vitamins

Runner’s Body: The Nutrients You Need To Perfect Your Stride

No two bodies are the same, therefore it’s natural that our dietary needs are unique to the individual. For example, women’s nutrition is different to men’s because their bodies require different amounts of vitamins and minerals to perform their functions. The same is true between runners and non-runners. Once you take up this intense activity, you need to adjust your diet to make sure you’re giving your body the fuel it needs to perform well. If you keep eating the same diet as before, you’re likely not consuming enough nutrients and your runner’s stride will never improve. Here is the right diet to boost your energy levels.

 

Vitamin B12

Taking 2.4 mg per day can help runners break down the fat and protein you eat for the energy you need to get through a workout. It also assists in forming new red blood cells, which carry oxygen through the body. Deficiency can lead to a type of anemia—and fatigue. The best sources of vitamin B12 are liver, fish, meat, and eggs, which unfortunately means that strict vegetarians and vegans are at a higher risk for deficiency. Fortunately, there are supplements like methylcobalamin or cyanocobalamin which can be taken to fill the nutritional gaps. Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

Calcium

Runners put a lot of stress on their bodies, and as a result they are at risk of stress fractures and other running injuries. Therefore, you need to make sure your bones are strong and healthy before you start running. Most people start taking calcium supplements, some of which are made from limestone or marble. However, AlgaeCal Plant Calcium Clinical Evidence suggests that plant based calcium supplements are more effective at filling in the calcium deficiency gaps, and they don’t have side effects like cramps, bloating, nausea and blocked arteries, but still help strengthen bones. Always consult your doctor about which supplements would be best for you.  That said, you’re still better off getting calcium from your food. One cup of milk packs about 30 percent of your daily value, although fortified almond, or cashew milk offer a more impressive 45 percent. You can also get calcium from tofu, spinach, and chia seeds.

Iron

Some studies suggest that up to 50 percent of female runners are deficient in iron. This is extremely dangerous because the iron in your blood is essential for getting oxygen to your muscles; this deficiency can lead to poor performance while running, headaches, dizziness, and less enthusiasm for running. If you experience a decline in performance and feel exhausted more than usual, get a blood test to check your iron levels. While you could take a supplement, you need to increase the amount of red meat and iron-rich vegetables in your diet. If you’re still deficient after your diet change, your doctor will put you on the appropriate supplement; you should never try to put yourself on an iron supplement. You should also try taking Vitamin C to help your body absorb the iron.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Guest Post: How to Live a Healthy Life in Your 50s

The older you get, the more your lifestyle habits will change. After you’ve reached 50, you’ll realize that you’ll need much more effort to achieve the same health and fit goals than you needed when you were in your 30s. Everything from your hormones to your cardiovascular system will suffer some defining changes due to menopause and many other processes in your body. Therefore, you’ll need to acquire different lifestyle habits that will make life in your 50s amazing.

Stay Active

Just because you’ve come to a certain age it doesn’t mean you should stop working out. However, you should consider a less intense workout session, that will adapt to your abilities. If you loved jogging in the morning, feel free to continue with a daily workout. According to newest research, running strengthens the knees, so don’t skip on your daily exercise. What’s more, cut the risk of Alzheimer’s disease to a minimum and enjoy 30 minutes of walking every day. You could also ride a bike, or even do gardening 5 days a week to lower the risk of memory and cognitive problems.

Cut Back on Salt

The older you are, the higher the risk of developing hypertension. Blood vessels become less elastic as we age, so you’re more likely to get high blood pressure if you don’t take care of your food intake. What’s more, hypertension is the well-known trigger to more serious health problems, such as kidney disease, heart failure, stroke, heart attack and even death. Therefore, cut back on salt, avoid processed foods as much as possible and turn to vegetables, fruit, and whole grains.

Have Enough Sleep

A good night’s sleep is imperative for good health. Therefore, if you’ve noticed that your sleeping schedule has significantly changed, it’s time to talk to a doctor about it and check your health. Less than seven hours of sleep a night isn’t enough for your body to recover from the previous day. If you’re experiencing insomnia, try to exercise more, and drink less alcohol. Be sure to talk to your doctor and see if you need to change something else in your daily life. Insomnia can also be a sign of anxiety, so feel free to consult an expert and see if you might have an underlying problem of anxiety or depression.

Have Your Vitamins in Check

A healthy diet is essential for a healthy life. This is especially true in your 50s since your body isn’t able to process the same amount of unhealthy food and substances it used to. Therefore, make sure you have your levels of iron in check. Women should pay special attention to iron since the need for it decreases as a woman enters menopause. Too much iron can cause liver or heart disease, so keep the levels in check. Add vitamin B12 to your daily supplements to support your blood cells and promote healthy nerves.

Socialize

Keeping in touch with friends, and having someone to socialize with is essential for good mental health. After your children have left the nest and you’ve retired, you’ll have plenty of free time on your hands, and get a chance to meet new people. Consider visiting retirement villages in NSW, because you can find a lot of people your age who can help you pass the time of day. Moving into a retirement resort will give you the chance to have a whole day filled with various activities, interact with many wonderful people, and enjoy your golden age.

Every decade of our life requires specific lifestyle changes. As you enter your 50s, it’s time to start taking care of your vitamin intake and lead an active life. Also, socialize as much as possible, have enough sleep and cut back on unhealthy foods to live a long and healthy life.

Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls interested in topics related to health and alternative medicine. In her free time she enjoys exercising and preparing healthy meals for her family.

Gross But Good: Things Worth Getting Over The “Ick” Factor For

When we think of using a product or making a recipe; it’s only partially based on what we think our experience of that item will be. While that’s a factor – if you hate tomatoes then it’s unlikely you’re going to choose a huge tomato-based recipe – it’s not necessarily the whole truth.

Some of the time, we make choices about everything – from life, to wellness, to nutrition; because we like the idea of them. There’s something about them that we find appealing, that tickles our sense of adventure, makes us want to sample it. We’re halfway to the idea of enjoying it before we have even thought about what it will actually be like.

If things go one way, then, of course, they go the other. In this instance, that means we can convince ourselves that we won’t like something; purely because there’s something we don’t like the sound of. It’s the “ick” factor, the thing that makes us wrinkle our upper lip and think: “actually, I’ll give that a pass”.

It ranges across everything, from the food we eat to the items we use in our home; a whole range of things dismissed because we just don’t like how they sound. We don’t care if sauerkraut is meant to be good for you – the mere idea of it is gross; compost tea might be good for the garden, but those are two words that shouldn’t ever go together so we won’t think of it; as for vinegar Okay, so we’re jumping right into the deep end. This one is a two-parter. “Fermented” – as in, food that’s gone off? And then “cod liver oil” – which alone is bad enough to contemplate, but gone off cod liver oil?

While this attitude is understandable – no one can control their gut reaction to anything – it also might be preventing you from getting the best of life. So hold your nose and think about which of the following you might be able to handle, all in the pursuit of the huge benefits they contain…

Fermented Cod Liver Oil

It sounds bad, but it’s actually hugely beneficial for a myriad of reasons. If you have any aching joints, aren’t as supple as you’d like, or just want your skin to glow a little more, then cod liver oil alone is good for you. If you want to ratchet it up a notch, then fermented cod liver oil has all of the benefits of regular cod liver oil but even moreso.

Plus if you’re thinking that you have to swallow down spoonfuls of what is, in essence, rotten fish gunk, then don’t worry: capsules are the easy answer! They may be a little more pungent than the non-fermented variety, but take them holding your nose and store in an airtight container to avoid this.

Seaweed

Even if you’ve enjoyed sushi every now and again, the idea of deliberately consuming seaweed just doesn’t sound palatable. Part of this is in the name itself: it’s a weed. Who’d go out of their way to eat a weed?

Well, anyone who truly cares about getting the most out of their nutrition would! There are all sorts of goodness to be found in seaweed, from vital amino acids through to a boatload of the standard letter vitamins. There’s also good evidence that it helps to stabilize blood sugar, which is perfect if you want sustained energy for a workout.

Consuming seaweed isn’t as simple as loading up on as much sushi as you can eat. If you make your own sushi, that’s not as much of a problem – but store bought sushi is often packed with added sugar. It’s ridiculous, but true: a nice healthy snack that’s ruined by excess sugar. Even if you are making your own, it’s only a small amount of seaweed per time.

There are thousands of recipes online that are designed to make seaweed more palatable. Try it in a stir-fry or just add a few strips to a casserole; then you can start reaping the benefits.

Blood Sausage / Black Pudding

Well, we’ve gone from the quite disgusting and back to the extremely disgusting and weird, haven’t we?

There’s good reason for doing it, though! Blood sausage (which is also known as ‘black pudding’ – don’t be confused into thinking they are different things…) is pretty much what it says on the, er, sausage. It’s animal blood made into a consumable solid.

Don’t like the sound of it? You’re not alone; a lot of people have never tried blood sausage, but they’d still swear they don’t like it. That’s a real shame, given how good it is for you. Not only is it rich in iron, it’s rich in protein, low in carbohydrates, and relatively low in terms of calories.

The best method of cooking is to fry it, ideally in a beneficial oil like coconut or grass fed butter. The crispier it is, the easier you’ll find it to eat – when it’s soft, it’s particularly poor. So crisp it up by frying or using a halogen oven; then eat with some scrambled eggs for an incredibly nutritious breakfast.

Liver

So that’s the blood, what about the internal organs?

For many years, the idea of eating offal – that is, the kidneys or liver – of an animal was considered to be something that peasants did. The high members of society wouldn’t consume such things!

Well, more fool them: offal, and liver particularly, is incredibly good for you. It’s rich in three of the B vitamins – cyanocobalamin, riboflavin, and folate; as well as nutrients such as selenium and potassium.

If you fancy giving it a try, then the traditional liver and onions dish is probably the best way to go. Alternatively, if you’re good with pastry, then liver makes an excellent filling alongside a more succulent meat such as chicken.

What’re Your Thoughts

So there we have it; disgusting sounding food that is actually extremely good for you. It might be a mental hurdle to eat these foods for the first time, but when you leap over it, there will be no looking back.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Women’s Nutrition: What Vitamins and Minerals Do We Really Need?

As the old saying goes, women are from Venus and men are from Mars. Despite us being of the same species, there really are so many differences between the genders both mentally and physically. And so when it comes to physical health, it’s no wonder that we need slightly different vitamins and minerals to thrive compared with our male counterparts. A woman’s body is perfectly designed for the complex process of conceiving and giving birth to a child. However, even if you’re not pregnant, there are certain nutrients you need in order to stay healthy. Here are just a few of them because women’s nutrition is important to staying healthy.

Iron

Each month women lose up to 7mg of iron due to menstruation, and for this reason, it’s much easier for women to become deficient or even anemic. If your iron levels are low you may benefit from taking a supplement, however it’s worth speaking to a doctor as too much iron can actually be dangerous. The last thing you want is to jump from one extreme to the other. Ideally, you’ll get all of the iron you need from your diet. Dark leafy green vegetables such as cabbage and spinach, beans, seafood and dried fruit are all high in the nutrient. Red meat is also a good source, although due to high levels of saturated fat you should be wary of eating too much of it.

Folic Acid

Guidelines suggest that every sexually active woman should take a folic acid supplement. This is because it’s incredibly important for the development of a fetus, and since one in two pregnancies aren’t planned you should take it even if you’re not trying to conceive. By the time you find out you’re expecting it could be too late; so this gives you peace of mind just in case. If you get a multivitamin containing folic acid you won’t have to do anything different. Simply take your daily tablet as you normally would, and you’re protected if the situation does arise.

Vitamin b12

There are a number of ways that a B12 deficiency can affect the female reproductive system. These include cell abnormalities in the cervix and uterus, to an egg not being released during the monthly cycle. Hormonal disruptions such as abnormal estrogen levels have also been found, these are crucial for successful full-term pregnancies. Vitamin b12 is found in animals and animal products such as meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy. Vegetarians and vegans are particularly at risk. However, you can get supplements to ensure your levels are kept where they should be.

Whey Protein

According to research, women actually benefit more from a protein supplement than men do; this is because women are more likely to opt for low-fat choices in their diet (which can also mean low protein). You can find reviews of the best whey protein for women by Fitness To Go if you’re considering trying it out. If you workout and take exercise seriously, adding a whey protein powder or supplement to your diet can build lean muscle and help with weight loss. Plus whey is easily digested and helps with amino acid absorption.

What’re Your Thoughts?

Understanding that our bodies are different to men’s, and why we need more of some nutrients than they do is important. Find ways of working these into your diet, whether it’s with food or a supplement.

Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

Guest Post: 6 Healthy Smoothie Recipes To Kick-Start Your Day

What better way to start the day than with a bunch of vitamins? I personally prefer this terrific beverage in the afternoon, when I need a boost of energy so I can fully enjoy the rest of the day. Either way, smoothies are just perfect for keeping us healthy and on the course. Here are 6 healthy smoothie recipes to help kick-start your day!

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Forgotten Truths Of A Balanced Diet: Revealed

We may be thinking more and more about our diets in recent days and weeks. The buzz of January always increases our motivation to make self-improvements and one of those could be getting healthier and even losing weight. But there are some truths about a balanced diet that we can all be misled with. So I thought I would highlight some of the forgotten truths of a balanced diet. I hope they inspire you to make healthy changes.

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Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science.

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