I love avocados! I put them in my smoothies in the morning, on toast and also in my baking. While its true they are relatively high in fat and calories (138 calories and 14.1g fat in half a medium-sized avocado). But they’re also one of the best foods you can eat! They are full of nutrients and heart-healthy compounds. Here are five reasons to think about adding them into your diet!
1) Avocados are packed with Carotenoids!
Avocados are a killler source of lutein, a carotenoid that works as an antioxidant and helps protect against eye disease.
They also help you get more of these nutrients out of your other foods. Carotenoids are lipophilic (soluble in fat, not water), so eating carotenoid-packed foods like fruits and vegetables along with monounsaturated-fat-rich avocados helps your body absorb the carotenoids. An easy way to do this is to add sliced avocado to a mixed salad.
2) They can help you loose weight!
Half an avocado contains 3.4 grams of fibre, fibre slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in your body, helping you feel full for longer.
Avocados also contain oleic acid, a fat that activates the part of your brain that makes you feel full. Healthier unsaturated fats containing oleic acid produce a feeling of satisfaction.
3) They help balance your blood sugar levels!
Rich, creamy, and packed with beneficial monounsaturated fat, avocado slows digestion and helps keep blood sugar from spiking after a meal. A diet high in good fats may even help reverse insulin resistance, which translates to steadier blood sugar long-term. Try putting mashed avocado on sandwiches instead of mayonnaise or on bread instead of butter. To keep what’s left over from turning brown, spritz the flesh with cooking spray or coat with lemon juice and wrap in plastic.
4) They protect your unborn baby!
One cup of avocado provides almost a quarter of the daily intake you need of folate. Folate is a vitamin that cuts the risk of birth defects. If you’re pregnant—or planning to be—avocados will help protect your unborn baby.
5) They can help lower your cholesterol
As well as increasing feelings of fullness, the oleic acid in avocados can help reduce cholesterol levels. People eating an avocado-rich diet have a significant decrease in overall cholesterol levels, including a decrease in LDL cholesterol. Their levels of HDL cholesterol (the healthy type) increased by 11 percent.
High cholesterol is one of the main risk factors for heart disease. The cholesterol-lowering properties of avocado, along with its folate content, help keep your heart healthy!