5 Reasons to Love Avocado!

July 12, 2016

 

Avocados have been shying away from the spotlight for far too long. It’s time to recognise their full nutritional potential and understand how to easily (and tastily) incorporate them into our diet. We all know the saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Well, I raise the following, “an avocado a week keeps your health on fleek” (fleek: adjective. perfect; flawless). Yes, I can see that taking off… Let’s move on!

 

1. Packed full of potassium

Avocados have been shying away from the spotlight for far too long. It’s time to finally recognise their full nutritional potential and understand how to easily (and tastily) incorporate them into our lives to help us be healthier and happier. Let’s start off by discussing avocados' potassium punch. For most, the word “potassium” doesn’t mean much more than the word “banana”, but it’s time for that to change. Believe it or not, the creamy green that is avocado has more potassium than banana, providing us with 472mg of potassium per 100 grams of fruit (while bananas provide 346 mg). Potassium is critical for nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction and heart function, so as you might imagine, it is extremely important to get enough each day through your diet.

 

2. Fat is back!

Poor old dietary fat has been vilified for far too long, leading the Australian population astray and confused as rates of obesity and disease only continue to rise despite our stringent efforts to cut the fat. Well it’s finally time to put ignorance aside and right our wrongs because fat is back, and it’s never looked so good! Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fat which works wonders for your health, contributing to a rise in the all-important HDL cholesterol. Increasing HDL cholesterol in your blood significantly reduces your risk of Coronary Heart Disease, and is slowly but surely proving to be a much more reliable predictor of risk than any other type of cholesterol (e.g. LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol). Another reason to let go of your “fat phobia” and smother some more delicious avocado into your life is because it provides you with magnificent fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K), and better yet, helps you absorb more of these vitamins from the rest of your diet. 

 

3. Versatile

Avocado is the chameleon of the food supply - you can work it into almost any recipe and have it for any meal of the day! Don’t like the texture of it? Then blend some into a smoothie with a handful of your favourite nuts, some milk and voila - breakfast is served!  Avoiding butter or margarine? Then substitute it for the same quantity of ripe avocado (this works particularly well for baking!). Trying to do salads? Well, slice up some avocado and mix it in - it's richness will couple beautifully with your favourite crispy vegetables and you will feel a lot more satisfied.

 

4. Rich in fibre

Incase you are not already convinced, here’s another reason to love avocados: fibre. 100 grams of avocado has 3 grams of fibre (that’s more than your miracle apple). Fibre is a like a day-spa for your gut - everything functions better after a dose of good pampering. Fibre can even slow the release of glucose (sugar) into your blood when you eat carbohydrate-containing foods, keeping you level-headed and helping you feel fuller for longer (reducing those pesky cravings to snack!). Try spreading some mashed avocado onto a few slices of apple and double your fibre benefits! 

 

5. Made with love!

Finally, the last reason to love avocados is because they are made with love themselves. In fact, avocado trees require another avocado tree close by them to bear fruit (awww!); they do not self-pollenate like many other fruits. So next time you’re feeling lonely or are in need of a nutritional-boost, grab yourself an avocado and see what it can do for you!

 

 

A version of this article can be found at: https://www.hit100.com.au/4-reasons-to-love-avocados/

 

 

References:

1. Overview of Carbohydrates [Lecture], University of Sydney, 2016.

2. Fatty Acids [Lecture], University of Sydney, 2016.

3. AUSNUT Food & Nutrients Database 2011-13.

4. Fun Facts About Avocados, Mind Body Green. [internet] [cited Jun 09] Available from: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9744/11-fun-facts-about-avocados.html

5. Volk BM, et al. Effects of Step-Wise Increases in Dietary Carbohydrate on Circulating Saturated Fatty Acids and Palmitoleic Acid in Adults with Metabolic Syndrome. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(11):e113605. 

 

 

 

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