We love fat
Fat is bad, right? Wrong! There are bad fats and good fats and the mighty avocado sits firmly in the good camp. Technically a member of the fruit family, avocados are unique because of their exceptionally high fat content, but this key ingredient is nothing but a blessing.
‘Unlike most other fruits avocados are predominantly fat rather than carbohydrate – around 85% fat,’ says Dan Martin, High Performance Nutritionist and Healthspan Elite Ambassador. ‘While this may sound negative, it is a highly nutritious and versatile food that should be included in any runner’s diet!’
The high fat content of the bright green fruit comes with a wealth of health benefits. ‘The abundance of monounsaturated fats (good fats) within avocados actively reduce LDL or “bad cholesterol” while increasing HDL (good cholesterol),’ explains Dr Martin.
‘This not only benefits general cardiovascular health, but having cleaner blood vessels not clogged with cholesterol and fatty deposits means a more efficient delivery system of oxygen and removal of carbon dioxide. This may certainly help running performance!’
Before you reach for a banana, consider your favourite funky green fruit. Exceptionally high in potassium, avocados are the perfect health food for hungry runners.
An essential electrolyte, potassium maintains your metabolism, water and chemical balance, which is necessary to keep your body functioning at its best during high-impact exercise. Muscle contractions, nerve impulses and regulation of heartbeat also require potassium to function effectively, so chow down on the green stuff and keep on running.
While running makes the world go round, one of the potential side effects of going hard at it is the wear and tear pounding the pavements can have on your joints. Running has been proven to benefit almost all bodily functions, but repeatedly chasing the tarmac can on occasion lead to inflammation.
Step in the super avocado! A little known benefit of our favourite bright green fruit is the impact it has on weary joints. ‘Clocking up miles on the road causes significant inflammation in muscle tissue. Excessive and prolonged inflammation leaves you feeling sore while potentially inhibiting any gains and adaptations to training,’ explains Dr Martin.
‘Being rich in the antioxidants vitamin C and E, eating avocados will help reduce inflammation, assisting in the recovery process,' he adds. 'Ample vitamin C is also responsible for collagen synthesis - considering bone is around 90 per cent collagen this nutrient is key in helping the prevention of stress injuries in the tibia. So despite its pear shaped frame and crocodile texture, the avocado is a fruit we should be running to rather than running away from.’
Stay fuller for longer
As if you needed any more amazing facts to convince you avocados are the fruit of the gods, they also happen to be high in fibre. This can actually curb hunger pangs, making them a perfect exercise fuel and handy for runners chasing weight loss.
Rich in monounsaturated fat, the mighty avocado is also a good source of energy for endurance exercise, as this fat fills you up, meaning you are less likely to get hungry halfway down the road. Let's all have an avocado party!
Get a vitamin boost
Last but by no means least, avocados are a fantastic source of B vitamins which help fight off disease and infection, so you can stay in optimum health and keep on running all day long! (Or 5K to the pub, whatever floats your boat).
They also come packed with vitamins C and E, plus natural plant chemicals that may help prevent cancer. And if that doesn't convince you to march straight home and start making the ultimate guacamole right this minute, avocados are also rich in vitamin E and a range of carotenoids, which can actually protect the skin from UV light damage while you’re out running in the hills. So there you have it, avocados and runners are a match made in bright green fruity heaven.
Amazing avocado recipes
Hey, runners! Get stuck into the mighty green fruit and run like the wind with our delicious avocado recipe suggestions.