Move aside apples, it turns out it’s avocados that we should be eating on the daily. New research shows just half an avo can boost our health and slash our risks for a range of diseases. Find out what this humble Aussie favourite can do for you.
We’ve long known avocados to be a healthful addition to a balanced diet – but you may be surprised to learn of the recent scientific backing of this fruit – yes, it’s a fruit not a veggie – with research finding that eating just one half of an avocado can reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease by 16 to 20%. The study suggested relacing staples like margarine, processed red meat or butter with avo to reap the benefits of a healthier heart and gut. When you consider the nutritional profile of avocado, this news shouldn’t come as such a surprise. Let’s get into it.
Why avocado is so good for you
Avocados are a nutrient-dense food that are as healthful as they are delicious – smashed avo toast, anyone? Or maybe a bit of guac with your carrot and cucumber sticks – either way, this creamy fruit adds a velvety texture to any dish (even brownies) – but that’s not why you should consider spooning this stuff onto your plate. It’s the vitamin and mineral content that set it bars above other competitors with similar culinary uses – like animal fats. We’ll be unpacking the nutritional profile of this tasty fruit, plus why you should drop a few of them in your shopping basket. First, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of eating avocado:
- Improved hair, nail and skin quality
- Satiety after eating
- Improved gut health
- Reduced risk for cancer
- Assists with weight loss
Vitamin K: This is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential for blood-clotting, bone health and calcium absorption – and considering avocados are packed with healthy fats, you’re guaranteed to absorb this nutrient. Just half an avocado contains 14 microgramsof vitamin K. To put this into perspective adults need around 1 microgram of vitamin K per kilogram of their body weight, so someone weighing 50 kilos will need to take in around 50 micrograms of vitamin K.
Healthy fats: Avocados are packed with healthy fats – and despite what years of diet culture have suggested, these fats are essential to a nutritionally complete diet. This is because they’re required to process vitamins A, D, E and K, and our bodies can’t create these essential fats on their own. The “war on fat” is responsible for an abysmal 41% of people knowing that fats are a nutritionally essential part of a healthy diet – while the majority in this survey didn’t realise their importance for our survival. Luckily, the tides are turning and we’re beginning to see a greater push to get those fats into our diet – and avocados are a great place to start. They provide healthy fats like medium chain triglycerides and omega 3 fatty acids. These are vital for skin and brain health, and one notable fat – oleic acid – is especially beneficial to our health. Studies have found that oleic acid can prevent insulin resistance and reduce the risk for heart disease. The medium chain triglycerides are also important in keeping us fuller for longer, as they’ve been found to decrease appetite and curb sugar cravings.
Vitamin C and vitamin E: This immune-boosting vitamin is essential for our health, not only for warding off colds, but also for absorbing iron. It’s essential for the growth and repair of our body’s tissues, along with wound healing, maintaining bone health and forming collagen. Avocados pack around 22% of the daily recommended intake, making them an ideal addition to your brekkie to get your day off to a good start. Avocados also provide a dose of vitamin E, which is essential for:
- Maintaining healthy vision
- Maintaining reproductive function
- Promoting brain health
- Improving skin health
- Fighting free radicals and inflammation
Potassium: Avocado provides a hefty dose of potassium – which is highly beneficial considering our bodies cannot produce this stuff on their own. That’s why we need to get a sufficient intake of this mineral through our diet. If you’ve ever been low on potassium, you may have noticed a spike in muscle cramps or eye twitches – yep, you weren’t imagining it, this mineral plays a role in maintaining the healthy function of our muscles and nerves. It also assists with:
- Regulating our heartbeat
- Metabolising protein and carbohydrates
- Supporting healthy blood pressure
- Transmitting nerve signals
Here’s where avocado comes in – this tasty fruit packs in 345 milligrams of potassium in just one half. In fact, avocados knock bananas – the more well-known potassium powerhouse – out of the water, boasting around 3 times as much of the mineral as bananas.
So, next time you’re at the shops, drop a few avos into your basket and whip up a tasty guacamole or top your soup with some slices of this creamy fruit. Keen for more nutrition tips? We’re here to help. Join us for the 8-Week Program where we’ll be quitting sugar and turning our health dreams into a reality. When you sign up with us, you’ll have access to clear-cut meal plans, community support and exclusive access to our sugar-free content. Here’s what’s on offer:
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