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, also 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 popular, and for good reason. Not only are they super creamy and VERY satiating, they also make a great accompaniment to pretty much any meal, and even desserts.
Avocado Benefits for Weight Loss
Avocados, high calorie as they may be, can actually play a role in fat burning and weight loss process.
Not only are they satiating due to their healthy fat content, but they are also extremely low GI. Low glycemic foods keep you fuller for longer as they release their energy over a sustained period of time, keeping you fuller for longer.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are also so many other reasons why you should add avocados to your diet regularly.
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 lower the GI of your entire meal. And, the healthy fats will help keep your blood sugar stable for the rest of the day, and you satiated for hours.
Add avocado to a delicious vegan protein powder blend. Wizz up really thickly in your high speed blender 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. LOw GI foods such as the avocado cause much less of an insulin spike than their high GI counterparts that actually promote fat storage.
Eating lots of low GI foods in general will help keep both your blood sugar stable and weight under control. And, 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 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 – 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 low in 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.
Fiber also helps lower bad cholesterol, maintains healthy blood sugar levels, and also 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 amazing benefits they offer.
Other healthy, whole foods fats include: nuts, seeds, quinoa, amaranth, whole olives and coconut.
The avocado should be added to your diet alongside other super healthy fats for an all round array of nutrition.
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 as it increases calcium absorption and decreases calcium excretion. And, it’s helpful when nutrients that go hand in hand are all in the same food, as they are in the avocado.
Nutrients that go hand in hand happens a lot in nature. It’s the reason why some foods are perfect as they are, and 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.
This healthy avocado comes in at 9 grams of carbohydrate per 100 grams. It will also really fill you up, so be sure to incorporate it into your diet every day to reap these benefits to the maximum.
Remember portion control applies to all high fat foods (including the avocado) or the benefits will be lost. One portion is equivalent to half a small avocado, or a quarter of a large one.
8. CAN MAKE YOU HAPPIER
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 the 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. Be sure to get your folate rich foods in if you want to feel more calm and happy.
Omega 3 Fatty Acid’s Feed the Brain
Avocados contain high levels of omega 3 fatty acids and help to control blood sugar. 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 low mood. 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. Oily fish or vegan DHA supplements contain the vital DHA omega 3 which is specifically for brain function.
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. This 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.
A combination of all these things over time, will help transform your health and well-being.
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