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Food as foot soldiers' fuel

By Margaret Keefe in Shanghai | China Daily | Updated: 2013-12-29 08:08

Food as foot soldiers' fuel

A good daily diet for runners includes green mandarins, purple potatoes, watermelon, nuts and other complex combinations. Photos provided to China Daily.

Greens are also crucial. Chinese cuisine abounds in green vegetables. It's better to boil them to avoid fat.

Tofu is rich in protein and calcium. Running strengthens bones, so extra calcium helps that process. Tea eggs are also great for runners in a hurry because of their low-fat protein content. Soymilk is also bolstering, especially for those who avoid dairy, due to its balance of protein and carbs.

After these, fish and chicken are great low-fat choices as long as they aren't cooked in a lot of oil or smothered in a sweet sauce.

It isn't hard to add fat to any diet. But for runners - and the rest of us - the best choices are vegetable oils and foods rich in healthy fats.

In China, that includes nuts, seeds, coconuts and sesame paste. Olive oil and avocados are also boosters.

Eating well propels most racers past not only the race's finish line, wherever they place, but also toward other wellness goals.

American nutritionist Margaret Keefe offers a dietary "cheat sheet" for marathon runners and hobbyist joggers - and for race days. She explains which local ingredients, fruits and dishes best nurture the body and mind, and which counter pollution's health effects. The longtime Shanghai resident runs the popular Eat Well Shanghai blog.

For China Daily

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