After years of being spurned as a fattening food the nutritional benefits of avocados are now being promoted, and they rightly top many of the league tables of healthiest fruits. A single avocado counts as a double portion of the recommended fruits and vegetables to be consumed each day, and is a great fast food option.
They taste wonderful and marry particularly well with prawns, as a salad addition, or simply halved, pitted and eaten from the skin with a drop of balsamic vinegar. They can be made into tasty dips, salsas and soups.
Nutrition wise avocados have it all, so not only do you get to indulge in the great taste but you do your body the world of good at the same time. Once the fruit which dieters avoided, due to its calorie value of 235 per fruit, it is now known that the avocado is rich in essential omega 6 fatty acids, and monounsaturated fats.
The healthy fats, combined with the high levels of potassium and folate in avocados, are known to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and protect against heart disease. Avocados also contain oleic acid which is now being linked to the prevention of breast cancer.
As well as being high in vitamins C, K, B6 and E, the antioxidants in avocados help in the body’s absorption of carotenoids, thus when eaten as part of a salad containing carotenoid rich vegetables it gives an extra boost to the health benefits of your salads.
The avocado is very high in fiber which in itself is so important in the diet. Fiber is filling so makes you feel satisfied for longer, and is essential in keeping the colon healthy. The average diet contains way too little fiber compared to the recommended daily dose, yet you can obtain almost all you need from an avocado. The fiber passes naturally through the body and isn’t absorbed, thus you obtain all the essential nutrients from the avocado without the calorific gain from the fat content.
New studies have shown that there appears to be a link between foods high in calcium, of which the avocado is one, actually promoting a stable weight. They appear to combine with dietary fat to prevent it being absorbed and retained as fat cells. The link is there, but not yet established as to how exactly it works. More studies are being done on the link between calcium and weight regulation, and although nothing is proven in that area yet, the avocado still provides calcium which is essential for bone density.
It’s time to appreciate the avocado if it is a fruit you have previously neglected. Packed with so many essential nutrients and so versatile to use, avocados are now rightly recognized as one of the top ten healthiest foods in the world.