The Power of Green Gold: The Health Benefits of Eating Avocados

PLUS 12 Ways To Get More of Them Into Your Diet

what are the health benefits of eating avocados

Avocados, often referred to as nature's creamy green gems, have gained immense popularity in recent years. These versatile fruits are not only delicious but also offer many health benefits. Packed with essential nutrients, healthy fats, and fiber, avocados should be a staple in your diet. Read on to explore the health benefits of eating avocados and discover 12 creative ways to get more of them into your meals.

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The History of Avocados

Avocados are actually a fruit classified as a berry due to the presence of a seed (1). They originated in Mexico approximately ten thousand years ago (2), and Mexico still produces more than any other country (3). There are more than fifty-six types of avocados, and they grow all year round (4), which is good news because, worldwide, we eat over twelve million tons of them. They are one of the most popular tropical fruits, second only to bananas.

Avocados are Superfoods

A source of many beneficial compounds, avocados have a high concentration of nutrients. Due to this fact, avocados are used as food and in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. (5).

Nutritional Content of Avocados

Unlike many other fruits, avocados are high in fat. Avocados are high in omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids, both of which are considered healthy fats.

As well as fat, avocados contain protein, fiber, and the minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. They also have a healthy dose of folate and vitamins A, B, C, E, and vitamin K.

Let's dive into the specifics of how consuming avocados can positively impact your health:

The Health Benefits of Eating Avocados

Avocados Promote Heart Health

Because avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, they can help reduce bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and lower the risk of heart disease.

The presence of potassium in avocados supports healthy blood pressure levels, reducing the risk of hypertension and cardiovascular complications.

Avocados Support Weight Management

Despite their high-fat content, avocados can aid in weight management. The combination of healthy fats and fiber helps you feel fuller longer, reducing overeating and supporting weight loss efforts.

They also contain oleic acid shown to activate the part of the brain responsible for feeling full for better appetite regulation.

Avocados Help to Manage Diabetes

Avocados have a low glycemic index of forty (6), which means they do not cause blood sugar levels to spike, but instead allow them to rise steadily. This is a great benefit if you suffer from diabetes or wish to prevent it (7). As mentioned above, they also keep hunger at bay for longer.

This is important with regard to managing diabetes. This is because the more often you eat, the more often your blood sugar and insulin levels rise, which play a part in causing insulin resistance and, hence, diabetes (8).

Avocados Enhance Nutrient Absorption

Including avocados in your meals can improve the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. These vitamins play crucial roles in various bodily functions, including vision, bone health, and immune system support.

Avocados Reduce Bad Cholesterol

When your doctor tells you that your cholesterol is high, one of the first pieces of advice is to reduce your fat intake. This can make people shy away from eating avocados.

As mentioned, the fats in avocados are healthy fats and necessary for our overall health. In addition to these health fats, avocados also contain plant sterols, specifically beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol.

The combination of healthy fats and these compounds has been shown to help reduce cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol, which is often considered to as “bad” cholesterol (9).

Avocados Support Eye Health

As we age, we may notice that our eyesight gets worse. One of the reasons for this is because levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in our eyes start to drop.

These antioxidants help protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, two common eye conditions that can affect vision in older adults. (10).

Avocados Slow Down Aging

Due to the healthy fats, antioxidants, and vitamins that avocados contain, they can slow down the aging process. Antioxidants protect our cells from the damage caused by oxidation.

The nutrients in avocados also help to reduce chronic inflammation, which can trigger life-limiting diseases (11).

Avocados can also protect our skin from aging due to the water and healthy fat content which keeps the skin moist and supple. This improves your skin's elasticity, which helps to reduce wrinkles and
fine lines.

Avocados from an Ayurvedic Perspective

health benefits of eating avocados 
Ayurveda is the 5000 year old science of life that recognizes that each person is made up of a unique body type. It emphasizes the importance of self care and the responsibility of each person to take care of their health. The focus is on preventing the imbalances that lead to disease.
Avocados balance Vata dosha: Ayurveda recognizes three doshas or bio-energies, and avocados have qualities that can balance Vata dosha. Vata imbalances can lead to dryness, anxiety, and digestive issues. The oily and grounding properties of avocados help pacify Vata and promote calmness.
It's worth noting that Ayurveda focuses on an individual's unique constitution, and the effects of avocados may vary based on one's dosha imbalance and overall health condition.

12 Ways to Get More Avocado Into Your Diet

what are the health benefits of eating avocadosHere are some ways to help you get more avocados into your diet. beside the usual guacamole.

1. Avocado Toast

Make a simple avocado toast for breakfast. Toast some whole-grain bread, spread it with a mashed avocado, and top with some spices or herbs.

2. Sandwiches and salads

Add avocado slices to your sandwiches and salads. The creamy texture and flavor of the avocado will add a delicious and nutritious boost to any meal.

3. Avocado Popsicles

Blend ripe avocado with coconut milk, honey, and a splash of lime juice. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds, freeze, and enjoy a refreshing and healthy frozen treat.

4. Add the to smoothies 

Adds a creamy texture and a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals.

5. In place of Butter 

Use avocados in place of butter. It tastes great topped with a poached egg.

6. Substitute for Mayonnaise

Use it in coleslaw. Simply mash up a ripe avocado and mix it with crunchy, shredded white or red cabbage, carrots, and onions.

7. Avocado Salad Dressing

Mash avocado and mix it with lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and your choice of herbs to create a delicious and healthy salad dressing.

8. Avocado Sushi Rolls

Replace the traditional sushi ingredients with avocado slices. Roll them up with cucumber, carrots, and your choice of protein (or not) for a unique and healthy sushi alternative.

9. Avocado Deviled Eggs

Instead of using mayo, mash avocado with boiled eg yolks to create a creamy and nutritious filling for deviled eggs. Sprinkle with paprika for an extra kick.

10 Avocado Stuffed Peppers

Slice avocados and stuff them into halved bell peppers along with your favorite fillings like quinoa, black beans, corn, and salsa. Bake until the peppers are tender.

11. Avocado Pasta Sauce

Blend avocado with basil, garlic, olive oil, and squeeze of lemon juice to create a creamy pasta sauce. Toss it with your favorite pasta and add cherry tomatoes or grilled chicken for extra goodness.

12. Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Whip up a guilt-free chocolaty treat by blending avocado, cocoa powder, honey, and a splash of almond milk. Refrigerate until it reaches a mousse-like consistency.

The Health Benefits of Avocados FAQ

health benefits of eating avocados

Q. Is it okay to eat an avocado every day?

A. Avocados are packed with essential nutrients and healthy fats that offer many benefits. Yet, if you are counting calories, keep portion size in mind, as avocados are relatively high in calories.

Q. Do avocados burn belly fat?

A. Avocados alone do not have a specific property that targets belly fat or any specific area of the body for fat burning. However, they can be a part of a healthy diet that supports overall  weight management, including belly fat.

Q. What is the best time of day to eat avocado?

A. The best time of day to eat avocado depends on your personal preferences and dietary needs. Avocados can be enjoyed at various times throughout the day, and you can incorporate them into your meals or snacks based on your routine and goals.

Q. Are avocados good for your skin and hair?

A. Yes, avocados can be very beneficial for your skin due to their nutrient content and healthy fats. You can even use them to make a DIY mask for hair health.

Q. Does avocado make you look younger?

A. Avocados can contribute to a more youthful appearance and good skin health, but it is important to note that no single food can solely determine our overall appearance or reverse the aging process. Looking younger is influenced by various factors, including genetics, lifestyle habits, skincare routine, and overall health.

Q. Do avocados hydrate you?

A. Yes, avocados contribute to hydration due to their high water content (73% water). While they are not a substitute for drinking water, consuming foods with high water content, such as avocados, can help contribute to your overall hydration levels.

Before You Go

In conclusion, avocados offer a myriad of health benefits that make them a valuable addition to your diet. From supporting heart health and weight management to enhancing brain function and eye health, avocados truly live up to their superfood status. The monounsaturated fats, fiber, and an array of essential nutrients found in avocados contribute to their remarkable health benefits.

Incorporating avocados into your meals can be both delicious and rewarding. Whether you enjoy them as a spread on toast, sliced in salads, blended into smoothies, or even used as a substitute for unhealthy fats in baking, avocados offer a versatile culinary experience.

So what are you waiting for? Grab some avocados on your next grocery run and start reaping the incredible health benefits they have to offer. Your heart, brain, waistline and overall well-being will thank you for it!

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Written by Jackie Parker

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