Goat's Milk vs. Cow's Milk
When Spanish researchers compared cow's and goat's milk, they found that the two had equal amounts of essential amino acids needed for muscle-building, but the latter contained more omega-3 fatty acids as well as the bone-building trio calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.
WINNER: Goat's Milk
How to Use: Just like you would cow’s milk…. cereal, smoothies and coffee.
Whole Wheat Bread vs. Rye Bread
While many equate whole wheat with healthy, rye bread has nearly twice the fiber per slice. Diets high in fiber help maintain a healthy digestive tract, control weight and assist with proper blood sugar. Fiber also may help remove toxins from the body and lower cancer risk. Look for true rye bread, which will list "whole rye flour" or "rye meal" as the first ingredient.
WINNER: Rye Bread
How to Use: Make sandwiches and morning toast
Chicken Breast vs. Turkey Breast
Gram for gram, turkey has more muscle-friendly protein, energy-boosting iron and the ultra-important antioxidant selenium. It also contains additional zinc. Some scientists estimate that 50 percent of female distance runners don't get the recommended levels of zinc, which can make a person more prone to illness and impeding training and performance.
WINNER: Turkey Breast
How to Use: Dice turkey breast in salads, make a sandwich on RYE
Green Bell Pepper vs. Red Bell Pepper
Red bell peppers, which are green peppers that have ripened, have significantly more immune-system-boosting beta-carotene and vitamin C. Vitamin C helps protect from cell-damaging free radicals. Higher intakes of vitamin C can also lower the risk of upper respiratory tract infections in women.
WINNER: Red Bell Pepper
How to Use: Add sliced red bell peppers to tuna, salads, sandwiches, stir frys, and slaws.
Popcorn Kernels vs. Microwave Popcorn
When properly prepared popcorn makes for a healthy, low-calorie snack. Popped kernels have an antioxidant capacity on par with most fruits and vegetables, and they're packed with fiber. Stick to loose kernels found in jars or bulk bins. The bagged version is not only pricier, but the industrial chemicals used to line some microwavable pouches may contain carcinogens, according to Canadian researchers.
WINNER: Popcorn Kernels
How to Use: Add creative toppings such as smoked salt, cayenne pepper, curry powder, shaved Parmesan cheese or grated dark chocolate.
Brown Rice vs. Quinoa
Quinoa may be the best whole grain a runner can put on her dinner plate. Compared to brown rice, a cup of cooked quinoa contains more protein, fiber, iron, potassium, zinc and folate. Folate is required for the body to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen to your muscles. Quinoa also contains a full complement of essential amino acids, making it a valuable protein source during training.
How to Use: To cook quinoa, place 1 cup of the grain in a saucepan along with 1-cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered until all the water has absorbed (10 to 15 minutes). Use as a side dish or incorporate into pilafs and stir-frys.