For many of us, when we think of training, we don’t think about the food we take during our activities. With the advent of instant formulas like sports drinks, gels, and the like, we forget that there are natural sources that could be healthier alternatives. And just recently, I didn’t realize that I’ve been overlooking a “superfood” for a long time!
Like many people, I don’t really think of what I eat when I train. For as long as the food tastes good and I think I’m not taking in more calories than I burned, I’m fine. After an hour of running or working out, I feel like I can justify eating just about anything. And my favorite go-to food was rice! And we all know how difficult it is to control your intake when rice is involved.
And as expected, my body fat percentage never improved despite all the hours I’ve put in into working out and running. That’s when I realized that I probably should be looking for alternatives to rice. It’s quite a challenge though as rice is very difficult to let go and many substitutes are too expensive to be practical. Until recently, that is, when I discovered a “superfood” that is lying in plain sight and widely available—potatoes! US potatoes to be more specific:
US potatoes are already classified as a superfood, a nutrient-dense food that can help fuel huge exertions from physical exercise and movement. Potatoes are high in potassium, even more so than a banana, and are also full of vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, calcium, iron and magnesium. Prepared with the skin on, US potatoes are true power-ups. Potato skins are a great nutrition source of proteins, phytochemicals and amino acids, especially lysine. Lysine promotes healthy organ and muscle growth, and also helps convert fat into energy.¹
I was definitely not expecting potatoes to be “superfood!” I kept looking everywhere for a natural and practical recovery food, and it was right here all along! Potatoes can be more than just boiled or mashed potatoes, as the recent “Kalawang Chef” challenge of UP Mountaineers (UPM) proved when they dared their members to a cook-off.
The cook-off would involve a secret ingredient that would be revealed only at the start of the competition which must be incorporated into their dish. This year’s event, held at the UP Vanguard, would require US potatoes and tofu as the main and secret ingredients, respectively. Contestants were challenged to think beyond canned, convenience food and consider what US potatoes could offer in the great outdoors. Here is a fat-free, sodium-free and gluten-free ingredient with as little as 110 calories per medium-sized serving.²
US potatoes are now in the country thanks to Potatoes USA-Philippines, the organization tasked with making these particular taters known. US frozen, table stock and dehydrated potatoes are available in the local market, ready for different recipes running from main dishes to snacks, soups, salads and desserts. Dedicated growers in partnership with the US Department of Agriculture help ensure that only the best potatoes in different varieties make it to dining tables worldwide. And, high quality potatoes are specially selected for processing into frozen and dehydrated potato products.
Now that I know better, I have a greater appreciation of US potatoes and will definitely include potatoes as one of my go-to recovery food options.
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* Hash brown with Microgreen Salad by Team Be-Ol-Ya, 1st Place, UPM Applicant Category.
** Main source for (1) and (2) is excerpt on potatoes from Medical Medium Life Changing Foods by Anthony William, pp. 158-160.
For more information on US potatoes, and how it can power up physical and mental performance, visit potatogoodness.com/performance or like and follow Potatoes USA-Philippines on Facebook at @PotatoesUSAPhilippines.