seeds and nuts

Seeds and Nuts Nutrients For Athletes

Did you know that berries and nuts can be a good source of nutrients for athletes as well as normal people? In today’s era, people are following plant foods rather than meat for protein. In this situation, it might be possible to end up eating less protein than required. Many studies have shown that grains and seeds in proper amounts are healthy choices that can be include in a sports diet.
Seeds and Nuts:
seeds and nutsSeeds and nuts offer healthy fats, protein, vitamin E, fiber, magnesium along with various other nutrients. Many seeds and nuts also offer alpha linoleic acid (ALA), which is a type of healthy-proactive, polyunsaturated fat in the form of Omega-3. However, it is also true that the omega-3 found in plant based foods is not as strong as of the omega-3 in fish.If you want to add some nice crunch with minerals and vitamins in a sports drink then put some chopped walnuts, slivered almonds, sunflower, sesame seeds and pistachios in your yogurt, smoothie or cereal salad. Even with all of the nutritional benefits, when you add some seeds and nuts in your salad or smoothie, it not only pumps up the nutritional value but at the same time it also includes 100-400 calories. Weight conscious athletes need to think twice before adding too much in their diet.

Comparison Between Nuts & Seeds
This chart shows the ¼ cup of nuts and seeds that adds up to lots of calories but it does not fulfill the 60 – 90 grams of protein in your daily diet. Vegans will need to supplement their diet with more protein sources like tofu and beans.

Seed

¼ Cup or 30 grams

Calories Protein
Grams
Fiber
Grams
Calcium
Grams
Iron
Grams
Chia 140 5 10 180 8
Flax Ground 150 5 8 70 1.5
Hemp 180 10 4 1
Sunflower 190 6 3 20 1
Pumpkin 170 9 2 50 2
Sesame 200 6 4 350 5
Walnuts 190 4 2 30 1
Daily Target:
60-90 grams
Daily Target:
25-25 grams
Daily Target:
1,000 mg
Daily Target:
8 mg men
18 mg women
  • Flax Seeds: It is one of the most popular sources of ALA omega-3 fats but you should grind them up before eating as it remains undigested and passes entirely through your intestines.
  • Chia Seeds: It is also a great source of ALA omega-3 polyunsaturated fats. One can sprinkle it on their salads or yogurt to feel the crunchy texture. You can also add them in your smoothie by soaking them in water for 10 minutes and making a gel  to make the smoothie thicker and can be used as an alternative for oil and eggs in some other recipies.
  • Sunflower Seeds: mild and pleasing taste adds flavours to your salad or cold cereals. It is one of the most popular alternatives for individuals who are allergic to peanuts.
  • Pumpkin Seeds: also referred to as pepitas and are slower to consume when you get them in the shell.
  • Hemp Seeds: a good source of almost all types of amino acids. They are also considered a protein booster for vegans. However, they are more  expensive.
  • Sesame Seeds: have a gentle flavour and are a great addition for stir fried chicken or tofu. They are also referred to as a good source of calcium but the calcium present in it is difficult to absorb.
  • Chopped Nuts: Such as slivered almonds or walnuts, is a good source of protein but not as much as an athlete thinks. Half a cup of walnuts  only contains 8 grams of protein.

Grains

seeds and nutsBoth refined and whole grains diet offer carbohydrates, which quickly offer fuel to muscles. Whole grain offers lots of options such as brown rice, wheat, corn, oats, quinoa, millet and barley. It has been proven that unrefined grains are a good source of copper and magnesium. However, unrefined grains lose them due to processing.Refined grains are a great source of iron and vitamin B from enrichment that are important nutrients for athletes. If you consume whole grain bread or pasta, , dietary guidelines allow you to consume some refined grains as well.Quinoa is basically seeds, but we normally consume them as a grain and are a great source of protein as compared to other grains. However, one should keep in mind that they are not a complete source of protein, so an athlete should consume them with yogurt, beans or tofu.

Grain/Starch One Cup Cooked Calories
grams
Protein
grams
Fiber
grams
Iron
Grams
Pasta, white 2 oz dry 200 7 2 2
Pasta, whole wheat 2 oz dry 200 8 6 2
Rice, brown 1/3 cup raw 225 5 2 1
Rice, white 1/3 cup raw 225 4 1 2
Quinoa 1/3 cup raw 200 8 5 3
Couscous 1/3 cup raw 215 7 3 1

When you plan to eat healthier, then it is important that you make a proper plan to enjoy your eating. With just filling your foods with various wholesome items that include colourful fruits and vegetables as well as seeds and nuts, you can fulfill your requirement of nutrients that will help you to gain health as well as performance.

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