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 avocados one of the worlds most extraordinary super foods – 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 in Mediterranean climates, and due to the recent explosion of information on their health benefits are now popular worldwide. Yes avocados are everywhere, and seen on pretty much every healthy plate of Instagram food on the internet.
ARE AVOCADOS GOOD FOR YOU?
I myself am an absolute convert of avocados, and along with a few other of my favorite top super foods, they have not only played a big role in helping me kick my sugar habit, but have helped me to shape up and lose the extra pounds that I was finding difficult to shift.
There are many more fantastic reasons to add avocados to your diet, and so without further ado let’s dive in… and prepare be converted!
1. SUGAR CONTROL
This is one of the main and very important benefits of avocado and I will explain why. Just a 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 keeping weight under control, as low GI foods cause much less of an insulin spike than the high GI foods that would ordinarily promote fat storage.
To find out and understand exactly what low GI foods are, and how to eat the low GI way that is SO important to health please visit my page ‘Low Glycemic Foods‘. This page will give you a list of the best foods for blood sugar and weight control.
2. CONTROLS DIABETES
For pretty much the same reasons above, the low GI and satiating effects of an avocado help to keep blood sugars stable for hours. For best results I would 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.
Luckily, because avocados are just so versatile they can 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 may help protect against many cancers.
They are also low in sugar and high in fiber (about 6-7 grams per average sized fruit). Fiber is important for proper function of the digestive system and healthy bowels; it also helps lower cholesterol, maintain 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 fats are great 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.
Avocado’s fats offer specific protection against high cholesterol due to their plant sterol called 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, which helps to protect against damage, especially from ultra-violet light.
6. HELPS PREVENT OSTEOPOROSIS
There is roughly 25% of our daily vitamin K needs in an avocado, along with Calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin K is important for healthy bones as it increases calcium absorption and decreases calcium excretion.
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 treatment, as some research suggest that the phytochemicals found in avocados can help inhibit the growth of cancerous and precancerous cells. Not only that, but these same phytochemicals may encourage proliferation of lymphocytes, which are the immune system cells that help protect us from disease and illnesse.
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.
On top of that excess homocystein can interfere with serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine: all of which help regulate mood, sleep and appetite.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids Feed the Brain
As avocado’s contain high levels of omega 3 fatty acids AND help control blood sugar, it goes without saying that this gives them a double whammy of protection against depression and anxiety.
Omega 3’s feed the brain, which will help alleviate depression and anxiety – and keeping blood sugars stable goes a long way (if not all the way) in helping to control, especially, anxiety and panic attacks.
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 gives it yet another fat burning edge. It comes in at 9 grams per 100 grams AND will fill you up. For more low carb foods to help you lose or maintain weight please read this ‘Low Carb Plant Food List’.
Avocado Nutritional Facts per 100 grams (or 1 medium avocado):-
Fat 15 grams
Carbohydrates 9 grams
Fiber 7 grams
protein 2 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 nutrients. Some people even eat the pip by chopping it and adding it into smoothies as this is also nutrient dense and high in fiber. It does have a slight bitter taste, but is worth trying out 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 ten fold, helping you to become the healthiest you ever!
For help on clearing out your cupboards and easing yourself effortlessly into a healthy way of living, please read my post ‘10 easy steps to eating clean‘, where you’ll find great advice about transitioning to a healthy eating lifestyle from my years of experience in doing this for myself.