CHEFGOOD spotlight: Avocado

Avocados are native to Central America and Mexico, and are a rich source of fibre, vitamins, minerals and monounsaturated fats. In each creamy avo, you’ll find vitamin E, vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium, folate and a bunch of B vitamins.

Let’s break it down further. In each 100g serving of avocado you’ll find:

  • Vitamin C: 17% of the RDI
  • Folate: 20% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 26% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B5: 14% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 14% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 13% of the RDI
  • Vitamin E: 10% of the RDI

Avocado benefits

The benefits of eating avocado are varied and abundant. We think they’re worth never owning a house. Just joking! (Or are we?)

Help with high blood pressure

High blood pressure is the most common circulatory system condition in Australia. In 2014/15 almost 6 million adult Aussies had high blood pressure.

How do avocados help? It turns out avos are rich in potassium and deficiency in this particular mineral and electrolyte can lead to high blood pressure. Usually linked with bananas, avocados are even higher in potassium.

Potassium assists our body in regulating our heartbeat, keeping our muscles and nerves working correctly and, of course, lowering our blood pressure.

Lower your cholesterol

With heart disease being the most common cause of death worldwide, it’s never been more critical that we look after our heart. There are several markers in our blood which link to an increased risk of heart disease, including triglycerides, blood pressure and cholesterol.

There has been much research into the effects of avocado on these risk factors. Results indicate avocados can:

  • Reduce total cholesterol levels
  • Lower ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol
  • Increase ‘good’ (HDL) cholesterol
  • Reduce triglycerides
  • Lower blood pressure

Healthy skin, sparkling eyes and shiny hair

Sounds good, doesn’t it? But why is avocado so good for our skin, hair and eyes?

Avos are high in an antioxidant called lutein, a carotenoid which protects eyes and assists in healthy skin and hair. Carotenoids are found in many vegetables and are known for their ability to fight the effects of toxins in the body.

Lutein seems to be particularly helpful for eye disease prevention because it absorbs damaging blue light rays which enter the eye, altering DNA and creating free radical damage.

Avocados are also high in monounsaturated fats, helping to improve skin tone and appearance. Monounsaturated fat:

  • helps to reduce redness and irritation,
  • can help moderate sebum production and
  • is involved in renewing damaged skin cells.

Lose weight

We’ve said it before; fat doesn’t make people fat. In fact, healthy fats are a super valuable part of any person’s diet, including those looking to lose a few kilograms.

The fat in avocado is filling and satisfying, meaning you won’t feel hungry between meals, perhaps preventing unnecessary snacking, overeating and mindless consumption.

While it might be surprising that a food high in fat like avocado is recommended for those looking to lose weight, research has shown it’s a solid suggestion: Avocado’s monounsaturated fat is more likely to be used as a slow-burning energy source, rather than stored as body fat.

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