We all know that avocados are creamy and delicious, but are avocados good for you? Lets take look at this wonderful fruit and discover the 8 little known facts that make them one of the worlds 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 – they are tasty, creamy and delicious, and compliment pretty much any meal including desserts.
Are Avocados Good for you? 8 Little Known Facts
I myself am an absolute avocado convert, and 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.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg and there are also MANY other major reasons why you should add avocados to your diet, so without further ado let’s dive in… and prepare be converted!
1. BLOOD SUGAR CONTROL
This is one of the main and very important benefits of the 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.
This is a BIG DEAL in terms of fat loss, and also for keeping your weight under control in general. Low GI foods such as the avocado cause much less of an insulin spike than their high GI food counterparts of which actually promote fat storage; therefore eating lots of low glycemic foods will help keep both your blood sugar stable and hence your weight under control.
2. CONTROLS DIABETES
For pretty much the same reasons as above, the low GI and satiating effects of an avocado 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 possible, 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.
Because avocados 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: GUACOMOLE!
3. NUTRITIONAL SUPERSTAR
Avocados offer almost 20 vitamins and minerals including lutein, potassium, folate, B vitamins, vitamins C, E and K, beta-carotene, omega 3 fatty acids; plus an array of natural plant phytochemicals, all of which can help protect you against many forms of cancer – alongside a healthy diet of course.
The wonderful avocado is also low sugar and high in fiber (about 6-7 grams per average sized fruit). Fiber is important for the proper function of the digestive system, and also for healthy bowels; plus it 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.
The avocado’s fats offer specific protection against high cholesterol due to their plant sterol bet-sitosterol, and contain 38 milligrams per 50 grams of fruit!
Avocados contain the phytochemicals zeaxanthin and lutein, both of which offer antioxidant protection in the tissue of the eyes, thus helping to protect them against damage (especially damage 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 as 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 like they do 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 – our mother earth made them just right for us.
7. ANTI CANCER
A good folate intake (which avocados are rich in) has been shown to protect against some cancers including stomach, colon, cervical, and pancreatic.
Avocados 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.
8. EASES DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY
Folate, and high folate foods such as avocados, 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 Acids Feed the Brain:
As avocados contain high levels of omega 3 fatty acids, AND help to control blood sugar, 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 will help alleviate depression and anxiety. And keeping blood sugar stable goes a long way (if not all the 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.
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.
9. LOW CARBOHYDRATE
As if all these super benefits weren’t enough, the avocado is also an awesome addition to a low carb diet, which in turn gives it yet another fat burning edge. It comes in at 9 grams of carbohydrate per 100 grams, and it will really fill you up so be sure to incorporate it into your diet every day.
For more low carbohydrate, fat burning foods that will help you to lose or maintain weight please read this low carb plant food list and swap some of your regular foods for the lower carb ones. Doing this will really help you to burn belly fat specifically, especially alongside a high protein diet AND a regular exercise plan. Do all these 3 things for best results.
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 is also nutrient dense and high in fiber, but it 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 avocados alongside other super foods and a low GI, highly plant based diet will boost your well-being and health even further to give you even more energy and also much more protection from disease. All of these things combined (trust me on this) will help you to become the healthiest you you have ever been.
Thank you for reading. 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