This unusual looking fruit (yep, it has a seed so it is a fruit!), has often had a bad rap in the fitness industry, because of its high fat content. What people often don’t realise is that avocados provide a wide range of health benefits, both internally and externally, and even better… They are delicious!
Here are my 5 top reasons why avocados should be part of your healthy and balanced diet (and even part of your beauty routine)!
1. It’s all about the good fats
Firstly let’s clear up the high fat issue. Though 77% of the calories in avocados do come from fats, which is why some people assume they are unhealthy, these are mostly monounsaturated fats which have many health benefits, including being essential in the absorption of specific nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E and K. Like all good ‘high fat’ foods, they are great in moderation!
2. Nutritional Powerhouses
Avocados provide a wide variety of important nutrients to the diet, including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamins’ B1, B2, B3, B5, B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
They are also rich in fibre which helps you feel satisfied for longer.
3. They help lower cholesterol
Avocados don’t actually contain any cholesterol, however they do contain high levels of beta-sitosterol, which is a plant sterol that is very similar in structure to High Density Lipoproteins (HDL). This is the type of cholesterol that is often referred to as ‘good cholesterol’. Studies have shown that this beta-sitosterol helps lower bad cholesterol whilst promoting the good HDL.
4. Promote healthy eyes and heart!
Lutein and zeaxanthin, both found in avocados, have been linked to the reduction of eye diseases such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Their high potassium levels help reduce blood pressure, and the beta-sitosterol helps lower cholesterol and regulates homocysteine levels, supporting a healthy heart.
5. Anti-inflammatory properties
Avocados are rich in omega 3 fatty-acids, carotenoid antioxidants, phytosterols, and polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols, all of which hold anti-inflammatory properties which can help ease the symptoms of arthritis.
6. Great for your skin and hair!
Mixed with honey for your skin, or egg whites for your hair, avocados can be quite versatile when creating your own beauty treatments.
Avocados are delicious and diverse, making great salads, smoothies or scrummy dips for your veggie sticks. So if you are not already keyed into all of their goodness, I suggest you try avocados out for yourself.