Want your cupboards to support your strength goals? Here’s what to stock up on.
Having nutritious food on hand is useful if you’ve got fitness goals in mind. It means that when you’re throwing together your meals at the end of a long working day, or ravenously searching your cupboards for a post-workout snack, you don’t need to overthink what’s going in the recipe.
Right now, as the days of popping out for a pre-made salad bowl or energy bar are a distant dream, it’s more important than ever. Even as the lockdown rules begin easing, we should only be going to the shops for essentials, and doing so as infrequently as possible. That means you need to nail the store cupboard purchases. After all, they’ll last longer than the fresh stuff.
No idea what to add to the list? Don’t panic, we’ve got you covered.
Delicious, yes, but cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts also have other benefits than taste. “Nuts are high in magnesium and fibre to keep your blood sugar levels steady,” says nutritionist and trainer David Wiener from training app Freeletics.
Nuts are also a perfect high-protein snack, keeping you fuller for longer so that your weekly shop actually lasts a week.
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Don’t turn your nose up at this. Quinoa is a versatile ingredient that can be used as an accompaniment to curries or in your sweet treats. Why opt for it? “Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain,” explains David, and we know protein is essential for our strength training goals. “Quinoa is also high in folate, magnesium and phosphorus, making it a nutrient packed source of carbohydrate which provides the body with long lasting energy.”
“In recent years, the humble potato has been unfairly demonised,” says David. “It’s actually a healthy, natural food, packed full of vitamins, fibre and other nutrients including potassium, manganese and magnesium.”
We know we don’t need to tell you what to do with them: mash, bake, cover in cheese… the options are endless.
In many supermarkets, fresh fruit is still in limited supply. And, if you’re only heading out once a week, it might not last you between shops. Dried fruit is the long-lasting solution to that.
“There’s a myth that dried fruit isn’t as healthy as your regular fresh fruit, but it’s not true. Dried fruit will still provide you with one of your five-a-day. The vitamin C content is reduced when the fruit is dried, so be mindful, but dried fruit generally still contains a high portion of vitamins and minerals, a lot of fibre and is a great source of antioxidants,” David says.
We like adding sultanas to our morning porridge, snacking on dried apple and mango and ending the day with dates dipped in peanut butter (trust us, it’s good).
“High quality honey, such as manuka honey, contains a high level of antioxidants which has been linked to better immunity and a healthy heart,” says David. He recommends using it to marinate meat as much as he does putting it on your morning porridge.
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Don’t be put off by a plain tin of chickpeas. Once you know what you’re doing you can create delicious meals, like chillis, salads and dips (we’re looking at you, houmous).
“Tinned pulses are a great source of protein, particularly for vegetarians or vegans,” David says. If that’s you, try mixing two or more different beans together in order to get in a host of different amino acids, the building blocks of protein. “They’re also a good source of iron and fibre, which will lead to a healthy heart and keep your energy levels up.”
Want more quick and nutritious recipes? Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favourite fitness experts.
Images: Getty / Unsplash
Chloe Gray is the senior writer for stylist.co.uk's fitness brand Strong Women. When she's not writing or lifting weights, she's most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).