Clockwise from left:
How much? A small tin (100g), mashed
Why? “Besides being an excellent source of muscle-building protein (almost half of your recommended dietary allowance or RDA), tuna
has bone-strengthening vitamin D,” says Anita Bean, nutritionist and author of The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition. It’s also leaner than fresh tuna as the canning process removes most of the fat.
How much? 2 handfuls
Why? “Spinach is packed with antioxidants which reduce muscle soreness,” Bean says. It also contains Photosystem I, a chemical that researchers at Rutgers University in the US found increases the body’s ability to convert protein into muscle.
How much? Half, thinly sliced
Why? “Raw onions contain high levels of an antioxidant which mops up free radicals, lowers cholesterol and thins the blood,” says Bean.
LARGE BLACK OLIVES
How much? 10
Why? “Olives have heart-healthy vitamin E and monounsaturated oils (the good fats). They also have significant anti-inflammatory properties, speeding up recovery after training,” says Bean.
How much? 6, halved
Why? “These are full of vitamin C for post-exercise recovery and keeping your immune system in good shape. It’s also a cancer-bashing antioxidant,” says Bean. Roast them to aid your absorption of cancer-fighting lycopene.
FRESH PARSLEY LEAVES
How much? 2 tbsp, roughly chopped
Why? “Parsley is rich in muscle-boosting iron (2 tbsp provides 25 per cent of your RDA) to charge your red blood cells with oxygen.” It freshens your breath, too – just right for that onion.
How much? 1, thinly sliced
Why? “One gives you 100 per cent of your RDA for vitamin C, strengthens your blood vessels and improves blood flow. It also destroys the harmful free radicals generated by the immune system to remove damaged tissue during exercise,” says Bean.
THE DRESSING >> 1 tsp lemon juice 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil ½ tsp Dijon mustard
½ garlic clove, crushed