Why Avocados are Kinda Magic
Imagine a food that tastes indulgent, is super healthy…and looks amazing on Instagram. Yep, avocados pretty much have it all. And while you probably know they’re not exactly junk food, you might be surprised to find out just how crazy healthy these little green wonders are. In fact, if there’s one food you should be eating every day – we’d say the avocado is probably it (okay, maybe kale too). Read on to find out all the many, many reasons the avocado is a little big magic.
You probably associate antioxidants with “super foods” like berries and leafy greens, but they are also found in avocados. Not sure what antioxidants are? Basically, they are cells that protect your body from free radicals, which can lead to the development of cancer, heart disease and more. One avocado has as many antioxidants as half a cup of broccoli – not too shabby!
If you read our blog regularly, you’ve probably heard us gushing about fibre before. But if not, here’s a little refresher. Found only in plant-based foods, dietary fibre helps lower cholesterol, aid digestion and prevent blood sugar spikes. There are two types of fibre, soluble and insoluble, which each have different benefits. Soluble fibre helps slow digestion, which keeps you feeling full, helping you maintain a healthy weight and lowering the risk of diabetes. Insoluble fibre keeps your digestive system running smoothly, and has been linked to colon cancer prevention. And guess what? Avocado has the most fibre of any fruit, with 7 grams of fibre for every 100 gram serving – about 27% the recommended daily amount, with both soluble and insoluble fibre present. Score.
What food do you think of when you hear the word “potassium”? We’re going to guess it’s a banana. But believe it or not, avocados are an even better source. A 100 gram serving of avocado is loaded with 14% of your recommended daily dose of potassium, compared to only 10% in the same serving of banana. And getting enough potassium means helping keep your blood pressure at a healthy level, lowering your risk for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. Thanks, avocados!
Fat, glorious fat
You can probably tell from its luxurious texture and creamy taste, but avocado is a pretty high-fat food, with 77% of its calories coming from fat. But that isn’t just any fat, folks. It’s mostly oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that is also the main ingredient in olive oil. Oleic acid is a heart-healthy fat that everyone should be getting more of – and it’s been linked to lower cholesterol, reduced inflammation and even cancer prevention.
Healthy fat sources like avocadoes also help you get more out of the other veggies you eat. Some nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E and K, are “fat soluble,” meaning you can only absorb them when you eat them with a fat source. One study showed that adding avocado or avocado oil to your salad can increase your absorption of antioxidants by up to 15 times!
Love your heart
Ever hear of phytosterol? Found only in plant foods, it’s actually similar to cholesterol – only it’s super good for your cardiovascular health. And avocados have over 80 mg for every 100 g serving, making them the most phytosterol-rich fruit around. Getting a good dose of phytosterol every day is great news for your heart, reducing your “bad” cholesterol by up to 10%. Add that benefit to the heart-healthy fats we already covered, and you can see why we’re basically obsessed.
Still not convinced? Avocados are also high in vitamin B5, which helps you get energy from food; vitamin K, which keeps your bones healthy; copper, which helps in the production of hemoglobin and collagen; and vitamin B6, which helps your red blood cells carry more oxygen. They’re also packed with 20% of your daily folate, 17% of your daily vitamin C, 10% of your daily vitamin E…and the list goes on! Seriously, we’re pretty sure if you give them a chance, they might even make your bed and do your dishes. They’re just that good.
What are your favourite ways to enjoy avocados? We must admit that we are currently smitten with the 100 g of avocado in our Crispy Taco Salad, but then again we like it on just about anything. Did we miss one of their 1001 amazing benefits? Drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org.