Are Avocados Good For You? - 8 Little Known Facts

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, plus 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 seem to be an added ingredient to every healthy recipe and dish out there .

 

ARE AVOCADOS GOOD FOR YOU?

whole and halved avocados

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.

There are also MANY more reasons to add avocados to your diet, 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: 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 keeping your weight under control, as low GI foods cause much less of an insulin spike than their high GI counterparts that actually promote fat storage; therefore eating lots of low glycemic foods  will help keep both your blood sugar stable and weight under control.

 

2. CONTROLS DIABETES

guacamole and tortilla chips

For pretty much the same reasons as above, the low GI and satiating effects of an avocado help to keep 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 in 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.

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 may help protect against many forms of cancer, alongside a healthy diet of course.

They are 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 healthy bowels; it also helps lower cholesterol, maintain healthy blood sugar levels, and aids in weight control and weight loss.

 

4. HEALTHY FATS

olive oil in glass bowl

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.

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!

 

5. VISION

Avocado’s 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

inflamed joints

There is roughly 25% of our 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, so it’s helpful when nutrients that go hand in hand are both in the same food. This you will find happens a lot in nature and is the reason why some foods are just perfect as they are.

 

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.

cancer cells and tumours

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 the immune system cells that help protect us from disease and illness – therefore they’re a great immune booster too!

 

8. EASES DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY

Folate, and high folate foods such as avocado’s, 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:

rain cloud, depression

As avocados contain high levels of omega 3 fatty acid’s 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 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 you will need a high dose from a good supplement.

 

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 of carbohydrate per 100 grams, AND it will fill you up. 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.

 

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
  • Calories 100

Top Tip:

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 so you may not like it, but is worth testing out for yourself.

 

IN CONCLUSION:

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 avocado’s alongside other super foods and a low GI, highly plant based diet will boost your well-being and health even further, giving you much more energy and also protection from disease. All of these things combined (trust me) help you to become the healthiest you you have ever been.

 

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Stefanie Taylor

I have studied nutrition for many years, and have since discovered that a plant based diet has been the most beneficial to my health and body. I have more energy and zest for life than I have ever had and this website is dedicated to helping others who wish to know more, and start out on this lifestyle.

18 Comments

Alysia · 07/01/2018 at 10:54 pm

Love love love this post. Coming from an Avocado junkie I feel I have to limit myself, because I could eat many. I know they’re good for me, but they are still high in fat. I didn’t know all of the health benefits from them, which makes it all the better! Thanks for the awesome pots.

Alysia

    Stefanie Taylor · 09/01/2018 at 9:42 am

    Hi Alysia, I am an avocado junkie too, so we have that in common. Yes, they are high in fat so I make sure I count them towards my total fat/calorie intake, so they don’t make me put on weight. I have half a day with my breakfast, and because they are so satiating and filling they stop me from snacking all morning. So in effect, they negate themselves in that way anyway. Fantastic! Carry on eating these little beauties until your hearts content, that’s what I say.

David Candelaria · 07/01/2018 at 11:18 pm

You see, Ive heard about increasing healthy fatty intake within your diet in order to see more muscle-gaining results, but was sort of skeptical. This article really helps me to realize that there are plenty of other benefits aside from gaining muscle. Very helpful!

    Stefanie Taylor · 08/01/2018 at 6:36 pm

    Hi David, thanks for reading, and I’m glad you can see the super benefits of avocados now. They really are a super food, in fact, one of the very best I’ve ever come across in my research, and I’ve done a lot of research in the nutrition field. So yes, get these bad boys down you every day and you will soon start to reap the rewards.

Danilo · 07/01/2018 at 11:43 pm

Thanks stefanie this was an incredible and useful reading, I’m a fan too of avocados but had no idea of the many benefits you get by eating them! Sure I’ll consume them more often!

    Stefanie Taylor · 08/01/2018 at 6:33 pm

    Hi Danilo, I’m really glad to hear you are an avocado fan like myself. Seriously, what’s not to like? Haha. I’m on at least half a day now, especially since my research for this article. It’s amazing just what food can do for us, it just takes a little knowledge. Thanks for reading.

Blanka · 08/01/2018 at 12:48 am

Thank you for this great post, I like it! I love avocado and I think I am going to love it even more from now on. It really is a “nutritional superstar” with all those vitamins and minerals. It is great to know that it helps to protect eyes from the ultra-violet light, thanks for sharing.

    Stefanie Taylor · 08/01/2018 at 6:29 pm

    Hi Blanka, glad to hear you love avocados, so do I! Yes they are fantastic and I’m eating at least half a day now and they really do fill me up for longer and help stop sugar cravings. And trust me when I say, there’s not much that has the ability to do that!

laila · 08/01/2018 at 2:07 am

Wow, that’s some powerful stuff! I knew that avocados were healthy, but didn’t know it had so many benefits.

    Stefanie Taylor · 08/01/2018 at 6:27 pm

    Hi Laila, yes even i didn’t know they were quite so healthy until I started researching for this post and I was blown away! I’m eating these every day now so it’s lucky I love them.

Ashley · 08/01/2018 at 5:57 pm

Stefanie I found all of your facts very interesting and informative. I am just wondering, do you have any suggestions for me trying to get used to eating avocados? I am afraid to try them because I am a very picky eater. I have tried making it into a puree inside a smoothie but I can’t bring myself to drink it. Can you describe the taste?

    Stefanie Taylor · 08/01/2018 at 6:23 pm

    Hi Ashley, and thanks for enjoying the article. Avocados just taste creamy really, they don’t have as strong flavour which is why they go with so many different things. My absolute favorite thing I do with avocados is to make a chocolate mousse (and this really does taste like a chocolate mousse). I whizz them up in a blender with a little melted coconut oil, some healthy sugar (maybe xylitol, maple syrup,or raw honey). Xylitol is the best as it really is sugar free, a banana (if you are using really ripe bananas then you may not need any other sugar), and some cacao powder.

    I cannot give you amounts because I kind of play it by ear until it tastes nice. If it’s too thick and wont blend you can add some milk.

    I also chop them up and put on top of a chili, it really makes a difference to the over all taste, and avocados go well with spicy foods as they help temper them down. I urge you to try them as they are so good for you!

sarah · 17/01/2018 at 11:18 am

Great article and a lot of useful information about avocado. Avocado it so so healthy to eat and we can eat it in various ways like in salad, smoothies and raw. Great Information, keep it up..

    Stefanie Taylor · 17/01/2018 at 5:08 pm

    Hi Sarah, thanks for reading, yes avocados are just awesome and I add them to everything. My favorite use for them is making a chocolate mousse with coconut oil and cocoa powder with some added natural low GI sugar. Yummy!

Scott Rosenberger · 22/01/2018 at 8:27 pm

I like avocados but am just getting started using them at home. Thanks for the great info and tips!
Scott

    Stefanie Taylor · 25/01/2018 at 12:09 pm

    Hi Scott, yes they are great and I hope you get on well incorporating them into your daily food regime. Luckily they are so versatile you can use them with most meals. I have mine in my morning protein shake and I’m full up until lunch.

aidan · 23/01/2018 at 6:58 am

I first tried avocado just over a year ago when I visited Australia. I didn’t know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised, so I can definitely recommend them!

    Stefanie Taylor · 23/01/2018 at 5:11 pm

    Hi Aidan, I remember when I tried my first avocado as a kid and that happened to be in Australia also! How bizarre. I didn’t like them back then; thought they were disgusting in fact, but they totally rock my world now, I’m eating them every breakfast and they just fill me up so much and keep my blood sugar stable for hours and hours. They really are great, which is why I spent the time to write a whole post about them ha ha.

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