We’ve all heard the age old quote, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Now we say, “an avocado a day keeps the doctor away, forever!” and here are 5 reasons why.
Fast food, chips, soda, white bread, those are all things that will make you fat, avocados…not so much. Avocados contain monounsaturated fat and, like olive oil, a high preponderance of oleic acid – this is a healthy fat and a beautifying oil. Oleic acid is gaining a reputation (through the Mediterranean Diet) as helping to keep us slim as we age. Oleic acid is also believed to decrease our chances of developing heart disease.
If you find yourself constantly snacking, avocados can help change that. Studies have shown that meals that include avocados and other healthy fats cause you to feel full, taking away the need to eat more. Because they consist mostly of healthy fatty acids, they produce a blood-sugar, friendly, ketogenic effect. So the next time you reach for a bag of chips, go for the avocado instead.
You already know that avocados are good for us, but, what’s actually inside of it that makes it such a healthy treat. Well, for starters, there are typically over 14 minerals packed inside each one. Each avocado also contains:
• 18 essential amino acids (protein) and 2 grams of protein per 100 grams of avocado.
• Soluble fiber.
• Phytosterols: beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol that may help keep arthritis and other forms of inflammation under control.
• Carotenoids: Avocados contain an unusually high amount of antioxidant, oil-soluble carotenoids. These include o-carotene, yellow alpha-carotene and yellow lutein, but also many lesser-known carotenoids including yellow epsilon-carotene, yellow neochrome, yellow neoxanthin, yellow chrysanthemaxanthin, orange beta-cryptoxanthin, orange zeaxanthin, and yellow violaxanthin.
• Chlorophyll: This is what gives avocados their beautiful green glow. Chlorophyll is a deodorizer, detoxifier, and neutralizer of toxins.
• Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PFAs): These are more widely prevalent in ocean plants but relatively unique among land plants—making the avocado tree (and its fruit) unusual in this regard. Like the avocado’s phytosterols, its PFAs also provide us with anti-inflammatory benefits and skin protection from ultraviolet radiation.
• Vitamins: B (folic acid), C, E
Avocados are awesome because they can be used to turn ordinary meals into wonderful meals. Mash up some avocados and boom, you’ve got guacamole. Throw a few avocado slices on some hempseed or chia-seed gluten-free bread or raw cracker and you have a tasty snack. You can place avocados on top of almost any food.
Avocados are great with sea salt or nearly any form of seaweed. Their high potassium content is balanced by the high sodium content of sea salt and seaweeds. Avocados are also wonderful in salads. More recently avocados have made their way into smoothie recipes. And of course, no guacamole is possible without its essential ingredient.
So not only do avocados have tons of nutrients and are very delicious, but they also will benefit your health in the long run. Those healthy fats will help keep your blood sugar levels in check, your good cholesterol at optimum levels and can neutralize inflammation in the brain and body all while being an excellent energy source.
However, one question remains: can you eat an avocado pit? The answer is yes, but they are less than excellent and not recommended.