The mild-flavored, pear-shaped avocado is used as a vegetable, although it is technically a fruit.Its yellow-green flesh is full of precious nutrients as well as healthy fats.
Avocado contains the following nutrients in abundance: vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B 5, vitamin B 6 and vitamin E.
Here are some of the most important benefits of this precious fruit:
1.It is a source of healthy fats: Although the fat content of avocados is high, they contain ‘good fats’ including monounsaturated fat.
This type of fat can reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack along with the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.
2. It helps manage your weight: The high content of fiber, an indigestible plant matter, can contribute to weight loss and good metabolism. It keeps you feel satisfied and full longer after your meal and also reduces the desire to snack.
3. It prevents diabetes: Avocados are helpful in regulating blood sugar levels, which is important in reducing your risk of diabetes.
4. It fights inflammation: Avocado has a high content of oleic acid. This monounsaturated fat helps fight inflammation, which is thought to be responsible for asthma, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer … and most of today’s modern diseases.
5. It improves your eye health: Avocado contains lutein and zeaxanthin, nutrients that fight macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of blindness in the US.
These precious nutrients can get into our bodies only through diet, which is why we need to eat more foods rich in them.
6. Gives you healthier skin and shiny hair: With healthy fats and inflammation fighting properties, avocado can give you smooth skin and shiny hair.
Vitamin E protects body tissue from damage by free radicals, thought to play a role in aging.
7. Lowers cholesterol levels: Eating avocados regularly can be a natural way to lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
8. Helps with nutrient absorption: When it comes to vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, what really matters is how much we absorb, not how much we eat.
Some nutrients are fat soluble, meaning they need to be combined with fat in order for our bodies to assimilate them. Examples of fat-soluble nutrients include Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K, along with certain antioxidants. There is a lot of evidence that eating avocados can dramatically increase the nutrient value of other plant foods that you are eating.
9. Helps you maintain strong bones: Avocados contain a good helping of bone-healthy nutrients including Vitamin K, copper and folate.
10. Helps you with pain relief: avocado extract has been proven to reduce symptoms of arthritis of the bones (osteoarthritis).
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory benefits, it may even relieve other sorts of inflammatory-related aches and pains too.
12. Improves your digestion: One avocado contains 13 grams of fiber, which is around 54% of your recommended daily fiber intake. Fiber is an important component of any balanced diet – it keeps your digestive system running smoothly.
13. It is important for expecting mothers: Avocados are full of folate, potassium, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6, nutrients that are essential for the healthy development of the fetus in early pregnancy.
14. It controls blood pressure: Avocado is a great source of potassium, which is important for controlling blood pressure thanks to its ability to reduce the effects of sodium in the body.
15. Gives you energy: Healthy fats in avocado provide a slow and steady flow of energy to sustain you through the day. Fat is the most concentrated source of energy for our bodies of all three macronutrients (carbs, protein, fats).
16. Enhances your mood and stimulates your brain: An avocado a day might cheer you up thanks to its vitamin and mineral content – especially potassium and folate.
A low level of potassium has been shown to have an effect on depression.
Copper is a brain stimulant, which is why avocados can be classed as a brain food.
INTERESTING NEW WAYS TO CONSUME AVOCADOS
Avocados are best used raw, not cooked. Here is how you can eat them in some new ways:
- Halve, stone and serve with olive oil and and balsamic vinegar or vinaigrette, or fill the hollow with prawn cocktail.
- Mash with tomatoes, garlic and chillies to make the classic Mexican dip, guacamole; or slice thinly with tomato and mozzarella drizzled with olive oil to make an Italian tricolore salad.
- Blend them in smoothies and add a slightly nutty flavor. Avocados make a great green base for any fruity smoothie and pack in extra nutritional goodness.
- Smash up your avocado into a tasty green dressing for pasta. The naturally buttery soft flesh won’t overpower other flavors. All it takes is a sprinkling of Parmesan and a couple of fresh basil leaves to serve up a special supper.
- Pack your avocado with the filling of your choice for an easy snack or light lunch. Serve it with sundried tomatoes, olives and spring onionsor tuck into veggies, beans and cheese for a really quick, protein-rich repast.
- Swirle it into a beautiful dessert, like a simple chocolate pudding. Avocado naturally lends itself to blending, with its neutral taste and creamy flesh.