Monday, December 15, 2008

The Perfect Prewalk Snack


Walking shoes? Check. Sweat socks? Got ’em. Pedometer? Yes, siree. Now, nibble on a few of these before your power walk: raisins.

A little raisin appetizer before your workout may work as well as a sports drink in helping you keep pace and could crank up your fat-burning engines to boot.

Same but Better

In a study, endurance athletes ate either sports gel or 2.5 to 3 ounces of raisins before doing 45 minutes of cycling. Blood samples were collected before and during their workout. Results? The raisin eaters had no problem keeping pace with the gel takers and had higher blood levels of free fatty acids. Translation: Raisins revved up their metabolisms to burn more fat. Try this fat-burning preworkout drink, too.

More Reasons for Raisins

Raisins are loaded with antioxidants and good-for-you nutrients like fiber, iron, and potassium. So keep a stash on hand to help you meet your fruit intake needs when your fruit bowl runs empty. They’re super easy to sneak into most meals:

Sprinkle raisins on hot cereal, like this slow-cooker Overnight Oatmeal, or on crusty whole-grain bread smeared with peanut butter.

Toss raisins into your favorite lunch salad. Or make this easy salad with raisins right in the dressing: Mango Salad with Ginger-Raisin Vinaigrette.

Use raisins in Indian-inspired cuisine, like this Curried Chicken and Pasta Salad.

Put ’em on pizza! That’s right -- this recipe will show you how: Greens and Gorgonzola Pizza.

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