5 foods to build leg strength and improve your running

The saying goes, that muscles are made in the kitchen, and whilst training and exercise is important it’s vital to eat just the right things to ensure your legs are as strong as they can be.

Improve your running with these 5 super foods and see the difference they make to your leg strength.

1. Whole eggs
Although egg whites are most often seen as the healthiest part of the egg, if you’re trying to gain muscle strength it’s important to use the yolk too. They’re full of nutrients such as leucine that are key for upping muscle growth and are a cheap source of protein.

Suggested meal: Spinach and mushroom omelette.


2. Exotic meats
Unusual meats are becoming more readily available in the UK, especially at markets and smaller retailers. Ostrich and bison have far higher levels of protein than beef, as well as lower levels of fat which will ensure your leg muscles will be well fed.

Suggested meal: Exotic steak served with a baked potato topped with low fat cottage cheese.


3. Peanut butter
Peanut butter might not sound like the healthiest of options, but just two tablespoons of the stuff contains around 8g of protein. Although a little higher in calories than other nutrient rich foods, these are vital for upping energy levels for runners.

Suggested meal: Wholegrain toast with low fat peanut butter and bananas, or spread the peanut butter onto some light crackers.


4. Tuna
There’s no need to buy expensive tuna steaks to get the best of this muscle boosting fish. Tins from your local supermarket are a great source of the nutrients you’ll need to power up your run, or try opting for sushi instead of a sandwich if you eat out at lunch.

Suggested meal: Tuna Ni├žoise salad.


5. Edamame beans
Perfect for a quick snack, and easily thrown in to a stir fry, edamame beans require little preparation, and for such a small vegetable they’re an excellent source of cholesterol free protein. Just one serving contains the same amount as 4oz of lean meat.

Suggested meal: A snack of edamame beans with chilli salt.



25 Great Health Reasons to Eat Bananas

You’ll never look at a banana the same way again after discovering the many health benefits and reasons to add them to your diet. Bananas combat depression, make you smarter, cure hangovers, relieve morning sickness, protect against kidney cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and blindness. They can cure the itch of a mosquito bite and put a great shine on your shoes.

If you think only monkeys eat bananas, think again.

1) Bananas help overcome depression due to high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin — the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter.
2) Eat two bananas before a strenuous workout to pack an energy punch and sustain your blood sugar.
3) Protect against muscle cramps during workouts and nighttime leg cramps by eating a banana.
4) Counteract calcium loss during urination and build strong bones by supplementing with a banana.
5) Improve your mood and reduce PMS symptoms by eating a banana, which regulates blood sugar and produces stress-relieving relaxation.
6) Bananas reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to high levels of vitamin B-6.
7) Strengthen your blood and relieve anemia with the added iron from bananas.
8) High in potassium and low in salt, bananas are officially recognized by the FDA as being able to lower blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke.

Eating Bananas Aids Digestion
9) Rich in pectin, bananas aid digestion and gently chelate toxins and heavy metals from the body.
10) Bananas act as a prebiotic, stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel. They also produce digestive enzymes to assist in absorbing nutrients.
11) Constipated? High fiber in bananas can help normalize bowel motility.
12) Got the runs? Bananas are soothing to the digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes after diarrhoea.
13) Bananas are a natural antacid, providing relief from acid reflux, heartburn and GERD.
14) Bananas are the only raw fruit that can be consumed without distress to relieve stomach ulcers by coating the lining of the stomach against corrosive acids.

Natural Cures From A Simple Banana
15) Eating bananas will help prevent kidney cancer, protects the eyes against macular degeneration and builds strong bones by increasing calcium absorption.
16) Bananas make you smarter and help with learning by making you more alert. Eat a banana before an exam to benefit from the high levels of potassium.
17) Bananas are high in antioxidants, providing free radicals and protection from chronic disease.
18) Eating a banana between meals helps stabilize blood sugar and reduce nausea from morning sickness.
19) Rub a bug bite or hives with the inside of the banana peel to relieve itching and irritation.
20) Control blood sugar and avoid binging between meals by eating a banana.
21) Eating a banana can lower the body temperature and cool you during a fever or on a hot day.
22) The natural mood-enhancer tryptophan, helps to relieve Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
23) Quitting smoking? Bananas contain high levels of B-vitamins as well as potassium and magnesium to speed recovery from the effects of withdrawal.
24) Remove a wart by placing the inside of a piece of banana peel against the wart and taping it in place.
25) Rub the inside of a banana peel on your leather shoes or handbag and polish with a dry cloth for a quick shine.

Oh, and remember — bananas make great snacks and delicious smoothies.