Superfood: Avocado

Author: Lia Pellizzeri   Date Posted:11 June 2019 

The status of ‘Superfood’ here at Australian Natural Care does not mean a mere stellar nutrient profile… it simply must be SUPER to eat as well! A true superfood should not only be a Nutritionist’s dream, but a delight to the foodie, so rest assured we will only be providing the most delicious of ingredients to our Superfood series for you to start incorporating into your own diet.

Which brings us to the beautiful fruit of the Persea americana tree, the ever-so trendy…  Avocado.

The luscious pale green flesh of the avocado is full of heart healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids, as well as loaded with fibre and Vitamins K, B5, B6, C and E, it contains more Potassium than a banana and 20% of the RDI of Folate. Let’s look at what we can get out of our smashed Avo on toast!

 

Great for Weight Loss

Avocados are a wonderful ingredient to use when aiming to shed some kilos, and will usually have a place in every fad diet you come across whether it be keto, paleo or even a low-fat diet where despite containing 15 grams in a 100 gram serving, their unsaturated fat profile makes it an ideal substitute for its saturated counterparts. However, gram for gram, spreading avocado on your bread in place of butter will mean lowering fat intake overall anyway.

Being high in fibre with 7g per 100g, they not only help improve digestion but will be low in residual sugar, with only 2g net carbohydrate. These factors combined makes the creamy avocado satisfying and decadent without the guilt!

 

Helps you Absorb Nutrients from Other Foods!

The fats in Avocados not only facilitate the absorption of the vitamins and minerals in the fruit itself, but of other foods eaten with it, especially vitamins A, D, E, and K – which require the presence of fat to be absorbed through the intestine.

They also help increase the absorption of carotenoids and antioxidants in foods - this is not limited to the avocado flesh alone but also to its oil, which is fast becoming a well-known staple of pantry’s everywhere due to its versatility and lovely flavour.

 

Loaded with Nutrients for Healthy Eyes as well???

Yes! Avocados are high in the carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are yellow to red pigments found largely in vegetables and plants. In nature the two antioxidants absorb excess light energy, essentially protecting plants from too much sunlight, especially high-energy light rays otherwise known as blue light – hello smart phones!

Interestingly, the human eye is also home to high concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin, leading to the conclusion that they are essential to the health of the eye by helping to block blue light. This aims to reduce the risk of light-induced oxidative damage that can take an extremely detrimental toll on the macular.

 

 

The Perfect Food for you Heart

The combination of being high in both insoluble fibre and mono-unsaturated fatty acids means it a perfect food for helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels in healthy individuals. Fibre helps to clear the gut of inflammatory toxins which has a flow-on effect to liver function – the better the liver can metabolize nutrients and detoxify what the body doesn’t need the lower systemic inflammation will be.

Monounsaturated fats help in balancing the amounts of good and bad cholesterol in the blood. The higher density lipoproteins or HDL’s are important for clearing build-up in the arteries and the monounsaturated fats are useful in increasing these numbers and reducing the more-easily oxidized lower density protein molecules or LDL’s.

 

Avocados are Economical? You sure about that?

Contrary to popular opinion, if you are making your avocado on toast at home Avocado’s are extremely economical. Being in season almost all year round (taking into consideration variations in type), and due to the increase in demand, avocados are now very reasonably priced – maybe not at your local Café though.

The other handy thing to know about Avocados is that they are extremely low in pesticides, being on the Clean Fifteen list – a compilation of fruits and veg that aren’t as important to eat organically due to their naturally low pesticide exposure.  So if you are trying to save yourself some money, there’s no absolute need to spend more than $2-$4 on an Avo!

 

Finally…

What you can do with an Avocado could fill a book - its versatility is incredible as its creamy buttery flesh is not only exclusive to savoury uses but sweet as well, being a fantastic ingredient to use as fillings for cakes and cheesecakes in many vegan and healthy baking recipes.

As such, avocados are so easy to incorporate into your day, whether you decide to pair it with eggs for breakfast or as your main spread in salad or vegemite sandwiches, it’s marvellous in mash potato or thrown into salads for dinner, it also makes a highly nutritious addition to a smoothie as well - giving it a lovely thick and smooth texture…

 

Ultimate Chocolate Thick Shake

½ Ripe Avocado

1 Tablespoon Cacao powder

1 frozen Banana or Handful of Ice

½ cup Milk (of choice)

2 Medjool Dates (or ½ a Tablespoon of Maple Syrup)

1 Tablespoon Nut Butter (ie. Peanut butter/Cashew butter/Almond butter)

  • Blend on high speed in a Blender or Food Processor and pour into a large glass or 2 smaller ones and Enjoy!

 

You won’t believe how good and good for you this one is! Give it a try and let us know.

 

Written by Lia Pellizzeri
Emily Seddon

Lia is a qualified Naturopath who believes in the power of nature to heal many of today’s acute and chronic conditions. She’s not only passionate about living a healthy lifestyle, but about educating people on nutrition and the amazing benefits of herbs and supplements in addressing symptoms and their underlying issues.

Lia loves to cook, bake and read… when she isn’t busy telling people to enjoy their egg yolks and other healthy fats, she can most likely be found on the lounge with a latte and a tattered copy of Lord of the Rings.


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