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   Moms are famous for telling their growing kids, “Eat your veggies!!”     Well, kids, I hate to break this to you, but those...

   Moms are famous for telling their growing kids, “Eat your veggies!!” 

   Well, kids, I hate to break this to you, but those moms are right! Vegetables are especially beneficial for athletes, because they have some nutrients crucial for good health and recovery that you can’t get anywhere else.

   Check out some of these nutrient rich ideas to help keep your body feeling and performing its best.

   Spinach and other dark green vegetables have many important nutrients for athletes, such as Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K, zinc and iron. Enjoy them in a salad, or put them into your sandwich or scrambled eggs.

   Sweet potatoes are a great source of carbohydrates, which will boost your endurance for both training and competition. They are also high in potassium, vitamins and fiber, which help keep your body healthy and strong. 

   Onions and garlic contain flavonoids which give your immune system a boost. Sauté these flavorful foods with other veggies, add them to your spaghetti sauce, or include them in your homemade salsa or guacamole for a yummy treat.

   Beets contain compounds called nitrates and betalains which have anti-inflammatory properties, and also help promote cell repair and regeneration. All of which is great for any hard-working athlete! You can roast them with some olive oil, salt and pepper, or throw them into a smoothie for a refreshing post-workout reward.

   Include these veggies and others into your daily routine, and experience the benefits yourself. You’ll not only make mom proud, but also your coach and fans too.

   Maximize your performance by seeking out personalized advice from Nutrition Coach Jill Daniels, MS, RD, CSSD, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics.

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