One of my all time favourites is an avocado. I’m always surprised by friends who never actually eat one, and have no idea what it is or what it can be cooked in. That’s slightly depressing for me, as it’s something I’ve eaten for so many years, it’s become a staple ingredient in my home.
As avocados come from evergreen tropical trees, the word avocado refers to both the tree and the fruit we eat. There are literally hundreds of varieties, but what we eat, is the extremely nutritionally laden fruit, which can be referred to as both a fruit and a seed of the avocado tree.
I think the confusion around using avocado is that it’s called a fruit, but it isn’t a sweet fruit. With a creamy texture, they have a high fat content rather than a high water content, and are more buttery flavoured than sugary.
10 Life Changing Benefits of Eating Avocados
1 – Rich Source of Nutrients
Carbs: 8.5g (7g are from fibre)
Vitamin C: 10mg
Vitamin E: 2.1mg
Looking at the nutrition list, we can see that although carbs are sitting at 8.5, a whopping 7g are from fibre, which makes this a very nutritionally beneficial fruit for diabetics.
2 – Low Glycemic Index – Helps Slow Digestion
As mentioned in point 1, the high fibre content for the carb count, means that this is a very good carbohydrate indeed for those who are trying to keep their blood sugar down. With a Glycemic Index of 0 or no record, this is a fruit that has no impact on blood sugar levels.
In fact, adding avocado to bread or other carbs, with avocado having no GI, with such high fibre and healthy fats, the meal will be digested more slowly and keep you feeling full for longer than other toppings or creamy additions to other carbs.
3 – Fat Content is Healthier Than Many Other Low GI Foods
A whopping 14.7g in 100g are fat, however the majority of the fat in an avocado is actually the healthier version of fat, called monounsaturated, which can help in lowering bad cholesterol levels. There is a link in the reading list below that gives you more information about what monounsaturated fat is and why it is the good fat. The short version is due to monounsatured fat coming mostly from plant sources.
4 – Fibre Content is Good
With around 7g of fibre in half an avocado, there are all sorts of gut health benefits to eating avocados. Eating an avocado in a day, is a very large 14g of fibre, which is going to help keep constipation at bay, and as a result, would help reduce the risk of IBS and piles.
5 – Vitamin E Matters for Eyes
Nutritionally, we tend to ignore the importance of vitamin E. With that 2.1mg of Vitamin E in half an avocado, it’s a rich source of vitamin E. Alongsice carotenes, it’s thought to help keep eyes in good condition and healthy.
As an antioxidant, vitamin E is important for skin, hair and nails, as well as the eyes. It can also help reduce the speed or onset of macular degeneration, which is serious and progressing, and something my father suffered from. It’s 100% sure that he would never have known how avocado might have been able to help him slow the speed of his sight loss. I can also see how it would have helped my mother, as she had cataracts, another condition that vitamin E can help reduce the progression of.
6 – Linked Health Issues
Metabolic syndrome is a fairly new term, but it is a range of issues which can all be helped by the same management techiques, for example, better diet and exercise. Symptoms include high blood sugar, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, being overweight, high cholesterol etc.
Eating avocado as part of a management system which looks at keeping the syndrome at bay, or controlling symptoms via eating better and moving more, and avocados can play a big part. With the high fat content, avocado can help reduce hunger pangs and keep us full for longer, while working in tandem with a lifestyle that can help to lower weight as part of a weight management programme, reduce cholesterol levels and keep type 2 diabetes from causing negative effects.
7 – Avocado Eaters are said to be More Healthy
Generally speaking, those who eat avocados, tend to be people who are food and health conscious. While there is also the debate about financial constraints, this isn’t the article to go there. This is simply about benefits of avocados for those who eat or would like to eat them.
Those who eat avocados are usually those who exercise and experiment with their food, but this is not always the case. There’s always room to add healthy food to our weekly shop if we can afford them, and being a little adventurous and trying new things can be good for us.
8 – Easy to Add to Food
It’s easy to add avocados to meals and pop into recipes of all kinds, as well as being ideal to use as hidden veg in kids soups and sandwiches.
- Smushed avocado for using on toast, in dips like guacamole, and as filler for sandwiches.
- Add in cubes to salads, soups and stews.
- Slice in layers, and pop a poached egg on top.
9 – Improve Dental Health
Avocados are said to help with dental health. As that low GI food, it isn’t adding syrupy sugar to your mouth as you eat, and the flavonoids can help keep bacterial and fungal grown in our mouths from becoming a problem and leading to bad breath.
10 – Aids Wound Healing
While avocados aren’t a miracle food, they really one one that is helpful for us all to live well as part of our diet. Looking at the points above, and taking them as a whole, wound healing is helpful and understandable, when we consider the benefits that can help with prevention of bacterial and fungal overgrowth, so in the same way, avocados can help with wound healing through keeping the metabolic system functioning well.
Personally, I wouldn’t eat avocado on toast or smushed in general, but I do use it in soups, puddings and make dips with cream for raw vegetables. Saying that, growing up, it was never an ingredient that my mother would have put into her shopping basket. I think lack of internet in those days also made a difference in what things we choose to try. In my grandmothers day, avocado was probably never, ever an item in any shop she ever visited.
Yes, avocados are high in fat, but it’s the healthier monounsaturated fat, while they also contain loads of beneficial vitamins and minerals, keeping blood sugar levels steady and cholesterol levels low. Lots of good reasons to incorporate avocado to your weekly food shop.