First came the açaí berry craze, then the fanatical obsession with quinoa, and now moringa. Few golfers can pronounce their names, yet nearly everyone is familiar with the hype surrounding the latest superfoods.
But what exactly makes a superfood “super”, and what role do they play in your golf game?
Superfoods are whole foods containing a wide spectrum of essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that are extremely beneficial to physical and mental health, as well as sports performance and recovery. Nutrient-dense superfoods are not processed or altered and provide energy for a long successful day on the golf course. Many superfoods on our list can be easily added to on-the-go meals or meals before, during, or after a strenuous round out on the links.
These fiber-rich, orange gems are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients, including enough vitamin A for your daily needs in just one serving. Sweet potatoes are a solid source of instant fuel, potassium (bye-bye leg cramps), are a powerhouse of antioxidants, and are fabulous for your skin, hair and nails. Enough said!
Tip: Go for sweet potatoes over white potatoes when fueling up after your round (and no, we did not say sweet potato fries). Top it off with plain Greek yogurt, chives, bacon, or cheese to boost the protein. Or, if you really want to impress, use some roasted sweet potato slices as a hamburger bun alternative!
The hype surrounding the dark, leafy green is not unprecedented. Kale is a nutrient rock star, chock full of essential goodness that supports heart and bone health and helps control blood glucose in diabetic golfers. Kale also plays a co-starring role in promoting healthier skin, hair, and nails!
Tip: Kale can be enjoyed raw in salads, lightly sautéed, or blended into a smoothie to save on carbs, calories, and sugar! When crafting your pre-round lunch, use kale as a sandwich wrap alternative, filling it with lean proteins such as organic chicken breast or turkey slices.
These tiny, black seeds were first utilized for their superfood qualities in ancient Mayan civilizations, prized for their ability to provide long-lasting energy. Chia seeds are one of the most nutrient dense foods, calorie for calorie, rich in fiber, plant-based protein, healthy fats, calcium, and antioxidants. In fact, chia has more calcium in a single serving than many dairy products. When eaten, chia seeds absorb 10-12 times their weight, making you feel full and can even lead to weight loss.
Tip: Chia can be added to any dairy or nondairy milk to make a rich pudding or smoothie, sprinkled into oatmeal or yogurt, or even mixed into water or juice for a truly energizing drink.
Salmon is high-quality protein and healthy fats wrapped into one. The oils in salmon protect against a host of health issues: most importantly, heart disease and cancer, both of which occur in high rates in women. Salmon can help decrease inflammation while also providing extra support for joints, keeping your swing in check for years to come. Salmon also contains vitamin D, which aids in boosting energy levels and strong bones. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings per week of salmon or other fatty fish (each serving is 3.5 ounce cooked, or about ¾ cup of flaked fish).
Tip: Order salmon over steak when grabbing dinner after an evening round. If possible, always choose wild-caught salmon over farmed salmon, as it has the lowest risk for possible contaminants, including pesticides and pollutants.
Incorporating at least one, if not more, of these superfoods into your daily routine is easy to do. And enhancing your athletic performance on the golf course through superfoods is simple and safe, not to mention killer for your bod. Superfoods may just be your new best friend and the key to your next birdie!