Need the ultimate workout booster? Avocados are the ‘good guys.’
by Matt Hodges
28 November 2015
Fat is not always bad. Take the avocado – it has a massive 10g of monounsaturated fat per every 100g, and it is packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, yet it is widely hailed as one of the healthiest ingredients on the planet.
These two ‘good’ fats are just as filling as your average packet of crisps (which are full of trans fats, which have little-to-no nutritional value), but the difference is that monounsaturated fats also stimulate the production of insulin, which gives you a long-lasting slow release of energy and helps boost your metabolism.
Not only that, avocados are also naturally high in vitamins B5, B6, C, E and K, as well as essential nutrients such as magnesium, fibre and potassium – in fact, one avocado contains 35% more potassium than a banana. This makes it the perfect addition to any healthy diet, both before and after your workout.
Before you work out… Add some avocado to your breakfast for a long-lasting energy boost which will see you through your morning workout. Even if you aren’t working out that day, you will still benefit from the avocado’s metabolism-busting properties and carotenoids, which are vital for a healthy heart.
After you work out… Potassium-rich avocado will help keep your blood pressure in check after a gruelling workout, while the healthy fat content will give you a great energy boost when you most need it. Regular consumption of omega-3s has also been shown to boost testosterone levels and growth hormone production, which will aid muscle repair post-workout. So how do you get more avocado into your diet? Avocado is extremely easy to eat – you can add it to smoothies, whip it into a homemade guacamole, or simply cut it in half and eat it as it is!
Here are a few easy recipes that will help you to get more avocado into your diet…
Avocado on toast. This is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to get more avocado into your diet. Mash the avocado with a squeeze of lemon juice, some sea salt and black pepper, then spread it over a slice of wholemeal toast for a long-lasting energy fix. If you need an even bigger boost, top if off with a poached or hard-boiled egg.
Stuffed avocados. The handy thing about avocados is that they come ready-made with their own bowls – just scoop out the flesh and re-fill them with the ingredients of your choice. This vegetarian recipe suggests chopping up the avocado flesh and mixing it with protein-rich beans, low-fat feta and a zingy dressing of lime, shallots and chili.
The perfect post-workout snack. .. Japanese salmon and avocado rice. A super-healthy alternative to sushi, all you need is a fillet of fresh salmon, some sushi rice (available in most big supermarkets), and a ripe avocado. Follow the instructions and you will have a filing meal, which is surprisingly low in calories.
Spicy chicken with avocado salsa. Cooling avocado is a great accompaniment to spicy foods (think guacamole and chili tacos), and this recipe pairs fiery, cayenne-rubbed chicken breasts with a simple avocado salsa which is mouth wateringly good. What’s more, the combination of lean meat (in the chicken) and slow-release carbohydrates (in the avocado) will give you an instant energy boost that lasts and lasts.
Avocado and kale salad. Monounsaturated fats have been shown to help absorb antioxidants such as vitamins A and E, which are found in plant foods, so super-charge your salad by adding half a chopped avocado over the top. For maximum benefit, pack your salad with nutritious leaves like spinach and kale.