Correlation of Consumption Vegetables, Fruit, and Nuts with Body Mass Index and Fat Deposition in Saudi Elite Male Soccer Players

Hadeel Ali Ghazzawi, Ghareeb O. Alshuwaier*, Abdulrahman I. Alaqil, Abdulmalek K. Bursais, Anwar A. Al-Nuaim, Jwaher Haji Alhaji, Yuba R. Gautam, Khalid S. Aljaloud, Faisal N. Alosaimi, Adam Tawfiq Amawi, Lana Salah Subhi Nemer, Jumana Hussine Shehadeh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: The nutrition of elite soccer players is crucial to optimize performance and improve body composition. Currently, little is known about the correlations between the consumption of fruit, vegetables, and nuts with body mass index (BMI) and fat deposition among Saudi soccer elite players. To address this gap in the literature, the current study aimed to evaluate the effect of the consumption of fruit, vegetables, and nuts on BMI and fat percentage in elite Saudi soccer players. Methods: The Saudi Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) was used alongside a cross-sectional research design to gather data from a sample of young Saudi soccer players (N = 81; aged 17–21 years old) to assess participants’ food intake; body fat percentage was measured using skinfold thickness and BMI was calculated. Results: It showed that the participants’ consumption of fruit, vegetables, and nuts was low (mean intake: 63.80 (SD = 28.54), 60.65 (SD = 32.97), 31.58 (SD = 18.94), respectively). Moreover, the relationship between the indexes for the consumption of fruit, vegetables, and nuts with BMI was not significant (r =-0.037, p = 0.742; r = 0.143, p = 0.203; r = 0.080, p = 0.477, respectively). Also, there was no significant relationship between the indexes for the consumption of fruit, vegetables, and nuts with fat percentage (r =-0.066, p = 0.560; r = 0.119, p = 0.292; r = 0.012, p = 0.913, respectively). Furthermore, fat percentage was significantly predicted by BMI (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Our results indicated that the consumption of vegetables and nuts was associated with better BMI values. Thus, athletes should adopt a strict dietary regime that focuses on an adequate amount of high-quality fruit, vegetables, and nuts to enhance performance. The significance of this research stems from being the first to evaluate the association between vegetables, fruits, and nuts intake and body composition among Saudi soccer elite athletes, giving a rise in understanding regarding athletes’ nutrition to achieve better and improved body composition.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Human Movement and Sports Sciences
Volume11
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)350-359
ISSN2381-4381
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the Deanship of Scientific Research and College of Sports Sciences and Physical Activity at King Saud University for supporting this research. In addition, they would like to thank King Faisal University for the participation of their faculty members in enriching this manuscript.

Keywords

  • Body Mass Index
  • Performance
  • Soccer
  • Vegetables
  • Vitamin

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