By: Cat Ebeling
Co-author of the best-sellers: The Fat Burning Kitchen, The Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging & The Diabetes Fix
Avocados have become the darling of the many healthy and weight loss diets, as well as being a staple of the Paleo diet. They are having their ‘moment’ in the spotlight for sure! And for good reason! We all know that they are very healthy for us, low glycemic/low carb and full of super nutrients like healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and serious phytochemicals, but wait—there’s more!
Avocados have been gaining steadily in popularity over the last ten years. In fact, the rate of consumption of avocados has about doubled in the last ten years and demand keeps growing! Mexico and Latin America are some of the biggest suppliers along with California. Did you know that there are actually over a thousand different types of avocados, but here in the United States, we mainly see the popular Hass avocado most of the time. Although the demand has gone up for this buttery fruit, supplies this year are lower, so you may be paying a higher price for your avo—but they are well worth it for your health and your body!
Here’s a few reasons why:
1. Avocados Stabilize Blood Sugar and Fight Metabolic Syndrome
The healthy fats and other nutrition you get from avocados help your body to stabilize blood sugar and insulin, helping fight diabetes and metabolic syndrome, as well as contributing to fat loss and muscle building. They are low glycemic; therefore no rise in blood sugar and no fat-storing insulin release. The healthy fat content in avocados makes you feel full longer and cuts down on food cravings, so that makes it a perfect food if you are trying to burn fat and lose weight—even though avocados are considered fairly calorically dense. All in all, researchers discovered that avocado consumers were 50 percent less likely to develop metabolic syndrome than people who don’t normally eat them! The blood sugar stabilizing effect avocados have also helps reduce blood pressure, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
A study published in Nutrition Journal (January 2013), made up of 17,567 participants, also found that avocado-eaters generally eat a more balanced diet than non-avocado consumers, had significantly higher intakes of vegetables and fruit, and had higher intakes of vitamins, minerals and other antioxidants. BMI and body weight were significantly LESS in people who eat avocados on a regular basis. Speaking of high-fat foods that actually HELP you to get leaner, here are 7 fatty foods that fight aging and flatten your stomach (some will surprise you!)
2. Cancer Prevention
The Journal of Nutrition and Cancer recently published the results of a study, showing avocados as a major player in cancer-fighting and study results show phytochemicals as powerful as some chemotherapy! Other research suggests that phytochemicals extracted from avocados help induce cancer cell cycle death, inhibit growth, and induce apoptosis in precancerous and cancer cell lines.
Avocados abundance of monounsaturated fats also help fight cancer by being an effective anti-inflammatory agent. Beta-sitosterol also protects the prostate gland in men, fighting cancer and improving immune functions. And the powerful carotenoids fight skin cancer, as well as aging.
3. Weight Loss—Really!!
While avocados get a bad rap because they are calorically dense and high in fats, they are actually a great weight loss food. Diets lower in carbohydrates actually actually have been shown to help in fat loss, and in reducing hunger because they keep blood sugar and fat-storing insulin in check. Fats are super filling and increase satisfaction that help you eat less overall. And they allow you to go longer between meals without getting hungry. That healthy fat also helps your body absorb more fat-burning vitamins and minerals as well.
A study conducted in 2005, examined the effects of avocados, a rich source of calories coming from monounsaturated fatty acids, as part of an energy-restricted diet on weight loss, serum lipids and vascular function in overweight and obese subjects. They found that consumption of 30 grams a day of fat from avocado within restricted calorie diet didn’t compromise weight loss at all when substituted for 30 grams a day of mixed dietary fats. The diet high in avocado resulted in significant weight loss in addition to other health improvements. Measurements including body mass, body mass index and percentage of body fat decreased significantly in both groups during the study. Only the avocado test group experienced positive changes in fatty acid blood serum levels. So, there are clearly avocado benefits for weight loss!
4. Avocados Contain Amazing Fats
Avocados contain oodles of oleic acid the same type of healthy fat that is in olive oil, which helps—among other things—lower bad cholesterol and fight cancers. Unlike saturated fats or highly processed vegetable oils, avocado oil regulates blood sugar, protects the heart as well as the brain. Avocados contain plenty of oleic acid, the same monounsaturated fat in olive oil, that helps lower cholesterol and is helpful in preventing breast cancer and other cancers.
Avo’s help to block the development of arteriosclerosis (the gunk inside your blood vessels that blocks blood flow) partly because of their blood sugar-lowering effects. Other serious health-protecting ingredients include fiber, beta-sitosterol, magnesium, and potassium, which help to regulate blood pressure and lower LDL cholesterol. This study shows people eating avocados dropped total cholesterol by 17%, LDL’s decreased by 22%, triglycerides by 22%, and healthy HDL rose by 11%. That avo fat is GOOD for you!!
5. Healthy Babies—Before and After Birth
One medium avocado has about a quarter of your required daily amount of folate, or folic acid, a B vitamin that plays an essential role in making new cells by helping to produce healthy DNA and RNA. Folate is required for pregnant women, and helps lower the risk birth defects in babies, as well as being important for heart health.
And avocados are the perfect baby food as well! They are firm enough to be picked up by tiny fingers, but easily mashable and edible—even for someone with no teeth! What’s more, we now know they are chock full of healthy nutrition, healthy fats and massive phytochemicals. And their mild taste is something babies love, making avo’s a great baby superfood!
6. Eye Health
Avocados have lots of carotenoids and lutein, antioxidants that are both valuable for healthy eyes. It also contains zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, plus significant quantities of vitamin E. The oleic acid in avo’s helps the body absorb those precious carotenoids and convert to vitamin A, as well as being able to access the antioxidants in other foods as well. Carotenoid benefits include lowering inflammation, promoting healthy growth and development, and boosting immunity, among others.
7. Healthy Inside and Healthy Outside—Skin and Hair
Avocados’ load of phtytochemicals and antioxidants fight damage from the sun and the environment by reducing inflammation and DNA damage. People who eat diets rich in antioxidants as well as healthy fats have healthier, less wrinkly skin than people who eat the Standard American Diet (SAD). In addition, the healthy carotenoids in colorful veggies, including avocados add a rich, healthy golden glow to your skin. And, because of the rich oils and vitamins in avocados, you can mash one up and use it as moisturizing, calming facial mask as well!
Avocados massive supply of phytonutrients including their polyphenols and flavenoids also help fight osteoarthritis, and other inflammatory degenerative diseases.
Avocados growing popularity has created a serious worldwide craving for this buttery orb, so countries like Mexico and many other South American countries have been gearing up their production. However, avocados—especially American Hass avocados use more water than the South American varieties, so California avocados may be in short supply this year. Rising demand and avocado prices are actually fueling illegal deforestation in some parts of the world, and drug and mafia cartels are at work to control the supply of this popular food. High demand and lowered supply may mean your favorite avo prices could rise. Careful handling, a watchful eye that they don’t get overripe and knowing how to store your leftover avocado will help to prevent wasting these lovelies.
What About That Pit?
A study by Pennsylvania State University revealed that avocado pits, or seeds, have been used medicinally for generations. Avocado pits in South American have been used as a treatment for inflammation, diabetes and hypertension. This mostly unused element of the fruit contains phenolic compounds, which are known to prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease and other degenerative illnesses. But beware, some food experts warn against eating the pits thinking that it may cause intestinal discomfort or other health issues. More research is needed at this point on the detriments or benefits of eating the seeds of avocados.
Ideas to Use
There are literally zillions of great avocado recipes out there—I prefer the quick and easy ones. My favorite breakfast is to spread some ripe avocado on gluten free (sourdough) toast, add a slice of natural ham, and a free range egg cooked in grass fed butter. Divine! Great low carb, high nutrient breakfast to fuel your day! I also like them right out of the shell with some Sriracha sauce sprinkled on, with tuna in the hollow.
Here’s an amazing Paleo breakfast of an easy-baked avocado egg recipe from my friends at PaleoHacks. Or try this yummy chocolate avocado recipe for dessert from my co-author Mike Geary. Mmm, mmm good!
Where do you get gluten free sourdough bread?
Hi Muriel, if you can’t find any at your local natural health stores then I recommend buying the mix online and making it yourself. Here’s one https://thrivemarket.com/cultures-for-health-gluten-free-sourdough-starter and here are some other gluten-free bread recipes http://blog.paleohacks.com/paleo-bread/
I found this article about avocados so very interesting and helpful
What is the content of sourdough bread.
Organic flour (so there is no danger of herbicides or pesticides maiming or killing the sourdough starter)
If you want you can add a tablespoon of virgin olive oil (cold pressed, of course!)
You also need to add a bucket of patience!
I am really interested in finding out more about avocados
Thank you for being devoted to TRUTH for nutrition. I especially appreciate that you recognize the value of TRUTH TELLERS as I couldn’t help but notice your sources of 2 of many TRUTH TELLERS for nutrition. Dr. Mercola and Dr. Axe. I follow both of them Of course we must recognize that nutrition translates to HEALTH NOT coming from the poisons that come from “other” sources. Thank you again.
Thank so much for article about avocado
A Personal experience; having half of advacado every morning will do a great deal of health benefits
Have a go
daily intacke of avacodo, always helps a feeling nfon content, when this is taken along
with other vegetables and 2 slice of bread daily.great.and i enjoy the same.
I would like the bloodpressure drink
About 2months ago, my house doctor suggested, that I have a bi-opsy done for a small hard spot a specialist said he felt, with his finger, while checking my prostrate! I had declined the bi-opsy, after hearing about the pain! If the small hard spot is very new, would avacodos, their oil, and possibly their seed, begin to kill that starter bump?
I’ve tried in the past to ripen avocados, but nothing seems to work.What us tge solution to ripen avos?
We eat an avocado per day year-round & buy them a dozen or more at a time. Here’s our tried & tested method:
Choose bright green ones (DO NOT pick them up & ‘thumb’ them like we’ve seen people do, then put them back in the bin). Just rest each one in the palm of your hand & resist pressing your thumb into it. At home, put six each in a brown paper lunch sack, fold down the top, secure with a wooden clothes pin,
write date on sack, & let set on kitchen counter 3 days, then remove stem end & insert tip of a paring
knife into one….it should go in easily. Place sack of avocados into fridge to halt ripening & enjoy an avo-
cado per meal……..
Did you that avocado has latex in the skin of the avocado? So if you have a latex allergy you can not eat it.
I’m allergic to latex and have eaten avocados for years with no reaction to them. I wear gloves when cutting them open to avoid a reaction to the skin.
What do you recommend about eating the darkened avocado pulp that happens with air exposure after slicing? I think the darkening is called oxidation … is it safe and healthy to eat?
To prevent darkening of avocado pulp, stir a few drops of lemon or lime juice into it, or sprinkle slices with the juice just before serving
You can put the avovado stone within until the moment you serve/eat….it will help a lot. Ant its still healthy also when its brown, nothing 2 worty about
Squeeze lime juice over the cut avacado to prevent itvfrom browning. Refrigerate. Enjiy the next day with no browning!
A very interesting article, thank you.
Here in the Highlands of Zimbabwe, Africa
we grow and pick avo’s here, as they don’t ripen on the tree.
We ripen an avo by putting it in a brown paper packet with a banana ( skin on ) in the veg cupboard
and check it for softness, not for a brown skin.
Your article on avocados is very thought provoking. Never realized they had so many good nutrients in them and how that relates to our health.
I too enjoyed reading about Avocados & didn’t realize they had so many benefits. This is my first time reading this news article and benefits about
different foods. This was my first newsletter and I appreciate it. I am a diabetic and am always wanting to read and learn more about the benefits & healthy foods. I have never eaten an avocado, but I will give it a try in the future. I always thought because they were high in fat that it wouldn’t be good to eat them. I thought it would clog the arteries & the fat would cause weight gain. I am surprised to learn of the many benefits they have. I don’t know if we even have any in our grocery stores due to this being a small town, but I’ll be on the lookout for them. Thank you for the free newsletter as I expect to learn a lot more than I expected.