Food Focus: Avocado
High in healthy fats with powerful beneficial health effects and high nutrient values including 20 different vitamins and minerals.
A rather unique type of fruit! Avocado has a versatile flavor and rich texture and is often called the “alligator pear” due to its appearance.
Half a typical Advocado (90g) serving contains:
- 160 kcal, 26% of RDA for vitamin K which is vital for blood clotting, bone health and protecting against heart disease
- 20% of daily folic acid need important for the nervous system function (stress handling!) and for cells to generate energy from food
- Significant levels of vitamins C and E vital for healthy skin
- Monounsaturated fats for cardiovascular health
- It is rich in fibre
- Low in protein (contrary to what some people think)
Other health benefits of the Avocado...
More potassium than bananas
100 gram serving containing 14% of the RDA, compared to 10% in bananas, which are a typical high potassium food. Several studies show that having a high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.
Loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids
Oleic acid (also the major component in olive oil) has been linked to reduced inflammation and been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer. The fats in avocado are also pretty resistant to heat-induced oxidation, making avocado oil a healthy and safe choice for cooking.
Eating Avocados can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the world. Numerous studies have shown that eating avocado can improve heart disease risk factors like Total, LDL and HDL cholesterol, as well as blood triglycerides.
The fat in them can help you absorb nutrients from plant foods
Some nutrients are “fat soluble,” meaning that they need to be combined with fat in order to be utilized. One study showed that adding avocado or avocado oil to either salad or salsa can increase antioxidant absorption by 10 fold. So… not only is avocado highly nutritious, it can dramatically increase the nutrient value of other plant foods that you are eating.
Eating Avocado may help you lose weight
There is some evidence that avocados are a weight loss friendly food as they have a high satiety value and could help you naturally eat fewer calories.
Adding Avocado to your diet
Avocado Chocolate Mousse Pots
The combination of banana and avocado creates the creamiest consistency that just melts in your mouth, which is enhanced by the almond butter’s nutty goodness. The avocado’s savoury nature is totally masked though by the sweet, caramel nature of the medjool dates and the deeply rich, smooth cacao powder.
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 1 large really ripe bananas
- 2 ripe avocado
- 6 medjool dates
- 4 tablespoons of water
- 2 heaped teaspoons of almond butter
- 2 heaped teaspoons of raw cacao powder
- Small amount of sweetener (e.g. agave syrup)
- Tsp of hemp protein powder
- Sprinkling of chia seeds
- Sprinkling of flax seeds
Simply put all the ingredients into a food processor (pit the dates first!) then blend into a smooth delicious mixture. A blender will work for this but a food processor is a lot easier and quicker! Keep chilled in the fridge until you’re ready, top with a few fresh berries and enjoy!