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6 foods you can eat to dial-in your performance on the golf course

March 6, 2020

The halfway house hot dog is one of life’s most tempting foods. There’s nothing quite like the savory, grilled doughy goodness of a good frank in the midst of a long afternoon out on the course. Coincidentally, there are few things worse for helping you attain peak performance than a steady diet of high-carb, high-salt hot dogs. And while cutting them out of your diet might seem like a good idea, you’d rather play like garbage than replace your hot dogs with kale, quinoa or some other trendy food option.

Luckily for you, in an infinite world of “superfoods,” the grub maximizing your performance could be quite ordinary. Tyler Jean is a doctoral candidate in Naturopathic Medicine and the face behind the popular Instagram nutrition account @Functional.Foods. Here are six of his favorite foods to boost your next round and beyond.

Brussels sprouts: There’s a reason why your mom told you to eat your greens for all those years. Certain vegetables, like brussels sprouts, are loaded with nutrients that keep your body running efficiently.

“In particular, Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite functional foods because they are one of the most potent producers of Nrf2,” he said.

Nrf2 is a chemical compound that helps bolster your body’s antioxidant response, ridding you of toxins and protecting your cells.

Turmeric: A major spice in Asian food (particularly curry), turmeric is one of Jean’s favorites for its bevy of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory properties. While you might not notice a difference in small doses, adding ‘good’ foods like turmeric to your rotation can pay big dividends over time.

“As athletes, your body is your greatest asset,” Jean said. “Providing it with the right fuel is going to allow you to perform day in and day out at a high level.”

And providing your body with inflammation-fighting foods like Turmeric can be a major injury-prevention asset while out on the course.

Pineapples:  More than a decoration for your post-round cocktail, pineapples are powerful weapons in the recovery process. The sweet, spiked fruit promotes wound healing, helping to protect against infection as it aids redness, pain and swelling.

Dark Chocolate: “If you love dark chocolate, I’m here to tell you to consume more of it,” Jean said.

Yes, you heard that right, MORE chocolate. But why dark chocolate? Because it’s rich in magnesium, a mineral that’s deficient in two-thirds of the U.S. population.

Magnesium plays a role in reducing blood pressure, improving blood flow and boosting vascular function. That could mean feeling willing to leave the cart in the barn and walk for 18 holes, or having extra energy once your round is over.

Beets: Beets are more than a nod to Dwight Schrute, they can be a potent nutritional asset. Beets are great for your liver, helping to detoxify and improve your overall organ function.

Coconut: If your only coconut consumption is coming via pina colada, it might be time to reconsider. Coconuts are high in MCTs, a red-hot phrase in the diet world in 2020. MCTs burn more efficiently than other dietary fats, making them not only an effective weight-loss tool but also a more consistent energy source.

“This is where the whole bulletproof and keto diet trend is coming from, you’re utilizing MCTs,” Jean said. “Sometimes I’ll refer to carbohydrates as a dirty, rapid fuel, because it’s oxidized quickly right then and there. Whereas with (MCTs) it’s steady, prolonged, sustained energy.”

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