November is here, and the holidays are just around the corner. Thanksgiving is a time for being thankful for friends and family while enjoying a delicious meal together. However, many of these Thanksgiving foods aren’t exactly healthy, especially for athletes. NASA Bone & Joint Specialists believes that everyone should be able to enjoy their Thanksgiving meal, so we’ve listed some Thanksgiving food that is great for athletes to eat:
- Butternut Squash
Dishes featuring butternut squash are a good choice for athletes. This seasonal squash contains a high amount of fiber and is full of Vitamin A, which keeps your heart and other important organs working properly. It also provides a healthy dose of carbs without a high glycemic load.
- Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are ideal for anyone involved in athletics. Because they contain a high amount of magnesium, pumpkin seeds help your body with ATP production and other chemical processes within the body. As a bonus, pumpkin seeds are easy to take on-the-go, so you can bring any leftovers along as a pre-workout snack.
The main Thanksgiving dish is fantastic for athletes. Turkey is packed with lean protein. Lean protein helps build and maintain lean muscle mass, repairs damaged cells, and strengthens your immune system. Keep an eye on how much you’re consuming, though. Turkey also contains tryptophan, an amino acid that can make you groggy. Athletes planning to train later on in the day should only eat a small amount.
- Brussel Sprouts
This delicious Thanksgiving dish is packed with nutrients. They provide the body with a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids, folate, and manganese, all which can help with athletic performance. While you don’t have to eat them raw or plain, keep an eye on the amount of butter you’re using. Butter contains saturated fat, and can cancel out the benefits of the vegetable if used in high amounts.
Asparagus is another great Thanksgiving vegetable for athletes to consume. This food is filled with folate, an important B vitamin for athletes. Folate promotes healthy blood cells, which is important when your training has increased the amount of blood flow pumping through your veins.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time, but many athletes feel as though they have to miss out on the traditional Thanksgiving meal favorites. However, as long as you stick to the right foods, you can enjoy the same meal as your family. Thanksgiving foods high in protein and nutrients can help you stay on track this Thanksgiving and power through your training routine. NASA Bone & Joint Specialists is a leading provider in sports medicine for athletes in the Houston, Texas, area. Give us a call at (281) 333-5114.