Foods and their properties
As promised, last week we said that each week we would look at some different food choices and how they can help our bodies, but also when we need to be careful with them. So, starting with A…..
A Typical serving (3 medium (115g) provides approx. 51 calories. ¼ cup of dried apricots (33g) provides 78 calories
Apricots are powerful nutrients and contain Beta-carotene, Iron, Pectin (soluble fibre) Potassium and Vitamin C. They can therefore help in the fight against cancer, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and are beneficial to your eyes, nerves and muscles.
However, evidently Drs have warned against ingesting the pits as they can cause cyanide poisoning! Also, there is also the potential of being allergic to them, and due to their natural sweetness they can cause cavities.
Avoid buying dried apricots that are brown, as it means they have been treated with sulphites.
Typical serving: ½ cup cubed (75g) 120 calories
Avocados are a fantastic food source. They provide fibre folate, magnesium, mono unsaturated fat, potassium, sterols (cholesterol-lowering compounds) vitamin B6 Vitamin E. They help against high cholesterol, CV disease, Cancer, Blood sugar swings, insulin resistance, and are good for your hair!
Like any food check for allergy against them and they could contribute to weight gain. Avoid ones that are bruised or have hard or soft spots, and they are best consumed raw. Brilliant in salads!
Typical Serving Size: 1 medium approx. 105 calories ½ cup sliced (75g) 67 calories
Bananas are a great snack, easy to take out on training, or eat post exercise, and are really beneficial to the body. They contain Fibre, Potassium, tryptophan, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. You may find that you could be allergic to them, but otherwise, they have the thumbs up! They can help against stress, anxiety and depression, high blood pressure, blood sugar swings, teething pain, sleeplessness and will help muscles repair. Obviously the riper the banana, the higher GI it has.
They are also really versatile, you can chop them up on your breakfast, add them to cakes or even curries.
BEANS AND OTHER LEGUMES:
Typical serving ½ cup (86-128g) 108-143 calories)
Yet again these are packed full of nutrients. Calcium, Copper, Fibe, Folate, Iron, Isoflavones (phytochemicals that protect against heart disease), magnesium, phosphorous, phytosterols (anticancer and cholesterol lowering compounds) potassium, protein, saponins (cholesterol lowering compounds) Thiamin and Zinc . As already mentioned they help against cardiovascular disease, High cholesterol, cancer, diabetes and weight gain.
However, there is always the possibility you could be allergic to some legumes, and consuming a lot can cause wind!
Legumes are so versatile as well, so there is lots you can do with them when cooking. Here are some ideas
Next week we will cover a couple of examples for C and D!