Packed full of antioxidants, fibre, and healthy fats, the avocado (AKA Alligator Pear) may be one of the healthiest foods mother nature has to offer. This delicious, nutrient dense fruit has shown to have numerous health benefits, including:
– promoting heart health
– decreasing inflammation
– increasing the absorption of carotenoids
– aiding blood sugar regulation
– prevention of various cancers<
Sound promising so far? Now let’s take a closer look at some of the specific benefits that avocados offer, and why you should consider making them a regular addition to your diet if you aren’t already doing so.
Why Avocados are Beneficial to your Health
1. Increased Carotenoid Absorption
Carotenoids are potent antioxidants found primarily in yellow, orange ,and dark green fruits and vegetables.
This study showed that the healthy fats contained in avocados can increase the bodies ability to absorb carotenoids by 200-400%.
Avocados are an excellent source of 9 types of carotenoids, including both alpha and beta-carotene.
The bottom line: Adding avocado or avocado oil to a salad (or to any dish containing carotenoid rich foods for that matter) will increase the amount of carotenoids that your body assimilates.
2. Anti-Inflamatory Benefits
Inflammation has been linked to serious diseases including arthritis, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
In addition to 9 different types of carotenoids and other antioxidants (including Vitamin C, E, and the mineral selenium), avocados contain the following anti-inflammatory nutrients:
– Omega-3 Fatty Acids (in the form of ALA)
– Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (related study)
– Multiple phytosterols
The bottom line: Adding avocados to your diet may help decrease inflammation, and decrease your risk of certain disease.
3. Cardiovascular Benefits
Over 80% of an avocados total calories come in the form of healthy fats, half of which are the monounsaturated fat know as oliec acid (also found in olives, and olive oil). Many recent studies have shown that monounsaturated fats play a positive role in cardiovascular health. The remaining portion fat content come in the form of phytosterols and PFA’s, both know to have excellent anti-inflamatory properties.
How to Select
Ripe avocados are slightly soft to the touch, and should have no cracks or sunken spots.
How to Cut
The dark green avocado meat closest to the skin contains the highest amount of antioxidants. Use the cutting method outlined in this video to ensure that none of your avocados powerful nutrients go to waste.
Our Favorite Avocado Recipes
Do you eat avocados regularly? What are your favourite avocado recipes? Please share with us by commenting below.