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.
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
Pour almond milk into blender.
Scoop out half of the avocado and add to the milk.
Add rest of ingredients.
Optional - add mint now if you want to have a minty chocolate flavor.
Pulse for up to 2 minutes until smooth
Pour and enjoy
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