Crunchy Cocoa Chili
A 2011 European Journal of Nutrition study found that polyphenol antioxidants in cocoa can blunt the muscle-damaging effects of oxidative stress resulting from exercise. "Canned beans are a good source of carbohydrates and lean protein, the two key nutrients runners need for exercise recovery," Scritch-field says. Furthermore, University of Arkansas scientists determined that soy protein, which is abundant in tofu, can stimulate protein synthesis, making this no-fuss vegetarian chili a smart postexercise meal option.
Total time: 40 minutes
Use frozen peas to replace corn.
Cook lean ground chicken breast with the onion instead of tofu.Swap the tortilla chips for shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese.
Mini Salmon Loaves with Salsa
"Canned salmon is a very rich source of DHA, a type of omega-3 fat that promotes brain health and helps lower blood triglycerides to reduce heart-disease risk," says Scritchfield. What's more, University of California researchers discovered that DHA can improve skeletal-muscle blood flow during exercise. Just be sure to check that the label says "wild salmon" to avoid high mercury levels. Oats have fiber and magnesium, a bone-building mineral that may also slash diabetes risk by improving insulin sensitivity.
Total time: 30 minutes
Try canned crab instead of salmon.
Swap out red bell pepper for diced frozen asparagus.Trade spinach for collard greens.
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