To a sports dietitian, nothing says “the holidays are here” like the sound of athletes pleading for a cheat code to holiday eating. From sweet to savory or appetizer to dessert, food brings family and friends together to celebrate with gratitude for one another and the kindness in their hearts.
As a former high school football player, football coach, and now occasional nutrition counselor for high school athletes, I have seen many sides of the high school athletes. One of the sides involves several nutritional challenges.
According to the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), well-planned eating practices help athletes to train hard, stay healthy and injury-free, and maximize their performance. An ideal athletic diet should contain well-balanced portions of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fat), micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and fluids.
"Mainly, we are looking for the healthy fats, antioxidants and protein in the pistachios. The mixture of the healthy fats and lutein helps to support the brain and eyes, the polyphenols help to decrease inflammation and the arginine effects circulation and recovery." -Becci Twombley, RD, CSSD
In a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers studied how effective it was to prevent cardiovascular disease with a Mediterranean Diet with either olive oil or nuts and concluded that “the incidence of major cardiovascular events was lower among those assigned to a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts than among those assigned to a reduced-fat diet.”
2018 showcased the continued growth in plant-based food innovation, interest, and sales. According to Innova Market Insights, consumers are drawn to plant-based foods based on the growing cross-sectional interest that drive its popularity: sustainability, health, and ethics from plant-based ingredients.