Activity and a healthy diet are the essential elements of a strong cardio system. You get stronger when you work your heart. Increased skill comes with confidence earned by repeating a move many times. Eat well, don’t smoke, and drink in moderation. As for foods, which ones promote a strong cardio system and top cardio performance?
Heart as a Muscle
We’re talking about the heart here and how well it transports energy and oxygen around your body. To do this effectively, the heart needs to be working optimally. So it’s essential to serve yourself a helping of fish once in a while.
Avoid fish cooked in extra fat or coated in batter; instead, turn to naturally fatty fish like mackerel, tuna, and salmon. These foods promote a strong heart and also help to maintain its structure as a muscle with necessary protein and amino acids. While you’re at it, take a good look at where you get your proteins from.
Every plate throughout the day should contain a protein component. This could be quinoa, beef, seeds, chicken, or whey. Your plate could become a tall cup filled with a smoothie made from some of the foods we talk about below, but always be sure to support that most important muscle with protein and amino acids.
Seeds are excellent for snacking and you shouldn’t say “no” to a handful of nuts either. These items are so small yet so packed full of goodness that won’t weigh you down when you workout.
Another thing protein does is promote the development of red blood cells. These cells carry oxygen throughout your body including the brain and heart. One of the best classes of foods for enhancing this process is leafy greens like kale, spinach, and dark-green lettuce.
These are iron-rich but also filled with just about everything else the body needs. If your menu is being enhanced for cardio strength, look for recipes which find ways to incorporate greens into salads, soups, smoothies, and stews.
When you exercise you need energy which is created when carbs are converted to blood sugar. Exercise immediately and carbs become energy automatically. Your system takes blood sugar where it is needed most, in this case to the heart.
One food that is full of easily-digestible, instantly-convertible calories is banana. Smear a small banana with natural peanut butter and you will have the energy to last for miles of running or at least an hour of aerobic activity without feeling sick. Remember, peanut butter made with icing sugar, table salt, and palm oil doesn’t count.
Demineralized water is an unhelpful product for athletes because minerals are needed to replace the ones you lose when you sweat. In fact, you’re better off sipping a sports drink than demineralized water.
The minerals in question are magnesium, calcium, and sodium, also known as electrolytes. With a hearty helping of these before, during, and after activity, your heart stays healthy and you don’t feel dizzy.
Cramping will be a thing of the past as long as you remember to stretch post-exercise. Although energy drinks contain sugar and are gimmicky, they provide the benefit of replacing electrolytes and hydrating you.