An Avocado A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
In brief, avocados are a yummy health-boosting superfood. From their stones to their skins, avocados have numerous health and skin-friendly benefits: packed with potassium, magnesium and vitamins, this South American fruit is a serious must-buy! Here are all the benefits of avocado:
Avocados contain carotenoids, which act as antioxidants that combat oxidative stress and free radicals. When our bodies produce too many free radicals (due to stress, fatigue, pollution, UV rays), they start to damage and eat away at our skin cells. The result: poor cellular function and early skin-ageing. Antioxidants - hence avocados - stop these free radicals in their tracks. Avocados also allow our bodies to absorb cartenoids found in other foods that we eat at the same time!
Avocados are packed with unsaturated fats, which makes them emollient. This means they increase skin's suppleness, whilst reinforcing cell membranes in the epidermis. Fed up with dry skin? Apply an avocado face mask! Simply mash up an avocado, slather it on and leave for a few minutes. Added plus? It's vitamin E content is known to have an anti-ageing action.
Avocados may contain a lot of calories and fats, but the fats they contain are the heart-loving variety! They're called mono-unsaturated fatty acids, which help prevent a build up of bad cholesterol and decrease the risk of cardiovascular problems. Scientists in Australia have proved that an avocado-rich diet reduces bad cholesterol without affecting good cholesterol levels.
Avocados are bursting with nutrients that protect our cardiovascular system: fibre, vitamin E, potassium and unsaturated fats. Half an avocado contains 11g of oleic acid, an acid that maintains the correct level of good cholesterol in our blood. What's more it contains 1.54g of linolenic acid, a polyunsaturated fat that keeps triglycerides in check.
Avocados are rich in lutein, an antioxidant that combats eyes diseases including macular degeneration. The also contain a pigment called zeaxanthin, also known to protect our eyes.
Avocados are a good source of fibre. 100g of avocado flesh contains more than 5g of fibre. Bearing in mind that they weigh between 160 - 180g, a single avocado will give us 33% of our daily fibre requirements.
Despite what you may have heard, avocados should be included in diet menus. They may contain 10 to 20 times more fat than other fruits in the same nutritional category, but their oleic acid content makes us feel full. In other words, we're less tempted to snack! Half an avocado at lunchtime will greatly reduce afternoon hunger pangs. What's more, avocado oil helps to burn tummy fat!
Rich, creamy and packed with mono-unsaturated fats, avocados prevent our blood sugar levels from sharply rising after we've eaten. These mono-unsaturated fats combat diabetes by balancing out our body's lipid levels.
When eaten regularly, avocados combat stress and pump us full of energy. Their mono-unsaturated fibres prevent sugar-rushes that can lead to anxiety. So, munch on an avocado before taking some exercise! Eating this superfood will naturally give you as much get-up-and-go as an energy supplement.
Our Tip: avocados quickly oxidise when they're opened, so to keep them fresh don't remove the stones, sprinkle the flesh with lemon juice, wrap them in clingfilm and pop them in the fridge. If you add lemon juice to guacamole, it'll keep for longer. So no excuses, time to add this mouth-watering fruit to your shopping list!