Power Snack for Athletes: Paleo & Zone Friendly


Power Snack for Athletes: Paleo & Zone Friendly
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Healthy Athlete SnacksThought I would share a super simple healthy snack that I eat on a regular basis. Now I know you probably are looking at the ingredients and thinking a Jamba Juice sounds better, but trust me it is scrumptious and filling.  Not to mention Brussels Sprouts have great health benefits.

*College Athlete & Dorm Cooking Approved

 

Ingredients:

  • 5 Brussels Sprouts
  • Deli Turkey or Chicken (I usually use about a palm size amount.)
  • ½ Avocado

 Directions:

  • Cut ends off Brussels sprouts & then cut in half.
  • Place in microwave safe bowl, add 2 tablespoons of water, and microwave for 2 minutes or until soft.
  • Shred turkey with hands and place over Brussels sprouts.
  • Top with Avocado slices.
  • *You can also use broccoli or couliflower instead of Brussels, which ever you prefer is fine.

Brussels Sprouts SnackBrussels Sprouts Health Benefits:

Cholesterol
The high fiber content (over 15% of our RDA) of Brussels sprouts lowers our cholesterol by binding with bile acids that the liver produces from cholesterol for digesting fat.

DNA
Recent studies have shown that certain compounds in Brussels sprouts block the activity of sulphotransferase enzymes that can be detrimental to the health and stability of DNA within white blood cells.

Antioxidants
A host of antioxidant ingredients are found in Brussels sprouts, including Vitamins C, E, and A, as well as the mineral manganese. Furthermore, flavonoid antioxidants like isorhamnetin, quercitin, and kaempferol also serve well to protect against oxidative stress on the body’s cells.

Inflammation
Glucobrassicin, a glucosinolate particularly abundant in Brussels sprouts, has been shown to fight inflammation on a genetic level once converted into the molecule indole-3-carbinol, or ITC. Furthermore, one and a half cups of Brussels sprouts contain about 430 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids (about ⅓ of the daily recommended amount) that are an essential part of our body’s anti-inflammatory messaging molecules. Finally, the wealth of vitamin K found in Brussels sprouts has been shown to effectively regulate our body’s inflammatory responses.

Cancer Prevention
Glucosinolates in Brussels sprouts and their detox-activating isothiocyanates are shown to fight against and even prevent various cancers, including bladder, breast, colon, lung, prostate, and ovarian cancer.  They are like cancer cell terminators!

Cardiovascular Support
Brussels sprouts contain the isothiocyanate sulforaphane. These not only aid anti-inflammatory activity in our cardiovascular system but may also prevent and even possibly help reverse blood vessel damage. By regulating inflammation within the body, Brussels sprouts can fight against the onset of heart attacks, ischemic heart disease, and arteriosclerosis. Furthermore, the lowered cholesterol mentioned earlier may also lessen the possibility of arterial blockage.

Digestion and Diet
One cup of Brussels sprouts contains four grams (16% of the RDA) of dietary fiber, which can aid in digestion, prevent constipation, maintain low blood sugar and check overeating. The sulforaphane found in Brussels spouts also protects our stomach lining by obstructing the overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that can lead to gastric cancer.

Vitamin K
Brussels sprouts are especially high in vitamin K (one cup contains 273.5% of the RDA), which promotes healthy bones, prevents calcification of the body’s tissues, serves as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, and is essential for proper brain and nerve function.

Vitamin C
The nutritional benefits of vitamin C (one cup contains over 161% of the RDA) found in Brussels sprouts ensure a healthy immune system, ward against hyper tension, lower blood pressure, fight lead toxicity, combat cataracts, and serve as a powerful antioxidant that prevents “cellular rust,” which can lead to atherosclerosis, heart disease, stroke and cancer. Vitamin A Brussels sprouts also contains over 20% of the RDA of vitamin A that boosts immunity, protects eyes against cataracts and macular degeneration, maintains healthy bones and teeth, prevents urinary stones, and is essential to our reproductive organs.

I bet now you might rethink eating those Brussels Sprouts, in the least I urge you to give them a try. For years I thought I hated Brussels sprouts and even made fun of my college roommate and her mom and eating them. However, after trying them steamed and baked I have found a new love for the Brussels!

 

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A little more about Natasha Hawkins...

Experience: Division 1 Fastpitch Softball player at San Jose State. Degree: B.S in Marketing and Advertising Certifications: Certified Level 1 CrossFit Trainer Interests: She loves the way the brain works and how personalities and attitude can create a warrior of an athlete that will always persevere and make success for themselves. While she is not a certified nutritionist she studies and practices the Paleo diet and Zone eating. Quirk: I am an avid archer and hunter. Yup, it's true. I have shot archery since I could walk, and hunted with my Dad since I was born. I also have a sister (Cheridan Hawkins) who is a stud pitcher for the Oregon Ducks Softball Team and is on the Junior Olympic Team. My youngest sister Charli Hawkins trains with me at CrossFit and is also a catcher on the 12U California Grapettes. Follow Natasha on Twitter: @NatashaBHawkins