Photo: Grace Chan
The Fab Four
Your garden, fridge and kitchen cupboard hold the key to unlocking new performance highs and better health. Here are the top 4 fitness-boosting foods you’ll find in my kitchen.
1 – Buttered coffee
Essentially, buttered coffee involves putting butter in your coffee. Now this isn’t a completely new concept. In Tibet, you may be offered a cup of tea where the ingredients are butter, tea and salt or black pepper. You might find something similar in Singapore, where coffee beans are stir fried with butter in a wok before being ground and strained through a filter into your cup. These drinks are said to provide energy throughout your day and rev up your body and mind, while keeping you full all morning.
The popularity of buttered coffee started with technology entrepreneur David Asprey. He coined the term “Bulletproof Coffee” and adopted this practice of adding butter to your coffee. Asprey discovered that adding grass-fed butter and MCT (medium chain triglycerides) oil to your coffee gives you an energy boost, curbs cravings and improves your mental and physical performance. Coconut oil and butter fat (ghee) contain what are known as medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs), which are oxidized in our cells’ energy-producing mitochondria. This MCFA fuel contributes to the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), our cells’ energy source.
MCFAs convert directly to cellular ATP and they easily cross the blood-brain barrier, meaning they can be directly used by the brain as a fuel source. This process may be responsible for the beneficial effects of ketogenic diets seen in people suffering from neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s.
2 – Turmeric/Curcumin
This bright orange dynamic root recognized in Indian cooking aids digestion, blood sugar, immunity and has powerful anti-inflammatory affects. Athletes use turmeric to delay or reduce delayed onset muscle soreness (the infamous DOMS), key for recovery and consistency in training. Now available in concentrated capsules or add it to your food for colour and health.
3 – Lemon water
Many of us enjoy lemon in our water, but did you know it has enormous health benefits, including:
- It is a natural electrolyte
- It reduces sweet cravings
- It balances pH and creates alkalinity
- It is high in vitamin C
- Reduces tooth pain
- Aids digestion
- Replenishes post workout
Photo: Grace Chan
The Fab Four
Chia seeds are a near perfect superfood and make a decadent treat as Chia Pudding.
4 – Chia seed
Not the grass pet you see advertised on TV, this is the seed itself. Known as marathoner’s food, chia seed packs nutritional punch. The superfood contain up to 25 per cent omega-3 fatty acids including ALA (alpha-linolenic acid.) The seeds are also filled with protein and fibre and are considered a near-perfect food source. Just one ounce of seed contains approximately 4 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, 11 grams of fibre, and it’s high in minerals. When the seeds are soaked, they can absorb up to 12 times their weight in liquid and become gelatinous. Once consumed, they form a gel in your stomach that can slow down carbohydrates and sugars. The gelled seeds help keep your electrolytes in balance and build muscle.
Allyson A. Johnson is an elite endurance athlete and IMPACT Magazine’s nutrition editor.