What We Eat to Maximize Recovery and Fight Oxidative Stress
Before I jump into today’s post, I’m thinking I better explain what oxidative stress is. Maybe I’ve touched on this before? Hmmm.. I don’t remember, so let’s refresh just incase. And because I’m lazy, I’m going to give your word by word definition from Dr. Weil below.
Oxidative stress is the total burden placed on organisms by the constant production of free radicals in the normal course of metabolism plus whatever other pressures the environment brings to bear (natural and artificial radiation, toxins in air, food and water; and miscellaneous sources of oxidizing activity, such as tobacco smoke). –> I will add in there strenuous exercise as well.
But what about Free Radicals? What are those?
Electronically unstable atoms or molecules capable of stripping electrons from any other molecules they meet in an effort to achieve stability. In their wake they create even more unstable molecules that then attack their neighbors in domino-like chain reactions.
I love this poster by GREATIST. It explains a lot.
My summary –> We live in a highly oxidized environment. When we are HYPER exposed to these toxins (i.e processed foods, travel, over exercise, smoke, too much sun, etc.), we burn through oxygen quite quickly. The body can’t keep up and goes out of homeostasis. Too many free radicals are being produced which can inhibit your cells to properly repair (i.e RECOVER).
Sounds bad, but it’s actually quite normal in this day in age with how we live. Especially if you are an athlete and travel for races (like the kiwi). Which is why I am posting about this. He just got back from a race and will be racing again next weekend.
Between now and then, I try to do my best to FEED him (and me) foods that FIGHT oxidative stress. And because he’s racing back to back weekends, it can be tricky. You want to FUEL him right but also not overdo it in the sugars, etc.
Here are so foods and nutrients that we focus on.
- Antioxidants!! Especially Vitamins C and E.
- Anti-inflammatory nutrients like omegas 3.
The turmeric Lemonade is a great combo of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients.
I also like to make a Blueberry Salmon Dinner. Blueberries for Vitamin C and Salmon of course for the DHA and Omegas! I guess I need to post this recipe soon, yes? All you really do is roast the salmon with blueberries, balsamic vinegar, pepper, and olive or coconut oil for 12 minutes at 400F.
- MCT oil
Why MCT oil? Well it’s a medium chain triglyceride (fat) that is absorbed straight into the liver and digested quite quickly. This type of fat can keep energy levels up and stabilize blood sugar, which we need in order to keep healthy adrenals! Healthy adrenals = healthy hormones = less stress to body. Oh and we also take a Cortisol Manager supplement with Phosphatidylserine (another amazing phospholipid!)
We love putting MCT oil (like coconut oil) in coffee. In fact, I made a bulletproof coffee smoothie the other day with coffee ice cubs, 1 tbsp oil, almond milk, and 4 ounces of organic coffee.
We’ve also been eating a lot of grain free cereal or grain free paleo granola.
For the Nerds like me, here’s another great study to check out –-> citing lower oxidative stress before and after intense cycling, for athletes consuming flavonoids, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin C: (source)
Well, tell me… What are you going to eat today to fight free radicals?
Hmmm I think wine counts for me.
And just so you know, these thoughts are my own. No affiliate links here, just my honest opinion.