10 Best Natural Foods for Trail Rides

When headed out on a trail ride, a good com­bi­na­tion of carbs, pro­tein, fats and essen­tial vit­a­mins and min­er­als does a body good. Foods that are easy to digest pro­vide sim­ple fuel that sup­ports short bursts of energy, while those that con­tain more com­plex mol­e­cules break down slowly and are help­ful for endurance. Next time you head out put a few of these min­i­mally processed goods, straight from Mother Nature, into your backpack.

  1. KiwisKiwis — A native to south­ern China, the kiwi is easy to carry, needs no prepa­ra­tion, and almost the whole fruit is edi­ble includ­ing the skin. Kiwis pro­vide water, vit­a­mins C, K, and E, fiber, and omega-3 fatty acid. One of the most nutrient-rich foods con­sumed today, kiwis pack more potas­sium than any other low-sodium fruit.
  2. BananasBananas – Bananas are a per­fect snack to eat before and after intense exer­cise. Bananas pro­vide us with vit­a­mins C and B6 and also include a good dose of mag­ne­sium, potas­sium, and man­ganese needed for mus­cle build­ing and repair. Ideal for swing­ing from tree to tree.
  3. abAlmond But­ter – Not only does it taste great, almond but­ter is full of pro­tein and con­tains just enough fat, mak­ing it per­fect as a post-workout food. It’s also full of potas­sium, essen­tial for main­tain­ing elec­trolyte bal­ance in the body. Almond but­ter comes in small con­ve­nient squeeze packs that can be found at your local health food store.
  4. kjJerky – Salty and high in pro­tein, all types of meat based jerky (and even veg­e­tar­ian) make for a prac­ti­cal before and after work­out food. It doesn’t spoil, is light and takes up lit­tle space in your pack. Look for pack­ages with­out a large list of ingre­di­ents with arti­fi­cial fla­vors and addi­tives. And remem­ber to go easy on the serv­ing size because of the high salt content.
  5. Pomegranate seedsPome­gran­ate seeds – The pome­gran­ate, a berry cul­ti­vated in the Mediter­ranean basin, sup­plies the body with a good dose of fiber, sim­ple sug­ars, Vit­a­min C, and potas­sium. The best way to carry this fruit is to mine the small fleshy seeds and store them in a non-crushable con­tainer. Pop­ping the tart juicy seeds into your mouth mid-workout is both hydrat­ing and invigorating.
  6. CucumbersCucum­bers – Although low in calo­ries, fat, and pro­tein, one can’t deny the mouth-watering effect of the cucum­ber. The eat­ing style rem­i­nis­cent to the days of the one-handed mut­ton chop, the veg­etable pro­vides the body with nec­es­sary fiber and the water needed for its intake. Most of the veggie’s nutri­tional value is packed into its skin, so make sure to wash it before eating.
  7. BerriesBerries – If won­der­ing which trail to hit on a late sum­mer day, opt for the one with wild berries grow­ing along­side. Blue­ber­ries, straw­ber­ries, rasp­ber­ries, black­ber­ries and huck­le­ber­ries – all pro­vide the body with antiox­i­dants that can reduce the risk of heart dis­ease and some can­cers. In addi­tion they sup­ply the body with its ever-growing need for sim­ple sug­ars dur­ing intense workouts.
  8. PineapplesPineap­ples – Ever won­der­ing how to cut a pineap­ple? Now is the time to learn. One cup of pineap­ple con­tains 87 per­cent of the rec­om­mended daily allowance of man­ganese and 100 per­cent of Vit­a­min C. Man­ganese is an impor­tant min­eral for bone build­ing and metab­o­lism of cho­les­terol, car­bo­hy­drates, and amino acids. Nosh it on the trail or throw it on the grill for the après ride celebration.
  9. crCar­rots – Sweet, orange (or pur­ple) and full of Vit­a­min A, sim­ple sug­ars, and fiber. Vit­a­min A sup­ports vision and immune func­tion needed to keep you on the trail. Paired with creamy almond but­ter, car­rots work well as a post-workout food. For best results chew thoroughly.
  10. AvocadoAvo­cado – Emphat­i­cally referred to as Mother Nature’s may­on­naise, the avo­cado sup­plies the human body with almost 20 essen­tial vit­a­mins and nutri­ents. Most notably the B-complex vit­a­mins, which are impor­tant for pro­tein and lipid metab­o­lism mak­ing this fruit a great can­di­date for endurance activ­i­ties and mus­cle repair after long workouts.