Delicious and versatile beyond words, avocados are loaded with incredible nutrients that cannot be ignored.
From your physical wellbeing to your mood, avocados are a unique whole food that supports good gut health, heart health, adds glow to your skin and can help to reduce inflammation in your body.
In fact, avocados are so good for you, they're even known to be very beneficial in lowering bad cholesterol, supporting the reproductive system and minimising many diseases, including cancer.
Here we reveal why avocados are considered one of the most nutritious and functional foods on the planet and why you should definitely include them as part of your healthy diet.
A quick fun fact before we begin...
Since avocados have a "seed" inside, they're actually considered a "fruit" not a "vegetable"...just in case you've ever wondered.
1. Heart Health
Hopefully, you know the difference between "good fats" and "bad fats" and are aware that your body needs good fats to function optimally.
Avocados wholeheartedly fall into the category of GOOD fats!
They’re mostly made of monounsaturated fats, which are incredibly important for your heart health.
Avocados are also very helpful in preventing plaque build-up in the arteries, whilst also providing fibre and minerals to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
At the same time, avocados can help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes because they're one of those very satisfying foods that can actually help rewire your tastebuds and encourage you to eat more fruits and vegetables instead of processed food.
The whole unprocessed foods that you eat, the easier it is to keep your weight and cholesterol in check and avocados are a staple food that perfectly fits this bill.
Learn more in Good Fats Versus Bad Fats.
2. Digestive Health
Avocados are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat because they’re loaded with healthy fibre. In fact, one avocado has more dietary fibre than many other fruits and most other vegetables, grains and beans.
Fibre is important for digestive health, especially in preventing digestive diseases and disorders for many reasons.
Fibre cultivates the growth and proliferation of good bacteria in your gut to improve your microbiome. And it also pushes toxins and waste through your digestive tract, keeping you regular and your insides healthy.
The healthy fats in avocados are powerful in helping your body to properly digest food and absorb nutrients, which is why you should aim to eat 2 to 3 ripe avocados every single week.
3. Boosts Mood
What you eat can dramatically impact your emotions. And avocados are one of the most nutritious food options for balancing your emotions and your mood.
The fatty acids in avocados help regulate cognitive processes, your central nervous system and your hormones.
Basically, if you don't get enough healthy fats in your diet, your mood will be less stable and you will be more prone to irritability and ups and downs.
It is well known that people who struggle with anxiety, depression or other mental and emotional disorders, should add more fatty acids into their diets. And one of the best sources of high quality, nutritious and delicious fatty acids is avocados.
Quick Bonus Tip: One of nature's best tools for balancing mood and emotions is pure essential oils. Three of our favourites which you will find in our store at tolmanselfcare.com are Jasmine, Lavender and Bergamot.
4. Nutrient Density
Aside from the fatty acids, avocados are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat due to their nutrient density and diversity.
They provide more potassium than bananas and they consist of over 20 different vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, K, B5, B6, E and Folate, whilst being low in saturated fat, calories and carbohydrates.
Avocados also give you 2 grams of protein, 7 grams of fibre and 15 grams of healthy fats, making this fruit a nutritional powerhouse that you should definitely make room for in your diet.
One of the greatest features of eating avocados is how they make you feel fuller for longer because of their incredible nutrient density and fibre, which of course can help curb the appetite to ensure you don't over eat.
Try adding chunks of avocado to a green salad prior to eating your main meal and you'll soon find you probably can't eat the portion sizes you're normally used to eating.
5. Healthier Skin and Hair
Packed with essential fatty acids and a host of vitamins and antioxidants, avocados are a wonderful food for supporting the health and appearance of your skin and hair.
Avocados have known anti-ageing benefits because they strengthen the skin barrier, fight blemishes and are extremely hydrating to the skin.
The abundance of vitamin E is the main nutrient that helps to plump up the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Also, the presence of chlorophyll is what gives avocados their deep green colour and is also a potent antioxidant that protects your skin against environmental factors that can damage your skin and cause premature ageing.
Lastly, avocados are known to stimulate collagen production, which helps keep your skin supple and youthful.
Learn more about skin health in our blog, Why Diet is Key to Glowing Skin.
6. Relieves Joint Pain
Joint pain can hold you back from performing the simplest of everyday movement functions, and if it becomes chronic, it can lead to serious conditions such as arthritis later in life.
One of the secrets to keeping the joints lubricated and moving with ease, are foods rich in antioxidants and healthy fats such as avocados.
These nutrients reduce inflammation and slow the progression of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Also, the monounsaturated fats in avocados are known to help encourage cartilage repair.
For these reasons, including more avocados in your diet is one of the smartest things you can do to avoid joint pain and ongoing inflammatory joint problems.
7. Promote Healthy Weight
Eating good fats won't make you fat.
In fact, good fats are essential to optimum body function and to maintaining and achieving your ideal body weight.
The monounsaturated fats in avocados are used by the body as a slow energy source, rather than for body fat storage. It's these nutrient dense fats and other amazing nutrients in avocados, that gives this wonderful fruit their creamy texture.
It's also what keeps you feeling satisfied so that you're less likely to reach for sugary snacks or treats that can cause you to crash and burn and put you on the weight loss merry-go-round.
Learn more in Eating Healthy Fats: 8 “Good Fats” Your Body Needs.
The Main Takeaway
Avocados are nutritional powerhouse food that you should include in your diet for energy and optimum body function.
Readily available year round, shop for avocados at your local fruit shop or farmer's market and buy them just off ripe. Allow them to ripen at room temperature next to a kitchen window and then once ripe, store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
Avocados are a very versatile and convenient food. Enjoy them in the following suggested ways:
- Chopped onto a bowl leafy greens to prepare a delightful salad for lunch or as a dinner accompaniment (drizzle with lemon juice, olive oil and add sea salt)
- Mash half a ripe avocado onto wholegrain toast for breakfast
- Add half a ripe avocado into a green smoothie recipe to a base of coconut water (or coconut or almond milk), a handful fresh spinach leaves, handful of ripe banana chunks and a pitted medjool date to sweeten. For a nutritional boost add a high quality raw protein powder. Blend all together until smooth and enjoy
- Include as a filling for fresh sandwiches, veggie burgers or tacos
- Prepare a delicious guacamole dip by mashing a ripe avocado into a bowl and then mixing with the juice of a whole fresh lime, a handful of chopped coriander (or cilantro) and some finely chopped tomatoes, fresh chilli and sea salt. Enjoy with crunchy non-GMO corn chips or vege sticks such as carrot or celery.
Tolman Self Care.