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BY SOPHIE LEAVER
HEALTH & WELLBEING WRITER
The avocado is generally much loved by nutritionists, healthy eaters and brunch lovers across the world, and for good reason!
Not only is it delicious and creamy, but it is extremely healthy and unbelievably versatile. Not just a breakfast staple, it can also be mixed into baking and deserts, used in smoothies, slathered on your face as a skin-boosting mask, or can be the star of any salad. Here are eight reasons why you should include avocados in your diet.
- 1. Your heart will thank you
Avocados are one of the best sources of mono-saturated fats, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol and remove the build up of plaque that can lead to heart attacks. Over 75% of the fat content in avocados is good for your heart. Replacing your chemical-laden low fat spreads with avocado is one of the best heart-healthy diet changes you can make.
- 2. They help regulate blood sugar
The good fats in avocados can help reverse insulin resistance, in turn helping to regulate blood sugar levels. They also contain soluble fibre which helps maintain a steady blood sugar level.
- 3. They’ll help your skin glow
The healthy fats in avocado also contribute to an improved skin tone, by maintaining moisture levels in the epidermal layers of your skin. This helps your skin look soft, healthy and young. Omega 3 fatty acids can also help to reduce skin irritation by repairing damaged skin cells. Avocados also contain anti-oxidants, vitamin E and vitamin C, which help to create elastin and collagen, both which combat signs of ageing.
- 4. Weight-loss
Even though avocados are high in calories, studies have shown that the fatty acids are more likely to be used by the body as a slow burning energy, rather than stored as body fat. Avocados are filling, and can leave you satisfied for hours.
- 5. Brain Function
The high level of folate in avocados may help prevent the onset of conditions which may possibly lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Omega 3 and vitamin E have also been proven to help prevent the early onset and progression of the disease.
- 6. Protect your babies
Avocados are rich in folate, which is a B vitamin commonly known as folic acid. One cup of avocado provides around 23% of the recommended daily intake of this vitamin, which can help prevent birth defects in an unborn child.
- 7. Nutrient Absorption
The monosaturated fats in avocados assist the body to absorb fat-soluble nutrients. This means that when we combine avocados with other foods, such as in a salad, our bodies are able to make the most of the nutrients in all the ingredients.
- 8. It covers all bases!
The avocado contains fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. It is packed with nutritional benefits, providing potassium, fibre and a host of vitamins. On top of this, it also provides all essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. It is more easily absorbable than animal based proteins, and more easily incorporated into different types of diets. The avocado is creamy, delicious, and so versatile that it can become part of practically any dish. Grab a spoon and start reaping the endless benefits of the avocado!