We all know that the avocado is a creamy, delicious and versatile snack, but are avocados good for you? Let’s take look at this wonderful fruit and discover the 8 little known facts that make them one of the world’s most extraordinary superfoods and why you should be adding them into your diet every day.
Avocados have been eaten for as long as 15,000 years, and are actually classified as a berry with a large pip. They are grown mostly in Mediterranean climates but due to the recent explosion of information on their health benefits are now popular worldwide. Yes, avocados are everywhere, and for good reason – not only are they super creamy and VERY satiating, they also make a great accompaniment to pretty much any meal – even desserts.
Avocado Benefits for Weight Loss
I am a big avocado convert, and I shall tell you why – along with a few other of my favorite top super foods, they have not only played a role in helping me kick my sugar habit, but have also helped me to shape up and lose the extra pounds that I was finding difficult to shift.
This, along with a diet full of antioxidant rich, high fiber plant based foods and regular exercise, has really helped keep my body into fat burning mode; and the satiating, low GI avocado has DEFINITELY played a part in all this.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg; there are also so many other reasons why you should add avocados to your diet, and when I researched in-depth for this post my mind was literally blown by all their other benefits. So without further ado, let me teach you all I know… and prepare be converted!
1. BLOOD SUGAR CONTROL
This is one of the main and very important benefits of the humble avocado: Just half with your breakfast, or morning smoothie will not only lower the GI of your entire meal, but the fats will help keep your blood sugar stable for the REST OF THE DAY – and you satiated for hours. Trust me, this really works, I’ve tried and tested it many times.
I like to add mine to a delicious plant based protein powder blend, and whizz up really thick in my Nutri Bullet with some nut milk, cacao powder, and healthy sweetener like xylitol. It comes out just like a chocolate pudding, but with zero carbs – Perfect for keeping your body in fat burning mode after your night’s fast.
This is a big deal in terms of fat loss, as low GI foods such as the avocado cause much less of an insulin spike than their high GI counterparts, which actually promote fat storage. Eating lots of low glycemic foods in general will help keep both your blood sugar stable and weight under control, not just when you’re actively trying to lose weight, but all the time.
2. CAN HELP CONTROL DIABETES
For pretty much the same reasons as above you will find the low GI and satiating effects of an avocado will help to keep your blood sugar stable for hours. For best results you should eat a few chunks of avocado with as many meals as you can – but be sure to include this in with your daily fats and calorie allowance and not an added extra on top.
No matter what you’re eating, you still need to burn off all the calories you put into your body if you don’t want to gain weight. You just have to be smart about the type of calories you put in if you want to feel satiated and boost fat burning at the same time.
Because avocado’s are just so versatile they can also easily be added into smoothies, or as a side dish to almost every meal in some way or another, not to mention what they are most famous for in the first place – Guacamole!
3. NUTRITIONAL SUPERSTAR
Avocados offer almost 20 vitamins and minerals, including lutein, potassium, folate, B vitamins, vitamins C, E and K, beta-carotene and omega 3 fatty acids; and the array of natural plant phytochemicals they contain can help protect the body against disease.
The wonderful avocado is also in low sugar and high in fiber (about 6-7 grams per average sized fruit), which is important for the proper function of the digestive system and healthy bowels, and also helps lower bad cholesterol, maintains healthy blood sugar levels, and aids in weight control and weight loss.
4. HEALTHY FATS
Avocados contain heart healthy monounsaturated fats – the same that are found in olive oil. These fantastic fats should be eaten daily for the relief of rheumatoid arthritis, reducing stomach fat, lowering your chances of heart disease and stroke, reducing cholesterol and decreasing your risk of breast cancer.
Avocados contain the phytochemicals zeaxanthin and lutein, both of which offer antioxidant protection in the tissue of the eyes to help protect them against damage – especially from ultra-violet light.
6. HELPS PREVENT OSTEOPOROSIS
There is roughly 25% of your daily vitamin K needs in an avocado, along with good amounts of calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin K is important for healthy bones because it increases calcium absorption and decreases calcium excretion; and it’s helpful when nutrients that go hand in hand are both in the same food as the are in the avocado. This you will find, happens a lot in nature and is the reason why some foods are just perfect as they are, already perfectly packaged for us.
7. LOW CARBOHYDRATE
Avocado is also an awesome addition to a low carb diet which gives it yet another fat burning edge. It comes in at 9 grams of carbohydrate per 100 grams; plus it will really fill you up so be sure to incorporate it into your diet every day to reap these benefits to the maximum. FYI: Remember portion control applies to all high fat foods, including the avocado hence the benefits be lost. One portion is equivalent to half a small avocado, or a quarter of a large one.
8. POSSIBLE ANTI CANCER EFFECTS
A good folate intake (which avocados are rich in) has been shown to protect against some cancers, including stomach, colon, cervical and pancreatic.
Avocado’s may also play a role in anti-cancer treatments, and some research suggests that the phytochemicals they contain can help inhibit the growth of cancerous and precancerous cells. These same phytochemicals may also encourage proliferation of lymphocytes, which are your immune system cells that help protect you from disease and illness – making them a great immune booster too.
9. CAN HELP DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
Folate, and high folate foods such as avocados can decrease the risk of, and help ease the symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. Folate helps prevent homocystein build up, which can impair the body’s ability to deliver essential nutrients to the brain.
Excess homocystein can interfere with serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, all of which help regulate mood, sleep and appetite. So moral of the story – be sure to get your folate rich foods in if you want to feel calm and happy.
Omega 3 Fatty Acid’s Feed the Brain:-
As avocados contain high levels of omega 3 fatty acids and help to control blood sugar, then it goes without saying that this gives them a double whammy of protective nutrients against depression and anxiety.
Omega 3’s feed the brain, which in turn can help alleviate depression and anxiety. Also, keeping blood sugar stable goes a long way in helping to control anxiety; especially panic attacks. You can also get high levels of omega 3’s from oily fish and omega 3 supplements which you may find will help even more alongside avocado.
If you’re suffering from severe depression, then as well as needing a high dose of omega 3 fatty acids from a good supplement you will also need to be doing these other depression busting tips for maximum results. Remember, depression can be a serious illness and the sooner you take steps to help yourself the better the results will be. Remember to always consult your doctor before self diagnosing serious mental illness.
Avocado Nutritional Facts per 100 grams (or 1 medium avocado):-
- calories – 100
- Fat – 15 grams
- Carbohydrates – 9 grams
- Fiber – 7 grams
- Protein – 3 grams
- Sugar – 0.7 grams
- Potassium – 485 mg
- Sodium – 7 mg
Always scrape every last bit of the avocado flesh away from the skin, as this is the part highest in all those powerful nutrients. Some people even eat the pip by chopping it and adding it into smoothies, as it too is also nutrient dense and high in fiber, though does have a slight bitter taste which you may want to try out and test for yourself.
As you can see, adding avocado to your diet every day can have amazing health benefits, just remember to count them towards your total calorie and fat intake. Eating your avocado alongside other high antioxidant superfoods and a low GI, highly plant based diet, will boost your well-being and health even further and give you even more energy and possible protection from certain diseases. A combination of all these things will, over time, transform your health and help you to become the healthiest you have ever been.
Thank you for reading this post. If you have any questions about avocados, or need some advise on how to add them into your diet then please don’t hesitate to drop me a line below and I will get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks