Avocados are not only a deliciously diverse fruit (that’s right, they have a seed, which means they are a fruit!), they also have loads of nutritional health benefits too!
Here are 5 reasons why avocados should be included in your balanced diet.
Good Fats Vs Bad Fats
Avocados often get a bad wrap because they are high in fats, so people assume this means they are unhealthy. Avocados ARE high in fat, about 77% of the calories in an avocado come from fat, however the fats are mostly monounsaturated fats which are essential to a healthy diet. In fact, without good fats in our diet we wouldn’t be able to absorb nutrients such as Vitamin A, D, E and K.
So try using avocado as a substitute for butter on your salad sandwiches or on your eggs on toast, it is creamy, delicious and it is good for you!
Avocados Can Lower Cholesterol Levels
There are two types of cholesterol. Low Density Lipoproteins (or LDL) are often referred to as bad cholesterol, and High Density Lipoproteins (or HDL) are considered good cholesterol. Even though avocados don’t actually contain any cholesterol, they are high in beta-sitosterol, which is a plant sterol similar in structure to HDL cholesterol.
Studies have shown that incorporating avocados into your diet can help lower the levels of bad cholesterol and increase the levels of good cholesterol.
Avocados are nature’s nutrient powerhouse. Packed full of goodness, including 20 different vitamins and minerals that are essential to a healthy diet.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
They are high in fiber and actually help the body to absorb antioxidants from other food sources!
Helps Absorb Other Nutrients
Some essential nutrients are actually fat soluble, which means that they need to be ingested with good fats in order for us to absorb them. Avocados are high in good fats, which means they are a fantastic means of absorbing fat soluble nutrients such as carotenoids and vitamins A, D, E and K.
So enjoy your avocados with a range of other vegetables on sandwiches, in salads or as part of a dressing or dip!
Promote Eye Health
Avocados are not only high in antioxidants, they also help us absorb antioxidants from other nutrient sources, when ingested together. The lutein and zeaxanthin in avocados are linked to the reduction of eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration, which are common in elderly people.
So by eating avocados now, you may be protecting your eyes from disease later in life.
Promotes Healthy Hearts
They hold more potassium than bananas, which has been linked to reducing blood pressure. This means that avocados actually promote healthy hearts and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Avocados reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol levels as well as regulating homocysteine levels. This is because they are not only high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, they are also high in B6 and folic acid.
They also reduce triglyceride levels by up to 20%. Triglyceride, like cholesterol, also contribute to the risk of heart disease.
Because avocados are so rich in fiber they leave you feeling fuller for longer. This means they also promote weight-loss and support metabolic health.
Anti Inflammatory Properties Help Ease Arthritis
Avocados contain many anti inflammatory properties including omega 3 fatty-acids, phytosterols, carotenoid antioxidants, and polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols. These anti inflammatory properties can help ease the symptoms of arthritis and it is believed they can even help to slow down the advancement of osteoarthritis.