Being described as the fruit with the highest nutrient content, avocado health benefits are to do with the high protein, good fats, antioxidants, soluble and insoluble fibre and a variety of minerals and vitamins.
• Avocados are often assumed to be unhealthy because of being high in fat – 20 times higher than other fruits, these are monounsaturated fats and oleic acid which your body needs to promote well-being.
• Monounsaturated fats speed up the metabolic rate, large amounts of soluble and insoluble fibre makes you full and also being a ‘very low GI’ food, avocados can actually help you lose weight despite being high in fat.
• Fiber is a major dietary component in chronic disease prevention: heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and some cancers. Avocado is rich in soluble and insoluble fibers!
• Avocado is one of the first fresh fruits a baby can have. It is served raw, low in salt and contains many nutrients that are beneficial for baby’s development.
• It is a low glycemic index food and may help control blood sugars and monounsaturates help lower bad cholesterol and higher good cholesterol : helpful for treatment of diabetes.
• Avocado has higher potassium content than most fruits and vegetables, which helps regulate blood pressure and adequate intake can protect against circulatory diseases – high blood pressure, stroke or heart disease.
• Vitamin K in avocado is fat soluble and plays an important role in blood clotting, which means it helps wounds heal properly. It is also needed to help build strong bones.
• Vitamin B6 in avocados is important for the nervous system, red blood cells, teeth and gums.
• Avocados may help strengthen your immune system, being rich in antioxidants to fight free radicals.
• Avocado is very effective in getting rid of bad breath. It removes decomposition and intestinal putrefaction or which is the real cause of a coated tongue and bad breath.
• Avocado is the highest fruit source of lutein. Lutein protects against eye disease such as cataracts and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.
Avocado Glycemic Index:
Avocado is a low GI fruit as it is high in good fat content and this has no impact on blood glucose. Diets rich in monounsaturated fats may help keep the blood sugar in control. If added to anything with bread or carbs, being low GI, high fibre and high in healthy fats, your digestion of the meal will be slower. Low GI value of avocado also has implications in treatment of obesity and diabetes.
Storing and Serving Avocados:
• Good avocados have a green-yellow color throughout. If part of the flesh has turned grey or brown, cut out those parts.
• Avocados should be eaten raw and as fresh as possible. They turn sour with cooking.
• Please do not freeze them. If it has to be stored, keep them in room temperature to also maintain avocado health benefits and nice nutty flavour.
• Prepare avocados just before serving or drench in lemon juice to avoid the fruit going brown.
• Avocado as a spread in place of butter, full fat cheese and mayonnaise may help reduce the intake of calories, saturated fat, salt and cholesterol.
• Use avocado oil in cooking and salads as you would use olive oil. Extra virgin avocado olive oil is available in most big supermarkets.
Please see Avocado Health Benefits article for more information.