great way to get you feeling more positive about heading out the door for a long run.
Chocolate is good for you - what's not to be happy about?!
Bananas, Almonds, and Raw Cacao are also for POWERHOUSES for improved skin texture:
Vitamin A: Balances and evens out darks spots and rough skin.
Vitamin B: Delays aging by moisturizing and lightening skin.
Vitamin E: Being an antioxidant, it combats free radical impairment, boosts the skin's sun-rays resistance, prevents and diminishes appearances of wrinkles
Potassium: Moisturizes and hydrates skin cells