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Eating for Yoga

By: Jennifer Grossman
Posted: June 13, 2008, from the September 2006 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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Oats. This nutritious type of whole grain contains zinc that supports cell repair, manganese for collagen formation, copper required for cross-linking collagen and protein to relieve soreness.

Tea. Green and black teas contain flavonoids—antioxidant compounds that may block the production of prostaglandins, which cause inflammation and pain.

White beans. In addition to supplying nearly half of your potassium needs for the day, white beans are a nutritious vegetable source of protein, which is important in rebuilding muscle and supporting the collagen synthesis involved in healing.

Avoid the bad

There’s only one thing that rivals the importance of choosing the right foods for providing a proper foundation for the practice of yoga, and that’s avoiding the wrong foods. Although some people believe that all foods can fit into a healthful eating style, I disagree. What you consume matters. If it didn’t, there would be no need for warning labels on cleaning solutions. If ingesting these chemicals can harm the body, it should come as no surprise that ingesting synthetically derived foods can clog your arteries.

Although yogic values advocate nonjudgment and moderation, here’s a little dietary tough love that will have your body loving you back. Pass up the pork rinds, and limit the red meat. Diets that are high in animal fats are linked to an increased risk of colon cancer and as much as a 33% greater risk of breast cancer. Plus, saturated fat clogging the arteries won’t help your circulation when demanding yoga postures require optimum blood flow.