March is National Nutrition Month and I recently presented a poster involving this topic. So, do you think you can eat whatever you want to if you exercise and burn it off? Sure you can! Should you? NO!
In aerobic exercise (cardio), there is the potential for oxidative stress to occur. Oxidative stress is the impaired performance of cells caused by the presence of too many oxygen molecules within them. Oxidative stress can produce free radicals and, therefore, antioxidant defenses are needed. Free radicals are molecules responsible for aging and tissue damage. Our bodies can typically handle free radicals but when there are not enough antioxidants available, or if free radical production is accelerated, damage can occur. In other words, exercising causes damage within your body and you’ve got to build up an army of antioxidant soldiers to combat with the free radical enemies.
It’s not a good idea to eat what you want if you exercise. You should include high antioxidant foods (see food list below) in your diet whether you exercise or not. The following foods are rich in antioxidants but are lots more to try! Google it!
To give you some examples:
- most berries
- kidney, pinto and black beans
- sweet and russett potatoes (cooked)
- red cabbage
Have a great night!