Food to make you faster? Well, maybe. As part of a healthy and balanced diet, there are numerous foods that offer advantageous properties to the active cyclist. Here are a selection, with their health benefits explained…

PARSLEY

Containing high levels of vitamin B12, and more vitamin C than almost any citrus fruit, parsley is great for maximising energy.

DARK CHOCOLATE

Chocolate is good for you! With the highest antioxidant content of any food, dark chocolate contains mood-lifting substances and heart-protecting benefits, which can help keep cholesterol levels healthy. The darker it is, the more antioxidants it is likely to have. It also contains iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium and fibre. Great news!

CUSTARD

The calcium in the custard powder, as well as in the milk it’s mixed with is great for your teeth and bones. The vitamin D also helps the body absorb calcium more easily than other calcium-rich foods, and it’s a good source of vitamins A and B too, which will help keep your immune system fighting fit.

OATS

High in soluble fibre, oats can help reduce cholesterol levels. This fibre also helps keep the bowel free of toxins. Oats are high in vitamin B and calcium, which is a key mineral for maintaining healthy bones and teeth.

MARMITE

You either love it or hate it – but just one teaspoon of Marmite provides half the recommended daily allowance of the B-vitamin folic acid. It also helps to prevent heart disease – and acts as a mosquito repellent!

OILY FISH

Oily fish are the only source of all the essential fatty acids. These are vital during pregnancy and breast-feeding and great for maintaining brain function. It also contains a source of vitamin D, essential for strong bones and many hormone functions, and great for arthritis relief.

GINGER

Traditionally used to treat nausea, indigestion and headaches, ginger is full of antibiotic properties and will also help to keep you warm.

QUINOA

Quinoa grains are high in slow-release carbohydrates, which keep energy levels high. An alternative to rice or pasta, it is high in potassium, low in fat, and beneficial for keeping cholesterol levels low.