Triathletes and spinning-class addicts, take note: For optimal performance, energy, and recovery, be sure to consume a balance of whole grains, lean protein, fruits, and vegetables. Increase water intake as needed to stay hydrated. Consume a meal or snack rich in healthy carbohydrates before a workout, such as a banana. Within 60 to 90 minutes after intense exercise, aim to rebuild muscles with a meal or a light snack that includes lean protein.
Consume rich sources of iron (or take an iron supplement) in addition to foods rich in folate, such as spinach, asparagus, beans, and whole-grain cereals. Dairy intake should also be increased.
Older adults, 50+ years old:
Maintain low blood pressure, good cholesterol levels, and bone density with foods rich in calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamin B12. These nutrients help maintain low blood pressure and good cholesterol levels, as well as bone density, and can be found in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy sources of unsaturated fat such as olive oil, avocado, walnuts, and wild salmon.
Vegetarians and vegans:
Consume appropriate wholesome sources of protein such as eggs, dairy, nuts, beans and legumes, quinoa, soy and hemp milk, edamame, and tofu. Aim for at least one serving of protein per meal, and consider taking a dietary supplement if iron, B12, and calcium levels are low.
Reduce portion sizes and emphasize mostly raw or lightly cooked fruits and vegetables, along with healthy fats, lean proteins, and whole-grain carbohydrates. Use a smaller plate and utensils to make smaller portions feel bigger, and eat more slowly, stopping partway through the meal to assess fullness. Drink plenty of water, and eat a small meal or a snack rich in complex carbs and fiber every three to four hours to maintain a feeling of fullness.
Ensure good nutrition and growth and development in young children with a varied diet packed with fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. Introduce kids to healthy habits early on by getting them involved with grocery shopping and cooking. Limit the consumption of processed foods, sweetened beverages, and refined sugars.