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Oklahoma Sports and Fitness March/April 2017 : Page 12

Powerful Produce NUTRITION | Boosting Performance Through Fruits and Vegetables HAYDEN JAMES, MA, RD/LD, A REASOR'S REGISTERED DIETITIAN Do you want to know the secret for safe, effective, and legal performance enhancement? The answer is produce. Okay, so you rolled your eyes a little, but research supports that great 1 athletes are made in the kitchen. You might be wondering how vegetables and fruits play such an important role in athletic performance. While it’s known that regular exercise can help prevent chronic, inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer to name a few, exercise actually stimulates acute inflammatory responses (think about muscle soreness associated with muscle damage, for example). The vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients loaded in vegetables and fruits play a crucial role in combating that exercise-induced inflammation. So, not only do these important compounds play a role in disease prevention and a healthy diet, they are also crucial for recovery and getting you back into the game energized for your next performance.

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