If you are passionate about yoga, you know that having a balanced and nutrition-filled diet can have amazing benefits. Not only will it give you the energy and concentration you need to complete your routines, but it will also help prevent injuries and shorten your recovery time. Keep reading to learn about five amazing foods that are essential for those who practice yoga.
Every list of food recommendations should start with leafy greens, as no diet is complete without them. Leafy greens like kale, spinach, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc. are full of nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. They’re packed with vitamins like iron and calcium that help strengthen your bones and joints.
Along with vitamins and nutrients, the most important aspect of leafy greens is their high fiber content. Fiber is essential for keeping your digestive tract clear and your torso lean. It moves heavier foods like meats, seafood, and grains through your intestines and leaves you feeling light on your feet.
If you have time, leafy greens can build a delicious salad. However, if you’re in a rush, greens can be thrown in a smoothie or juiced ahead of time. This will pack the perfect punch to keep you going and give you energy.
In fact, if you aren’t used to consuming large amounts of fiber, it’s best to not put too many leafy greens into a single smoothie. Otherwise, you could become bloated, nausea, and slightly dizzy. Over time, as your gut becomes used to the fiber, these symptoms will dissipate.
Quinoa is viewed around the world as a great source of protein and amino acids. In fact, it contains all nine essential amino acids, which are paramount to brain and cell function. It also contains large amounts of iron, vitamin B2, and magnesium.
This ancient grain is the perfect base for salads and porridges because its flavor is such a blank slate. If you want to build a multi-grain hot cereal, you can add butter, sugar, and fruit. However, if you want it for a cold savory salad, add:
- sliced avocado,
- peppers, corn,
- red onions,
- and cucumber.
Quinoa is also the perfect alternative for those who want protein without having to increase their intake of meat. Because it’s high in protein, it can be the base for vegetable salads of all kinds that help keep you full and ready for your next yoga session.
Herbal teas are the perfect drinks for those who are learning to listen to their bodies. Black and green tea both have caffeine, while herbal teas like ginger, turmeric, peppermint, etc. have medicinal properties that will help you with your immune system, brain function, and inflammation.
One of the best teas to drink with a high-fiber diet is black pepper tea. Leafy greens that are high in fiber are also packed full of nutrients, but sometimes your body needs a little help when absorbing and digesting all of those nutrients. That’s where black pepper tea comes in. It can stimulate your system enough to absorb turmeric, especially. Combining black pepper and turmeric can create a powerful anti-inflammatory remedy.
Herbal teas are also an engaging social activity you can do with your close friends. Afterward, you can try out some BFF 2-person yoga poses.
Most people have heard of peanut butter, but did you know that there are tons of other nut butter on the market for you to choose from? A few popular alternatives are almond butter and cashew butter. These delectable spreads are packed full of protein and healthy fats.
Incorporating a wide variety of healthy fats into your diet is essential for maintaining your energy levels and cognitive functioning. In the early 20th century, fat was vilified by the sugar industry in order to drive sales of table sugar, but today, we know that’s quite the opposite. The human brain is made of fat and needs fats to function.
There are multiple ways to get your daily dose of healthy fats. Foods like butter, avocado, and fatty fish are all great options. However, because of their versatility and delicious taste, nut butter is some of the easiest to incorporate into your diet. Whether you’re making a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich, spreading almond butter on a rice cake, or putting cashew butter in your green smoothie, your meal is guaranteed to be delicious.
Many people have discovered the countless health benefits of cutting refined sugars out of their diet. Unfortunately, the fruit has also taken a hit for its sugar content and is avoided as well. However, this is one of the worst mistakes you could be making for your body.
Along with vegetables, seasonal fresh fruits will give your body all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it needs to stay healthy throughout the year. For instance. during cold and flu season, oranges are in season and will give you extra doses of vitamin c.
Likewise, in the summer when temperatures outside are at their peak, water-heavy fruits like grapefruit and watermelon will keep you hydrated. Plus, after a heavy yoga session, they’re a great source of electrolytes and natural sugar to get your energy levels back up to where they were.
There are also other benefits to fruits besides their sugar and water content. Most fruits are high in essential nutrients and fiber to help push food through your digestive tract. Eating large amounts of vegetables is admirable, but without incorporating fruit, it can be quite difficult to achieve a balanced diet.
Try New Foods that Help Your Yoga Practice
Regularly eating all the foods above can quickly become a chore if you aren’t having fun and making recipes you enjoy. While it’s great to have dishes that you’ve mastered and can make quickly, keep yourself engaged by always trying new foods and recipes.
This will help you obtain the full number of vitamins and nutrients that you need and keep your body strong and durable to achieve and hold the most advanced yoga poses.