By Dr Liz Applegate
It’s loaded with fibre and folate, which aid digestion, plus vitamin C and compounds that may prevent some cancers.
Bright idea: Steam, then mash like potatoes and top with baked fish.
Studies on runners have shown that the milk proteins in cottage cheese are particularly efficient at rebuilding muscle fibres.
Bright idea: Add to smoothies; or top with nuts, herbs, and tomatoes.
Prepared with boiling water, instant oats is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. It’s also a good source of vitamin A, riboflavin, folate, calcium, phosphorus and selenium.
Bright idea: Top with blueberries, almonds, and milk for more protein.
A study from two Georgia universities found compounds in ginger can reduce muscle pain post-exercise by decreasing inflammation.
Bright idea: Grate fresh ginger into stir-fries, or serve on sandwiches.
They contain more heart-healthy monounsaturated fat than other nuts. A study found that a daily handful lowers inflammatory markers, reducing heart-disease risk.
Bright idea: Sprinkle on yoghurt and fruit. Or toast lightly and toss into a stir-fry.
A runner’s favourite, mashed potatoes supply glycogen-rebuilding carbs (about 35 grams in one cup), not to mention a quarter of your daily vitamin C needs.
Bright idea: Mash spuds, leaving skins on, and add Greek yoghurt (see No. 8 below).
Button mushrooms contain the five B vitamins, as well as the essential minerals potassium, selenium, and phosphorous; and small – but nutritionally important – amounts of iron.
Bright idea: Sauté with onions and garlic for a low-kilojoule side dish.
Teeming with good-for-you bacteria, Greek yoghurt has 11 grams of protein (about twice as much as regular varieties) and provides 15 per cent of your calcium needs per cup.
Bright idea: Use to enrich soups – stir in one cup for every six cups soup.
One cup has 48 grams of glycogen-boosting carbs, and 19 grams of fibre. Studies indicate this fibre prompts the release of an appetite-suppressing hormone.
Bright idea: Purée cooked beans with garlic and olive oil, and use as a sandwich spread.
This staple is rich in quercetin, which research has found reduces inflammation caused by strenuous workouts.
Bright idea: Sauté, broil, or roast to preserve the quercetin content.
3 Colour-free foods to avoid:
Sugar: Honey, which has antioxidants, beats the granulated stuff.
Brie: A 30-gram slice has 420 kilojoules; goat cheese is a lighter option.
White chocolate: It lacks the flavonoids found in dark varieties.