avocado, a super food!
Since becoming aware of the power of functional nutrition in combating illness and imbalance, Avocadoes have become part of my day-to-day. There aren't many days that go by that I don't see an avcado or two going into salads, smoothies, eaten alone!
eat an avocado a day to keep imbalances at bay!
Avocados are a whole food, this means they contain a variety of essential nutrients that the body needs for balance. So they make a wonderful medicine and work to keep us feeling safe, stable, secure. Any food that supports the whole body acts like an adaptogenic food, with non specific but incredible actions and effects on the body.
There are some amazing avocado benefits for your health. If you would like to lose weight, improve your skin and lower your risk of many life-threatening diseases, here’s why it’s worth eating more of this extremely healthy fruit.
Coronary heart disease is still a biggest health issue in the UK and is essentially a disease of inflammation.
Some experts believe society’s much increased use of processed vegetable oils, high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats are a significant factor in cardiovascular disease. They advise lowering our intake of polyunsaturated fats and increasing the amount of monounsaturated fatty acids in our diet.
Avocado is a great source of monounsaturated oleic acid that research has shown to both reduce dangerous low-density lipoprotein cholesterol at the same time as increasing the more beneficial high-density lipoprotein cholesterol .
Avocados also contain a rich variety of heart nutrients including vitamin E for preventing cholesterol oxidation; folate for reducing dangerous homocysteine levels in the blood; potassium for regulating blood pressure; phytosterols for reducing cholesterol absorption; and dietary fibre to control blood sugar levels.
Equally delicious avocado oil is an even richer source of oleic acid, vitamin E and phytosterols and, along with healthy coconut oil, is the only heat stable cooking oil I would ever use.
The monounsaturated fats in avocado are also beneficial for improving your skin tone. They are vital for maintaining good moisture levels in the epidermal layer of your skin that make it look and feel soft and healthy. Omega-9 fats can additionally help reduce skin redness and irritation and are involved in repairing damaged skin cells.
Avocado benefits also include protecting your skin from wrinkles and other visible signs of ageing with its antioxidant carotenoids, vitamin E which helps guard against photo-ageing from sun exposure and vitamin C which is involved in the creation of elastin and collagen for maintaining your skin’s elasticity and firmness.
There’s much more on just how good avocado is for your skin here.
Avocados and Weight Loss
Most, if not all my clients have a goal in mind, to lose weight, tone up and feel more athletic. Unless a client has an aversion or allergy, they will no doubt see a diet plan rich in healthy fats with avocados taking centre stage.
Many people would be surprised that a food high in fat and calories would be considered good for weight loss. However research has shown that monounsaturated fatty acids are more likely to be used as slow burning energy than stored as body fat.
This slow burning energy and the feeling of satiety or satisfied fullness that you get from eating an avocado is one of the reasons they are known for reducing hunger and appetite.
It’s also why including more foods in your diet that are high in healthy fats and less with processed carbohydrates makes such a big difference when you want to lose weight. Snacking on nuts like almonds and walnuts instead of high carbohydrate foods is also highly beneficial for weight loss.
This may go against old nutritional advice but look where that has gotten us. People eat low-fat versions of just about everything these days, yet we are more overweight than at any time in history.
If you would like to know what really causes your body to store fat and what actually works to lose weight then see 'tummy loving' blog posts coming soon. Counting calories, limiting fat intake and starving yourself has failed most people and will continue to do so.
Only by eating more fat burning foods and generally going against most of what we’ve been taught about dieting in magazines is there a real chance at significant weight loss.
Supporting the whole body, reducing stress and acidity is a great way to maintain a healthy weight.
As of 2012 there are currently nearly 3,000,000 people in the UK diagnosed with diabetes and there are believed to be a significant number of undiagnosed sufferers. If the rate of new cases continues, we will reach 5 million people by 2025 which will put a huge strain on the NHS and our ability to treat people with the disease.
The most common symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes include a sudden and large increase in thirst and hunger and much more frequent urinating. A dry mouth, significant unexplained weight loss, vision problems and leg pain are also common symptoms.
For those already living with diabetes, the oleic acid in avocado is especially recommended for its ability to lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol while raising the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol. Keeping cholesterol levels in check is vital for diabetics as they have a much higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
Having more monounsaturated fats in a diabetic diet is also beneficial for reducing high triglyceride levels and may help improve insulin function and blood glucose levels.
Other health benefits of avocado that can help with the condition include its vitamin C for strengthening blood vessels and capillaries and improving immune function for diabetics. While the vitamin E found in avocado lowers cholesterol oxidation that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. It may also provide some protection from nerve damage in patients with peripheral neuropathy.
The high levels of potassium in avocados are another important nutritional factor for diabetics due to its role in maintaining a healthy heart and regulating blood sugar. All in all, avocados are a very healthy food for those living with diabetes and for people wishing to lower their risk of developing the disease.
Osteoarthritis is a painful disease of joint inflammation and soreness that affects millions of people in the UK. Many common foods like wheat, corn, milk and sugar are known to worsen symptoms, but anti-inflammatory avocado is one of the few foods consistently reported to reduce arthritic pain.
Avocados contain high levels of monounsaturated fats, phytosterols and antioxidants like vitamin E, vitamin C and a variety of carotenoids that may help with reducing the inflammation that leads to arthritis.
More Health Benefits of Avocado
Eating avocados more often can have many health benefits, including a healthier heart, better skin, helping you lose weight and treating or avoiding serious health problems such as diabetes and arthritis.
In a more concentrated form, regular use of a good cold-pressed avocado oil like this, especially as a replacement to the damaging vegetable oils most people use in cooking, can be especially beneficial for you. UK readers can find the fair trade and organic avocado oil I use here.
There are many more healthy nutrients in avocado, but I hope these five benefits are more than enough reason to look more closely at one of nature’s healthiest foods the next time you’re out shopping.
stay tuned for some tasty, avocado infused recipes on my insta and facebook page.