The avocado is certainly one of the most underestimated fruits. It’s so much more than a party dip—this creamy, fibrous fruit is nature’s butter filled with vitamins and antioxidants.
As we enter a new season, it may be time to re-evaluate a few things. Maybe introduce new practices into your routine or foods into your diet to nurture a healthier lifestyle. Big changes are generally hard to keep—start small. Introduce one new food that will help you on a path to a cleaner diet. May we suggest avocado? The avocado is certainly one of the most underestimated fruits. It’s so much more than a party dip—this creamy, fibrous fruit is nature’s butter filled with vitamins and antioxidants.
Nutritionist and culinary professional Rose Reisman uses avocado to enrich recipes and raves about the health benefits. “It’s got vitamin C in it. It’s good for your skin. It’s good for your hair. There are antioxidants in vitamin C and antioxidants that basically act as little Pac-Men that come and capture free radicals. Free radicals lead to auto-immune diseases [cancer is an auto-immune disease].”
That’s not all avocado has to offer. Check out 13 reasons you should start using more avocado.
1. Healthy fat: Seventy-five per cent of fat in avocado is monounsaturated. This fat raises your HDL “good” cholesterol and helps to protect against heart disease and stroke
2. Weight control: There are 10 grams of fibre in a medium-sized avocado that will fill you up and help prevent you from overeating.
3. Good for your eyes: It is a source of lutein, an antioxidant that helps to protect against eye disease.
4. Lowers blood pressure: Avocado is rich in potassium, which “is known to help regulate your blood pressure,” says Reisman.
5. Digestion: The vitamin B in this fruit helps the gastrointestinal tract in the stomach. It also releases digestive enzymes, which help to digest food.
6. Controls blood sugar: Avocado is low-glycemic, which allows your blood sugar to rise slowly. When your blood sugar rises slowly, you’re not as hungry between meals.
7. Brain food: Avocado is considered a brain-booster (coming in a close second to blueberries) due to its omega-3 fatty acid, which helps to improve brain function.
8. Immunity: The vitamin B6 in avocado helps keep “your nervous system and
immune system working well.”
9. Nutrient booster: Avocado helps your body absorb nutrients from other foods. When you eat an avocado with your salad, you absorb almost five times as much nutrients.
10. Versatility: Lactose-intolerant? Reisman suggests removing dairy from your smoothies and replacing it with avocado; the results are silky and satisfying. Dieting? Replace butter or any dairy product in your dessert recipe. Your treats will be just as delicious.
11. Beauty: That’s right. Avocado “triggers the production of collagen and a lack collagen ultimately develops wrinkles.” More avocado equals less wrinkles. Here’s a recipe for a face mask: Mash an avocado with an egg white, lemon juice and water. Put it on your face for about 20 minutes.
12. Hydrates hair: Moroccan oils can take a back seat to this natural hair remedy; use it as a leave-in conditioner to add shine to your locks. Mash an avocado with an egg yolk and olive oil. Smooth through hair and let it go to work for 20 minutes.
13. Hands on: Avocado can even be used as hand cream. Mash avocado with rolled oats, egg white and lemon juice.
How to pick ’em:
- If you buy them green and hard, keep them on the counter for a few days. Do not refrigerate.
- If you buy them green and hard and want to speed up the ripening process, put them in brown rice or in a brown bag for two days
- If you buy them kind of dark and a little soft, prepare to eat them in a day or two. Place them in the fridge to slow down the ripening process.
- Don’t buy them when they are very soft.