Dance Nutrition, General Nutrition

Veggies for Dancers – how can veggies help you perform better?

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Here in Australia it’s National Nutrition Week (15-21 October 2017) and the aim of this is to encourage everyone to eat 5 serves of veggies a day.
Yeah veggies!!
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…. Not excited?
Are yo thinking, “does veggies even have anything to do with dancers’ health and performance”?
Well, yes.
Quite a lot in fact.
But it’s simple.
Veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and these can:
  • fight inflammation
  • facilitate healing from injuries
  • keep your body functioning well
Eating LESS veggies is associated with greater stress. Also, when this is coupled with lack of sleep, it can lead to increased injury rates.
Eating MORE veggies is associated with greater antioxidant status, less oxidative stress, and better cognitive performance ( = you can remember enchainements better!). A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is likely the best tool to prevent or reduce oxidative stress, instead of purely relying on vitamin supplements.
Also, eating starchy veggies can help you reach your carbohydrate fuel needs at the same time!
So pretty much, eating enough veggies (ultimate goal of 5 servings a day) can help dancers fuel sufficiently and load up with anti-oxidants that fight away stress and inflammation to help you recover day to day and also heal from injuries quicker.
And now on to: “how can I include more veggies into my diet?”
Here are some recipes to help you out – I’ve specifically chosen a Spring theme to encourage seasonal cooking and eating too 🙂
Breakfast ideas:
bowls seem to be the trend and this one will sure be filling!
Lunch and Dinner ideas:
quick, easy, delicious and nourishing. All boxes ticked!
stir-fries make a great side to any main.
some evenings are still quite cool and that’s when you crave for soup.
makes a really good leftover lunch next day!
Snacks:
Make small rounds and it’ll be perfect for a quick snack!
I always think themed weeks are a great way to have some fun with experimenting new foods.
So take advantage of this National Nutrition Week and get some veggie-love growing 🙂
Fumi x
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If you’re into the science-y side of the story, here are some references:
Cartwright, M., Wardle, J., Steggles, N., Simon, A. E., Croker, H., & Jarvis, M. J. (2003). Stress and dietary practices in adolescents. Health Psychology, 22(4), 362-369.

Polidori, M. et al. High Fruit and Vegetable Intake is Positively Correlated with Antioxidant Status and Cognitive Performance in Healthy Subjects. (2009) Journal of Alzheimers’ Disease, 17(4), 921-927

Erica M. Holt,Lyn M. Steffen,Antoinette Moran,Samar Basu,Julia Steinberger,Julie A. Ross,Ching-Ping Hong,Alan R. Sinaiko. Fruit and Vegetable Consumption and Its Relation to Markers of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Adolescents. (2009) Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 109(3), 414-421
von Rosen, P., Frohm, A., Kottorp, A., Fridén, C. and Heijne, A. (2016), Too little sleep and an unhealthy diet could increase the risk of sustaining a new injury in adolescent elite athletes. Scand J Med Sci Sports. doi:10.1111/sms.12735
Pingitore A et al.Exercise and oxidative stress: Potential effects of antioxidant dietary strategies in sports: a review. (2015). Journal of Nutrition, 31(7-8), 916-922.
Craddock, J. C., Probst, Y. C. & Peoples, G. E. (2016). Vegetarian and omnivorous nutrition – comparing physical performance. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 26 (3), 212-220.

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