Nutrient-Dense Foods that Help with Workout Recovery
Maintaining your overall health is vital to any exercise program. Working out regularly can have positive effects on weight, energy levels, and overall happiness. In other words, it can make or break your health.
However, recovering from a hard workout can be just as challenging as the workout itself. If you don't have a steady diet of nutrient-dense foods, the soreness and fatigue can be overwhelming. While fitness is important, combining exercise with good nutrition after each workout will give you the best possible results.
Wild Bar is committed to providing the nutrient-dense foods you need to crush your post-workout routine. We took an in-depth look at vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and lean meats so that you can find the foods your body needs. Here are our top twelve choices for foods that help with workout recovery.
Defining Nutrient Dense Foods
Nutrient density is one of the most important aspects of a healthy diet. The foods with the highest nutrient density carry vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals in higher amounts than other foods. These nourishing lean protein sources deliver essential nutrients instead of "empty calories" like cake, cookies, and soda.
Nutrient density can make all the difference in your workout recovery and overall health. While you won't benefit much from eating Wonder Bread, complex carbohydrates like bananas can work wonders. These low-fat foods contain vitamins and minerals to help you achieve your workout goals faster than ever.
Remember that choosing the best nutrient-rich food will depend on your diet and health. We recommend getting medical advice from a dietitian before making sweeping changes to your routine. A dietitian can analyze your health information and work with you to find healthy foods that support your goals.
Your body needs a wide range of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fats for optimal health. You can find all the above in hemp seeds.
Technically a nut, hemp seeds, also known as hemp hearts, are roughly the size of peppercorns and serve a central role in recovery. Nearly 25% of the calories in hemp seeds come from protein, and they are exceptionally high in essential fatty acids omega-3 and -6.
Hemp seeds come from the Cannabis Sativa plant. They don’t contain THC, so you won't experience any psychoactive effects. This nutrient-dense food works equally well whether you consume it raw or cooked.
People have eaten hemp seed for millennia. According to researchers, the seeds were commonplace in food and medicine in ancient China.
Looking for a little pick-me-up after your workout? Eat some almonds. This healthy nut contains protein, fiber, copper, selenium, vitamin D, and vitamin E for comprehensive nutrient density.
Almonds deliver nutrients when and where you need them most. Enjoy them on top of a salad or mixed into a protein bar. If you're on the run, grab a handful for the road.
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, blueberries are at the top of the pack. They are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Their anti-oxidizing properties reduce the signs of aging and support healthy brain function, so you get the most out of your post-workout routine.
Blueberries are in a league of their own when it comes to nutrient density. According to the USDA, blueberries have more antioxidants per serving than every other fruit except for black raspberries and elderberries.
Pumpkin seeds may be small, but they are mighty. Once you taste them, you'll understand why they're so popular. The fact that they are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, zinc, B vitamins, and minerals is a pleasant bonus.
Approximately 79% of the US population doesn't get enough magnesium. This shortage can be problematic since it's an essential mineral for 600 chemical reactions in the body. Fortunately, pumpkin seeds provide a tasty and easy way to get magnesium.
Nuts and seeds are hands-down the best nutrient-dense low-calorie food. Seeds have the proteins and healthy fats you need to recover after a workout.
Although you can eat cherries any time of year, they're best consumed in the fall at the height of the cherry-picking season. Fresh cherries have a crisp texture and full-on flavor that accents various meals. With a strong nutrient profile, cherries deserve all the attention they can get.
If you want a tart and tangy addition to your post-workout fruit salad or parfait, purchase Montmorency cherries the next time you go to the store. This light red fruit comes in bundles by the pound, although you can also find them in juices, concentrates, jams, and preserves. They contain the fructose you need to regulate your blood glucose levels and the melatonin required for a good night's sleep.
Pineapples are a beautiful mix of contradictions. They are juicy yet firm, sweet yet acidic, and colorful yet abrasive. These are just a few of the reasons why people have enjoyed these tropical treats for more than 600 years.
Pineapple might not be as dynamic as some of the other nutrient-dense foods on this list, but it has something that the others don’t — vitamin C. A single serving contains 75-90 mg. The human body doesn't naturally produce vitamin C, making pineapple an excellent source, along with leafy greens, oranges, and kiwis.
Enjoy slices of raw pineapple or mixed into cottage cheese for a quick pick-me-up. This delicious fruit offers a burst of energy without a ton of calories. It also contains 44% of the daily recommended manganese in every serving.
Pink Himalayan Sea Salt
Salt is salt, right? Wrong. While most people cook with sodium chloride, they could amplify their meals with pink Himalayan sea salt. It's a pink-colored salt from the Khrewa Salt Mine in Pakistan, one of the world's oldest and largest salt mines.
So, what makes pink Himalayan sea salt superior to regular salt? The miners extract it by hand, and it’s minimally processed. When you sprinkle it onto your post-workout foods, you don't have to worry about consuming unwanted additives or calories.
People believe the salt has upwards of 84 different minerals. That includes trace elements like potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium. It's one of the reasons why the American Heart Association recommends pink Himalayan sea salt in moderation.
Best of all, you can add this salt to every meal. This nutrient-dense compound brings out the flavors in fruit, pork, sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, salmon, and beans. Sprinkle some on your dish and enjoy a healthy and delicious meal after your gym session.
Clover honey has been around for thousands of years. However, for most of human history, people have used processed sugar and other sweeteners in their foods instead. Only within the last few years has this nutrient-dense nectar received the recognition it deserves.
Clover honey offers a healthy alternative to traditional sweeteners. It allows you to satisfy your sweet tooth without overloading on sugar. If you can't find clover honey at the grocery store, you can use nectars from avocado, blueberry, sage, and buckwheat.
All you need is a dab of clover honey to boost your health and nutrient intake. It contains several micronutrients, including potassium, zinc, and iron. The American Heart Association recommends adding clover honey to unsweetened foods to get the most out of your post-workout routine.
You might not have heard about tapioca syrup, but you might have heard of the main ingredient in it — tapioca pearls. It's a sweetener with no calories. Tapioca's low-calorie and nutrient-dense profile make it an enticing alternative to regular sweeteners, like refined sugar and sucrose.
Tapioca syrup comes from cassava and manioc, a root crop popular in Asia and Africa. It contains lower carbohydrate levels than regular sugar, making it suitable for weight loss and restricted diets. The root derivative is also ideal if you have a grain or gluten allergy.
Want to treat yourself after a grueling workout? Have some baked goods with tapioca syrup instead of honey, maple syrup, or sugar. This health food will let you enjoy that muffin or biscuit guilt-free
Load up on Nutrient-Dense Foods Today
The right nutrient-dense foods can make all the difference for your training. It will be easier to lose weight, build muscle, and avoid severe health conditions like macular degeneration, cancer, and heart disease.
Best of all, these healthy foods are high in nutrients but low in calories, so you can eat a lot without consuming too many calories.
No matter your workout regimen, there are foods that can support it. Give your body the nutrient-dense foods it deserves using our list of nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. You'll love the way you look and feel. For more articles like this one, follow us and explore our site a bit more.