Want to raise the nutrition level of your diet? Add avocados. This post from Healing the Body sheds light on the health benefits of avocados and easy ways to add them to your plate.
The fat war is on, and I’m not talking The Biggest Loser. People have been busily reading labels with a discerning eye to locate the fat content of their food item, when really, if they just meandered over to the produce section they could save themselves the squinting and make an excellent choice for their fat intake. It’s time to unveil the healing benefits of avocados.
Avocado nutritional profile
Avocados are more than just an ingredient for guacamole. The diversity of this fruit native to Mexico and Central America can span from smoothies to scrambled eggs, and many places in between. If you haven’t found a way to use avocados for meals yet, you simply are not trying hard enough!
Aside from being rich in fatty acids and dietary fiber, avocados are one of the best anti-aging superfoods you can consume. This is because they are excellent for the brain, gut, and hormones, all which play an important part in your physical appearance. It is important to note that when choosing avocados, that the Hass avocado has been shown to be much more nutritionally dense than its counterparts when it comes to monounsaturated fatty acids.
Compared to the Florida avocado, for example, a Hass avocado can contain up to 6 times more total fat content, pound for pound. So what kind of nutrients can you expect to find in avocados? Check out this nutritional profile:
- Excellent source of monounsaturated fat as oleic acid. The saturated fat amounts to 14% of total fat content in a single serving with zero cholesterol.
- Provides all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein.
- Great source of fiber.
- Good source of Vitamin B6, C, E, and K, as well as folate, pantothenic acid, niacin, and riboflavin.
- Good source of potassium, copper, manganese, and magnesium.
- Excellent source of carotenoids such as beta-carotene, alpha carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
- Abundance of plant phytonutrients polyphenols and flavonoids.
- Contains a considerable amount of glutathione.
Want to raise the nutrition of your salad? A study published in the Journal of Nutrition in March 2005 showed that adding avocados to salads increased absorption of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lutein 7.2, 15.3, and 5.1 times higher, respectively, than the average amount of these carotenoids absorbed when avocado-free salad was eaten!
Healing action of avocados
Due to its generous fatty acid and nutrient content, and being rich in antioxidants and plant phytonutrients, avocados are excellent for the brain, digestive, and hormonal systems. Some of the main benefits include:
- Improved brain health, including being proven to prevent and even reverse Alzheimer’s disease
- Boosts heart health and help lower blood pressure
- Reduces stroke risk
- Protects eyes from oxidative stress damage
- Helps prevent or reverse insulin resistance, a source for type 2 diabetes
- Helps reduce inflammation
- Helps prevent or mitigate arthritis
- Helps improve digestion
- Protects against prostate and breast cancers
- Reduces age spots and heals scars and burns
The healing benefits of avocados is quite apparent, and the good news is that they are one of the clean 15 so if you choose to not buy organic, you are still doing yourself a favour by purchasing them.
How to use avocados in your diet
Avocados have been largely known for their use in guacamole, and although that is a fine way to use them, there are others ways to use them so their pairings are a bit more healthy (as opposed to corn chips). Some of the main uses in meal preparation include:
- Ice creams, puddings, and raw cakes
Our most favourite, simple, and delicious way to use avocados is in smoothies. Check out this fan favourite.
No matter how you decide to eat avocados, I suggest you start incorporating them on a daily basis. Remember to buy avocados that have no dents in the skin but will feel slightly soft when squeezed. You can also buy them unripe, and let them ripen in a fruit bowl at home. Once they do become ripe, you can slow down the process by putting them in the refrigerator.