When you are exercising regularly and working the body at a fairly strenuous level then you might find your body going through oxidative stress - a process that can cause injury, excessive fatigue, and delay recovery. Yet, science might have a simple hack to help prevent this.
It is important to note that oxidative stress happens naturally when we exercise and as we age, and this isn’t always harmful. But the process of excessive, long-term oxidative stress is linked to cell damage and cardiovascular disease, and regular exercise and a healthy diet will go a long way to reducing it. This will also help ensure that our bodies are not at risk of injury after exercise.
In addition to wearing the right gear when you exercise, you can also reduce the risk of increasing oxidative stress by eating a healthy, nutrient rich diet.
A recent study conducted at the Kagawa Nutrition University in Japan has revealed that eating kiwi fruit everyday can help to reduce oxidative stress.
The researchers recruited 30 college-aged, middle and long distance male runners and instructed half to eat two kiwis everyday for two months alongside their normal diet and training, meanwhile the other half didn’t consume any kiwis.
The results revealed that eating kiwis could decrease the negative effects of high intensity training.
Oxidative stress and exercise: Is it good or bad for you?
Why kiwis specifically? The kiwi fruit contains high levels of antioxidants which can help control the spread of free radicals in the body. This is what causes oxidative stress in the first place.
Even better, the kiwi fruit also contains polyphenols, these are good for managing blood sugar levels and reducing risk of heart disease. Plus Vitamin C, which amongst many benefits is great for repairing body tissue.
There are plenty of other foods that can help to reduce oxidative stress, such as citrus fruits, broccoli and leafy greens.
This is supported by a 2018 study published in the Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity journal. The researchers found that a diet overloaded with carbohydrates, animal proteins and fats, can lead to oxidative stress. The report suggests that eating more refined carbohydrates, whole grains and plenty of fruit and vegetables can help with this.
Changing up your diet doesn’t happen overnight but you can take meal inspiration from our best vegan cookbooks list. These include excellent selections of recipes based around some of the key ingredients mentioned above.
Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. She is a keen runner and is currently sweating her way through a 10k training plan. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen - which she loves sharing with others on her healthy living-inspired Instagram account, @jessrunshere. Despite her love for nutritious cooking, she stands by the saying ‘everything in moderation’ and is eagerly conquering the London food and drink scene!
What motivates you to exercise? New research examines what gets people moving
Wellness The University of Waterloo has found fear of illness and death is what gets people exercising rather than positive effects
By Matt Evans •
Watch: This 30-minute guided yoga flow for beginners' hip and posture health
Yoga This yoga flow from expert trainer Karen Kirkness will loosen up your hips and lower back
By Matt Evans •