Avocado: A True Superfood
Avocados are amazing heart healthy, skin glowing and eyesight supporting foods deserving of a regular role in the diet. Almost two thirds of their fat is monounsaturated, specifically oleic acid the same as in olive oil found to help reduce blood LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff) and promote HDL cholesterol (the helpful stuff). Other heart healthy nutrients include potassium which helps regulate blood pressure, folic acid and vitamin B6 both essential for keeping homocysteine in check, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer’s.
Avocados are a rich source of vitamin E, good source of vitamin C and lutein, all powerful antioxidants protecting the cells from oxidative stress, the process which ages cells. Lutein, specifically is an important carotenoid which may help to protect against eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration and avocado’s have been found to enhance absorption of lycopene and beta-carotene, two other carotenoids important in eye health found in foods such as tomatoes. Hence tomato salsa and guacamole not only taste good but work together in supporting long term eye health.
Alongside being a great source of fibre (11-17g each) supporting healthy digestion and having next to zero effect on blood sugar, avocados pack a punch with health busting nutrients.
Add to salads, make into dips, mix with lemon juice and spread onto crackers or slice into your morning smoothie for a rich creamy taste. So what about the fat and calories? Well, apart from 80% of the fat being the healthy type of fat, avocados contain 190kcal per 100g which compares to your average healthy nut and seed bar which contains between 330-500kcal per 100g, depending on the brand. Top tip: keep them in the fridge where they last much longer.