The last few years has really seen the popularity of the avocado soar to almost super stardom status; while I’m not a fan of hailing one particular food more superior than another, this is probably one of the most nutrient dense fruits you can get.
For many years it was feared due to its high fat and energy content. The truth of the matter is that half an avocado provides you with 4g of dietary fibre; 120 micrograms of folate; 13mg of Vitamin C; 20% of your RDA for Vitamin E and 18g of mono-unsaturated fat- that is the type of fat we should be eating more of.
While fat should still be limited to no more that 30% of our total energy intake, increasing our intake of monounsaturated fatty acids has been shown to be beneficial to both our health and waist lines. Studies have demonstrated that including more of these fats can actually have a protective capacity on our cardiovascular health. Similarly, it has been reported that eating more of these unsaturated fatty acids can aid appetite control and weight maintenance. A further benefit to those of us who exercise regularly is that, these essential fatty acids can help to encourage recovery and prevent fatigue.
When we exercise, some muscle damage is inevitable; while this is not necessarily always harmful, it can cause pain and lead to the muscle becoming more susceptible to injury. Vitamin C and E are both powerful anti-oxidants, and have been shown to prevent this muscle cell damage.
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Renee is a registered dietician with 20 years’ experience working in clinical and performance nutrition. She is the author of best-selling books ‘Training Food’, the ‘Fast Fuel’ series and ‘Orthorexia, When Healthy Eating Goes Bad’. Renee is regularly called upon as an expert contributor to many national publications, as well as radio and TV, including Newsnight and BBC 5 Live. As well as being the nutritional lead for Forth, Renee works with a number of national governing bodies, including Scottish Gymnastics, The GB 24 hour Running Squad and The England Ballet company.