As a runner you've likely established your favourite pasta or rice 'staple' that you wheel out pre- or post-long run. You probably even dream about it to get you through those last few miles...
Here are a couple of my favourites - full of flavour, very easy to make and packed with nutrients to promote recovery and mop up cellular damage.
I like my carbs a little too much, and have had to find really delicious non-pasta options to avoid daily penne consumption. Brown rice takes longer to cook but has a wonderfully nutty flavour and lends itself to some delicious dishes. White rice is produced by 'milling and polishing', whereby both the bran layer and germ of brown rice are removed, leaving the starchy endosperm. In the process many vitamins and minerals are removed, notably vitamin B1, B3, B6, half the manganese and phosphorus and 60% of the iron, plus fibre and essential fatty acids. Whilst white rice is then enriched with B1, B3 and iron, these are in a less available form, and some nutrients do not get added back in, such as magnesium.
The nutritional info:
A cup of brown rice will provide 21% magnesium requirements, an essential mineral in regulating nerve and muscle tone and formation of healthy bones. Insufficient magnesium can cause cramps, high blood pressure, tension, soreness and fatigue, and there are compelling links between magnesium supplementation and improved sleep.
It will also provide 88% manganese requirements, which helps energy production from protein and carbohydrate. It is also found within the superoxide dismutase enzyme, which protects against free radical damage during energy production.
A cup provides 27% of your daily selenium requirement, a trace element that is often insufficient in Western diets. Selenium is an essential mineral in our antioxidant defences, working alongside vitamin E to reduce inflammation and cell damage. It plays a role in immune function and DNA repair and synthesis.
It contains 14% of our daily fibre needs - great for gut health and also for filling us up.
Furthermore, the rice bran oil in brown rice has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.