Nuts are a superfood, and while all nuts have nutritional benefits, some of them have even more benefits than others. Check out our four nutty champions, and discover easy ways to include them in your diet today…
Almonds are great for cyclists. Ten nuts contain just 60 kcals so they aren’t too fattening. Their phosphorous content helps keep bones strong and almonds also contain protein and electrolytes like potassium and magnesium to aid post-exercise recovery. And they are believed to give you an energy boost too thanks to the magnesium and riboflavin they contain, which helps with energy production. Finely grind in a food processor and use them to top soups or casseroles instead of croutons or breadcrumbs.
One serving of walnuts (that’s seven nuts) contains 2.5g of omega-3 fatty acids, the type of fat that is required for a healthy heart, good brain function and to prevent weight gain. They contain protein, making them an excellent alternative to meat for post-ride muscle recovery. Chop them up and add them to a salad for a low-fat, nutrient-packed meal, or stir them into a rice dish for extra flavour and protein in a carb-heavy recovery meal.
With 137 kcals in just six nuts, these have a high calorie content and quick-releasing energy, making them a great choice for training days. They also contain selenium – an antioxidant that boosts your immune system – and thiamin, which is essential for converting carbohydrate into energy, as well as keeping your hair, eyes and skin healthy. Finely chop six nuts and scatter in your cereal, porridge or muesli for a tasty pre-ride breakfast.
Peanut butter on toast has long been a cyclist’s favourite. This is because peanuts are rich in protein as well as niacin, which is essential for metabolising carbohydrate into energy. They are also a good source of resveratrol, the antioxidant believed to have a number of health benefits including protecting your heart and increasing endurance abilities. Eat peanut butter on toast before your commute or have a handful of about 30 nuts (57 kcals) as a mid-ride snack.
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