The Health Benefits of Avocados – How are they healthy?

 What are the Health Benefits of Avocados

In days gone by, say for the last 40 plus years, we were told that we need to eat less fat. This included restricting avocados to the point where we felt guilty for eating these nutritious powerhouse superfoods. When in fact, it is one of the healthiest foods on the planet. The health benefits of avocados have been neglected. It’s time to bring them back when they contain so many healthy nutrients it’s incredible.

Avocados are a fruit that contain the highest amount of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) that are essential for our health.

They have been referred to as ‘Alligator Pear’ due to it being shaped like a pear and has skin like an alligator.

health benefits of avocados

The skin and seed are discarded while the green and yellow contents are consumed. The most popular type of avocado is the Hass Avocado.

They can vary in size from pear shaped through to round depending on the type.

Nutritional Makeup of Avocados

A 3.5 ounce or 100 gram avocado contains the following:

Fat content: 12.7 grams total

– saturated fat: 3.0 grams

– monounsaturated: 6.4 grams

– polyunsaturated: 2.0 grams

– trans: 0

Carbs: 9 grams

health benefits of eating avocados

Fibre: 7 grams

Net Carbs (carbs – fibre): 2 grams

Nutrients: potassium magnesium, folate. Smaller amount of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phospherous, vit B1 (Thiamin) and B2 (Riboflavin), carotenoids.

It’s rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins A, B-5, B-6, C, E, & K.

What Health Problems Can They Help With?

Heart Disease

Many people say they continue to eat bananas due to the potassium content they contain. Many people aren’t having enough potassium in their diet.  Avocados contain more potassium, meaning you don’t need to eat bananas to get the potassium after all if you eat avocados.

Low levels of potassium has been linked to high blood pressure which lead to stroke, heart attacks and kidney failure. So eating avocado can help prevent these as shown in this research.

If you follow a ketogenic diet, you’ll often hear from those who don’t follow this woe question how one still gets the nutrients since we don’t eat many fruits. Avocado (which is a fruit) which can be consumed on a ketogenic diet, ensures the body continues to receive these nutrients despite eating less fruits.

Reduce Cholesterol

Avocados have been demonstrated through a number of studies to lower LDL cholesterol and increase the good cholesterol, HDL.

Research shows that when the participants consumed avocados, HDL cholesterol improved for those in the rich-monounsaturated fats group, while LDL and triglyceride levels decreased.

health benefits of avocados

Reduce keto flu symptoms

They are also an excellent source to eat when transitioning from a high carb diet to low carb due to the potassium content. When starting a keto way of eating, it can cause keto flu which can last for up to a week or so. Keto flu can happen when switching from high carb diet to low carbs. Eating avocados during this shift in burning ketones as the alternative fuel source will have reduce the possible symptoms of keto flu.  By increasing potassium, salt and water during this initial phase, you can minimize the keto flu symptoms.  The magnesium in avocados can also reduce muscle cramps, improve sleep and reduce headaches.

How do they benefit the body?

Without the essential fatty acids that these little superfoods contain, our cells can’t operate as effectively. Our cells have a membrane (wall) that allows the right things go in and out. This membrane is consists of fats which help make the cells strong. Without this strength, our cells can’t do the job they are designed to do. This is why those who follow a strict low fat diet can look older, and have poor health, and are hungry majority of the time.

Without essential fatty acids, our bodies can’t absorb vitamins A, D, E and K. They help move these vitamins from the digestive tract into the body.

Fats help fill you up faster which then means you will consume less food, win win for not overindulging and ensuring we only eat as much as our bodies tell us. It also means that we consume fewer calories.

Avocados are especially beneficial for those with Type 2 diabetes as it helps them lose weight, due to having a lower need for the release of insulin when consuming them.

The fats from avocados also dramatically help other nutrients in foods be absorbed by the body better than if they aren’t included in the diet. Carotenoids in particular are absorbed much better when avocados are eaten at the same time. Without the benefit of avocado, many nutrients are wasted.

They also contain a high amount of antioxidants on their own. In particular, lutein and zeaxanthin which are important for eye health and have been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts.

Ways to eat them

They can be used as a spread on low carb breads

Mash, then add salt, pepper, and a hint of lemon for a guacamole dip. Make your own parmesan crisps for dipping, or slice up some cucumbers.

health benefits of avocados

Plain – grab your spoon and scoop it out.

Try a sugar free dessert to hide them in. I’ve made this mousse and it was so good.

Add to salads.

Make your own low carb nachos and pop them on top for a delicious topping.

Create delicious sugar free desserts like this one.

Create a breakfast smoothie with them. Below is my recipe for you to try.

 

Choc Avocado Protein Smoothie

An excellent way to add much needed potassium, vitamins and minerals into your day. It has a smooth texture. Add some fresh mint for a chocolate minty version.

Prep Time 3 minutes
Total Time 3 minutes
Servings 1
Author Kat

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tbsp cacao
  • 8 scoops pure stevia or 2 tbsp sweetener of choice
  • 1 tbsp protein powder sugar free

Instructions

  1. Pour almond milk into blender.

  2. Scoop out half of the avocado and add to the milk. 

  3.  Add rest of ingredients. 

    Optional - add mint now if you want to have a minty chocolate flavor.

  4. Pulse for up to 2 minutes until smooth

  5. Pour and enjoy

Recipe Notes

Optional- add a few mint leaves to make it a minty chocolate taste

More sweetener may be required depending on your tolerance to sweetness.

 Happy keto’ing my friends

9 thoughts on “The Health Benefits of Avocados – How are they healthy?

  1. I love avocados. Anything that is good for the heart and lowers cholesterol, is good in my book! I love to just slice them up, sprinkle a little parmesan cheese on them, and snack away. I am going to have to try the smoothie recipe! I was actually looking for unique ways to use avocados and I found this gem! Thanks!
    1. Hi there, thanks for your comment. That's a great idea putting parmesan cheese on them, I hadn't thought of that, thanks for the idea :). I hope you enjoy the smoothie.
  2. This is a nice article, well presented and full of great educational tips I myself eat avocados though not as often as I should usually I eat them as part of a fruit salad [mixed with 3 or 4 more fruits added with natural yougart] that smoothie recipe you have included here looks wonderful I must put my smoothie maker to work again and try that one out thanks for this information oliver
  3. Avocado's are one of the fruits that i have never really tried, being a mainly an apple and orange person. But i have read up on your post of some of the health benefits you can gain from them so i will start to put them on my fruit shopping list.
  4. Hey Kathleen, Avocados sound like one healthy super-food, I was ignorant to their many health benefits until reading your article. We regularly scoop and dice avocados onto salads which enhances the dish into a tasty meal however I’ve never thought of making a smoothie out of them, great idea, convenient and ultra beneficial to a ketogenic diet. Avocados sound like an important step to consume when transitioning from a high-carb diet to a low-carb diet in order to reduce the onset of keto-flu. Like you mention, they burn ketones as the alternative fuel source. Looking forward to making an avocado smoothie, thanks for the recipe & your many tips, Simon.
  5. I always say that someday I'm going to move to a warm place and I'm going to have an avocado tree, a mango tree and a banana tree, and I'm just going to live off of those. Avocados are nature's most amazing miracle food. lol Thanks so much for the smoothie recipe! What's your favorite way to eat them?
    1. Hi Christina, thanks for stopping by. It does sound ideal being able to grow your own food hey! I'm planning on doing that with avocados actually. I'm sorry you're climate isn't able to support growing them. They certainly are an amazing miracle food! My 2 favorite ways of eating them is in my salad and when I do lettuce wrapped burritos. How about your favorite way of eating them Christina? All the best :).
  6. I have never heard of keto flu. I'm thinking I've had that pretty regularly. Ugh! I so do not like avecados, the taste or the consistency. I like so few things. I was really hoping to see a recipe that said, hide them here or take this avacado capsule, lol. My wife, however, loves them. But I've tried over and over again. Help!
    1. Hi there, thanks for your comment. There are ways you can hide them, one of them is in the chocolate smoothie listed above where you don't actually taste them, another way is in a chocolate dessert. I often do a chocolate dessert and not tell my kids that there's healthy stuff in there so they don't know it's in there cos they're the same as yourself, not a fan lol! I'll find the recipe and link it for you to try. All the best :).

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