To reduce stress
Salmon and coconut curry
An upcoming race has you on edge? Eat salmon. It contains DHA and EPA, omega-3s that can reduce stress levels, according to scientists at Ohio State University. When study subjects took fish oil daily for 12 weeks, their anxiety levels dropped by 20 per cent.
Simmer this: Heat two teaspoons of canola oil in a pot. Add two chopped shallots and two chopped garlic cloves; heat for two minutes. Add 480ml of chicken stock, one 400ml can of low-fat coconut milk, two diced sweet potatoes, two tablespoons of tomato puree, one tablespoon each of grated ginger and curry powder, one teaspoon of cumin and a quarter of a teaspoon each of cayenne, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add 450g of skinless cubed raw salmon, 200g of frozen peas and the juice of one lime. Simmer for five minutes. Garnish with coriander and serve.
To tame inflammation
Pork and brown rice
In a study published last year in the European Journal of Nutrition, people who ate diets high in wholegrains, such as brown rice, showed lower signs of internal inflammation, which can hamper recovery and heart health. Lean pork tenderloin has a 6:1 protein-to-fat calorie ratio, along with a high amount of selenium, an antioxidant that may ease exercise-induced oxidative stress.
Simmer this: Heat one tablespoon of canola oil in a pot. Cook one diced onion, 450g of sliced pork tenderloin and two chopped garlic cloves for five minutes. Add 250ml of red wine and simmer for five minutes. Add two 400g tins of chopped tomatoes, 250ml of water, 200g of brown rice, one diced pepper, two teaspoons of dijon, one teaspoon of dried oregano, a pinch of cayenne, and salt and pepper. Simmer for 30 minutes.
To recover faster
Chicken and quinoa soup
Chicken and quinoa is a dynamic duo: amino acids in chicken rebuild broken-down muscle tissue, while carbs in quinoa refuel your depleted tank, making this perfect for recovery. Quinoa provides magnesium, which may improve muscle strength in athletes, according to a study by the University of Lisbon in 2011.
Simmer this: Heat two teaspoons of canola oil in a pot; fry one diced onion and two sliced carrots for six minutes. Add 450g of sliced boneless chicken thighs, 50g of sliced mushrooms, two sliced celery stalks and two chopped garlic cloves; cook for five minutes. Add 900ml of chicken stock, 130g of quinoa, four sprigs of thyme and seasoning. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 15 minutes, until the quinoa is tender. Top with parsley and hot sauce.