Grill up a tasty recovery meal with protein-packed meats and guilt-free sidesBy: Liz Applegate PH.D.
Many if not most runners love a juicy burger, and with the right ingredients you can assemble one with the nutrients you need for recovery. Start with a protein-packed patty, which will repair muscles. Then assemble your burger, loading a whole-grain bun with a variety of healthy condiments and toppings. Read on for even more better burger tips.
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A three-ounce, 95-percent-lean beef patty supplies 22 grams of protein, five grams of fat, and 140 calories. Choose grass-fed beef when available; it's higher in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an essential fat that supports healthy muscle fibers. (Video: 10 scary food additives to avoid) Thanks to new labeling laws, all ground meat now must have a nutrition facts panel, making it easier to compare varieties.
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Ground bison contains a similar number of calories and grams of fat as 95-percent-lean ground beef. It also has 30 percent of your Daily Value for zinc and 15 percent for iron, which help heal injuries and boost endurance. When cooking bison or any lean ground meat, mix in a little barbecue sauce or marinade for moisture.
New Food Twists on Old Faves
Both turkey and chicken are good sources of the B vitamin niacin. But patties made from a mix of white meat, dark meat, and the skin can have as much fat as beef. Read the nutrition facts panel and buy options with five grams of fat (or fewer) and 20 grams of protein per three ounces.
Craving a sandwich instead? Try these 5 Healthy Sandwich Recipes.
Make your own by combining canned salmon and bread crumbs with an egg. A three-ounce patty has 20 grams of protein and a day's worth of omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are vital for immune strength and may help stave off age-related dis-eases such as cancer and Alzheimer's.
The Healthiest Fats for You
Many have 100 to 200 calories and plenty of fiber but fall short on protein, providing just six to 11 grams. Check the nutrition stats to find one more comparable to beef patties--like the Lightlife Backyard Grill'n Burger, which has 20 grams of protein and 15 percent of your iron needs.
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Loaded with beta carotene, which may help stave off muscle soreness.
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Delivers vitamin C and cancer-fighting compounds; opt for a vinegar-based variety to keep fat in check.
Slim Down Your Barbecue Sides
Mixed berries provide antioxidants; a sprinkle of cinnamon on top can help reduce blood pressure.
When It’s OK to Eat Fried
One ounce of part-skim mozzarella or crumbled blue cheese adds protein and calcium.
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Ketchup contains cancer-fighting lycopene; whole-grain mustard supplies a kick of flavor and antioxidants.
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Leafy greens provide vitamins; onions add inflammation-reducing quercetin.
Up Next: Best Sides for Your Cookout
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