“Avoid white foods”. This has become the easy mantra recited by those looking to lose weight and on one hand it makes sense! We all need to reduce our processed foods and white sugar intake for optimal healthy, but we’re also missing out on some amazing nutrition. While foods with bright colors like kale, red pepper, grapefruit are filled with nutrients, their white counterparts have something to offer as well.
You might notice I mention “anti-inflammation” a lot in these foods. That’s because as athletes it’s important to let food work for us! The fast we can recover from the stress of a workout the sooner we can reap the benefits or train again.
Here is a quick snapshot of 6 White Vegetables you should be eating:
Cauliflower - Did you know Omega’s are found in places other than fish? Cauliflower contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K which are great for eliminating chronic inflammation. Cruciferous veggies have been shown to help reduce the risk of cancer and their high fiber content makes them great for digestion. Faux potato salad has become one of my favorite dishes!
Button Mushrooms - Numerous studies sited in issues of "Cancer Research," and other places indicate that eating white button mushrooms can reduce the risks of breast cancer due to a substance called CLA. They are also a great source of B12 and vitamin D. I love using mushrooms to “beef” up recipes without adding meat. It’s a fun trick that I’ve found adds a lot of flavor to tacos or pasta sauces.
Leeks - Leeks are related to garlic and onions, so they carry a lot of the same healthy benefits like quercetin that help to fight inflammation and potentially protect again certain types of cancer. The book French Women Don't Get Fat talks a lot about the benefits of leeks and has a couple great recipes.
Potatoes - When not fried or smothered in cheese, the potato is a great tool for endurance athletes to get a healthy source of carbohydrates wrapped up in nutrients like B6 which helps with cellular renewal and mood balancing.
Oatmeal - Beta-gluten fiber can help to boost your immune system, which is important to keep your training on track! This great carbohydrate also stabilizes blood sugar, lowers cholesterol and can lower the risk of diabetes. It doesn’t need to be steel cut to give you a great boost. Buy the cheap container of Quaker Oats or the bag of gluten free oats from Bob's Red Mill.
Jicama - Living in Miami I have been introduced to this tuber because it is cultivated in Central America and used in many dishes here. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, has no fat and is very low in calories! I dice it up in my southwestern salads or roast it with other veggies.
How often do you cook with these foods? Share your recipes with me so I can test them out!
I am grateful for an abundance of natural light in our condo which keeps me awake and happy all day while I work.