Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are essential for athletes; they provide more vitamins and minerals per serving than any other food! In addition, they help fight off illness and disease. Vitamins and minerals are what make metabolism run…without them you cannot digest the food you eat.
Athletes require a greater amount of vitamins and minerals than the average person due to their high training levels. However, mega-dosing does not help and can actually be dangerous to the body. Consuming adequate fruits and vegetables in addition to a multi-vitamin provides an athlete adequate vitamin/mineral nutrition. Remember, too, that energy bars and shakes are fortified with lots of vitamins and minerals.
Try to grab at least one fruit and vegetable at lunch and dinner (more is better!) and fruit for snacks. You can eat fruit with cheese or peanut butter, mix it in a smoothie, add it to salads, & mix it with yogurt. You can add vegetables to your diet by putting lettuce/tomato on a sandwich or wrap, adding a salad at dinner, eating them raw with low-fat dip or cheese, and ordering them as a substitute at a restaurant.
- Provide the body with vitamins, minerals, & fiber
- Provide nutrients that aid in metabolism
- Provide the body with phytochemicals that fight against disease
2 Types of Vegetables
- Starchy: potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, peas, winter squash
- Non-starchy: all of the rest (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, asparagus, snap peas, leafy lettuce, cabbage, etc.)
How much should be in your diet?
- 3-5 servings of vegetables a day
- 2-4 servings of fruit a day
- Eat fruits & veggies with skin
- Get multiple colors in a day…eat the rainbow
- Eat more non-starchy vegetables than starchy
- Eat half of your plate of veggies at lunch & dinner
- Don’t cover them in sauces, butters, creams, or sugar
- 1 cup raw
- 1 cup lettuce
- 1/2 cup cooked
- 6 oz vegetable juice
- 1 medium fruit
- 1/2 banana
- 1/2 cup chopped fruit
- 4 oz fruit juice
Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD is a registered dietitian for Ben Hogan Sports Medicine and serves as the sports dietitian for the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, FC Soccer Dallas, Jim McClean Golf School, Texas Christian University Athletics, and University of Texas at Arlington Athletics. In addition, she is an adjunct professor and dietetic intern preceptor for Texas Woman’s University, Texas Christian University and the University of Texas at Arlington and is a state media representative for the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. . She received her Bachelor of Science degree in speech communications from Texas Christian University and Masters in Exercise and Sports Nutrition from Texas Woman’s University.