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Dried fruits and fitness

Ask a dozen practitioners of bodybuilding , men and women, make a list of the essential components of a healthy diet and improves physical performance: well it is unlikely that even one of them includes in the dried fruit.

The benefits of oilseed

Long considered too high in fat and calories, peanuts, almonds, walnuts and other nuts were shunned by most bodybuilders. However, many studies show that it is possible to train harder, recover faster and feel significant benefits to weight training and in terms of health if you eat a handful of dried fruit every day. Dried fruits are full of nutrients helpful for athletes, including essential vitamins, minerals and performance enhancing compounds called phytochemicals. In addition to vitamins that provide, nuts contain good fats that protect the brain and heart, and even help those who are dieting.

Packed with nutrients

Calorie for calorie, dried fruits are not a major source of protein , compared to tuna or turkey, for example. However, for vegetarians and those who try to eat less meat, peanuts (which are actually legumes as well as beans or lentils) and nuts (especially walnuts Juglans nigra (nuts of America), almonds and pine nuts instead offer a good alternative to animal protein.

Of course, nuts and peanuts do not contain lysine, an essential amino acid , although vegetarians who use them as a source of protein can compensate for this deficiency by combining beans or soybeans which are rich in lysine. In addition, nuts and peanuts are an important source of arginine, an amino acid precursor of nitric oxide also called nitric oxide . Nitric oxide increases blood flow to the heart, relaxes the arteries and slows blood clotting. It therefore increases the flow of nutrients reaching the muscles, this is one of your best allies in building muscle.

Although green vegetables provide significant amounts of vitamins and minerals per calorie, dried fruit its a good source of certain key vitamins. Few foods provide as much vitamin E as almonds, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and peanuts. Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, preventing the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood. In fact, there is a correlation between the intake of vitamin E in high doses and reduced risk of heart disease. Protecting tissue alterations caused by oxygen, vitamin E is also able to increase the post-workout recovery. Peanuts are a good source of folic acid or vitamin B9, useful for cell division and the production of DNA, which control cellular activities. Adequate intake of folic acid reduces blood levels of homocysteine, an element linked to cardiovascular disease. In addition, women who ingest appropriate doses of folic acid just before and during pregnancy can reduce the risk of birth defects of the brain and spinal cord of the child at birth.

In addition to folic acid, peanuts are an important source of niacin (vitamin B3) and thiamine (vitamin B1). Brazil nuts and pistachios are also a significant source of thiamine. The gears are also rich in niacin, as well as almonds. B vitamins, when combined, play a critical role in the transformation of energy in carbohydrates , protein and dietary fat.

Fill minerals

A handful (about 40g) brazil nuts and cashew nuts provides more than 30% of the daily requirement of copper, an important mineral, but it is rarely mentioned. Entering into the composition of many proteins and many enzymes involved in energy production, copper is necessary for the proper functioning of nerves. Almonds and cashews and pine nuts are one of the few foods that naturally contain significant amounts of magnesium. This mineral that we do not eat sufficient, is necessary for strong bones, for the proper functioning of many enzymes, and it is of particular interest to bodybuilders, as needed for muscular work.

Nuts of America, pecans and pine nuts also contain manganese, other minerals rarely mentioned. The name comes from a manganese Greek word magic qualifier justified given the wide range of bodily functions on which it acts, such as strengthening the skeleton, it also acts as an antioxidant. Athletes should ensure they consume enough manganese every day, because a deficiency can cause growth problems, swelling or joint deformities and problems of development and assimilation of sugars and fats.

Almonds, pistachios and chestnuts provide significant amounts of potassium, electrolyte that plays a role in two key functions of the drive: water balance and maintaining normal blood pressure.

Brazil nuts provide a substantial amount of potassium, although their forte is selenium. They grow in the Amazon in selenium-rich soil. Selenium reduces the risk of cancer by providing antioxidant function.

Brazil nuts also contain significant amounts of zinc, a mineral associated with fertility. Zinc has other major effects: it strengthens the immune system and ensures proper growth and taste perception.

A good source of phytochemicals

The word phytochemicals is derived from the Greek phyto, which means plant. Many studies suggest that a diet based on plants (ie pulling the calories mainly cereals, fruits and vegetables), phytochemicals reduce the risk of cancer, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. These substances in the dozens, some of which are found in significant amounts in nuts.

Good fats

Although nuts (except chestnuts) are saturated with oil, you’ll be pleased to learn that the fat in almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, the pine nuts and pistachios are mainly monounsaturated. (Coconut oil contains mainly saturated fats which can be damaging to the health of the heart). Monounsaturated oils of these nuts protect against heart disease and stroke, helping to maintain good cholesterol at a stable level while lowering bad cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fats).

Nuts deserve special mention for their concentrations of omega-3 fats, which are among the most important of all foods of plant origin. Omega 3 are a group of essential fats and polyunsaturated fats which have been shown to help protect against heart attacks by reducing the formation of blood clots and avoiding dangerous heart rhythm disturbances. Evidence that omega-3 can reduce joint inflammation and provide the energy necessary to drive is particularly useful for practitioners of bodybuilding.

Daily consumption of dried fruit

If you’re one of the 98.9% of the population can enjoy dried fruit, ie if you are not allergic, eat! reasonable daily consumption (about 30 g) provides athletes a significant amount of nutrients promoting performance, including vitamins that convert food into energy, minerals that promote healthy joints and strengthen muscles, and antioxidants that enhance recovery after training and reduce the harmful effects of oxygen. In addition to protein, dried fruits also provide many phytochemicals and monounsaturated fats that protect the heart (the most important muscles) and prevent heart attacks and cancer.

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