Don’t judge an avocado by it’s cover, it’s what’s inside that counts. Packed with almost 20 nutrients, these nutrient-dense fruit play a major role in healthy diets, contributing almost 20 vitamins, nutrients and phytonutrients.
They’re also an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fats, are cholesterol-free and have naturally low levels of sugar and sodium.
Why is nutrient density important? Nutrient dense foods give you the most nutrients for the fewest amount of calories. In other words, the ‘biggest bang for your buck’.
Good for the heart
Ahhh, the glorious avocado. So tasty and healthy that I just want to eat you every day. And you can…
Crammed full of nutrients, avocados sure pack a nutritious punch. Eaten as part of a healthy diet, these fruits may play a role in helping to manage conditions such as high blood cholesterol, a risk factor for coronary heart disease.
These effects are primarily because of avocado’s low saturated fats and high healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat content. And, to add fuel to the nutritious fire, this natural wholefood is low in sodium and full of potassium, helping to guard against high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.
Who would have thought that the good old ‘carotenoid’ could help protect your eyes? Not the Carotenoid? For those who don’t know what Carotenoids are, they are the plant pigments responsible for vibrant colours in many fruits and vegetables. Not only do they have an important antioxidant function of deactivating free radicals, but they are important for eye health.
Research also indicates that the healthy fats in avocados help the body to absorb disease-preventing carotenoids from the diet, and aid in their conversion to vitamin A – needed for normal reproduction, vision and immune function. And, what’s even better, is that eating avocados alongside other fruits and vegies increases the availability of carotenoids multi-fold, which may add to potential vision well-being and other health benefits.
I’m in. Guacamole and carrot sticks anyone?
A great source of fibre
Being fibre fit is a great way to look after your body inside and out. And, as a great source of dietary fibre, avocados are an excellent way to stay on top of your gut health.
There are two types of fibre: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre can help reduce cholesterol re-absorption in the intestine, while insoluble fibre such as that found in avocados keeps bowel movements regular. People, who consume high-fibre diets, are less likely to have constipation. Fibre may also play a part in weight management – eating fibre rich meals may have you feeling fuller quicker and reduce the amount you eat.
Nitty gritty avo facts
Eating ½ an avocado will give you about 4 g of fibre which is 13% of the recommended daily amount.
Packed with antioxidants
Good old Mother Nature gave avocados a heap of antioxidants that help prevent its healthy fats going rancid too quickly. These antioxidants, vitamins C and E, are understood to contribute to the reduction of tiredness, normal immune, brain and nervous system function, and give protection from free radical damage and more. To make sure they pack an even bigger punch, she also gave avocados other natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds called phenolics.
Nitty gritty avo facts
Half an avocado (75g) contains the following antioxidant nutrients:
- 2.02 mg Vitamin C (5% RDI for Vitamin C)
- 1.25 mg Vitamin E (12% of RDI for Vitamin E)
- 64 mg Gallic acid Equivalents (GAE) of total phenolic antioxidants
There’s no two ways about it, our bodies need fat. And avocados are an easy and guilt-free way of doing just this.
These nutritious fruits are packed with healthy monounsaturated fats, which help carry important fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A and E and colourful carotenoid pigments such as beta-carotene. Wherever you find fat, all three types of fat will be present: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated but just in different amounts. In plant foods such as avocado, most of the fat is the healthy kind: 70% monounsaturated fat and 15% polyunsaturated fat.
Nitty gritty avo facts
- Half an avocado contains 15g of monounsaturated fat and 3 g of polyunsaturated fat.
Next time you need an afternoon pick me up, why not grab an avocado instead of a coffee? With B vitamins folate, B6 and niacin plus vitamin C, avocados can help you fight fatigue and give you the energy to get through the rest of the day. With tiredness, exhaustion and lack of energy being a common cry from many overworked and stressed adults, eating a varied, healthy and balanced diet containing fatigue fighting nutrients such as those found in avocados can give your engine a much-needed boost.
Avocados are also a good source of vitamin B6 and folate (30% and 41% of the recommended intake of an average adult, per ½ an avocado, respectively) and are a source of niacin and vitamin C, all of which help to fight tiredness and fatigue. Vitamin C also helps to absorb iron from food which may also support increased energy.
Growing healthy babies
As a new Mum or a Mum-to-be, you want to make sure you’re doing whatever you can to grow, and feed, a healthy baby. Evidence indicates that avocados may be a unique nutritional food for pregnant and lactating women as they’re a great source of folate and also contain fibre, monounsaturated fats, and lipid-soluble antioxidants.
These nutrient dense fruits are an important dietary source of folate, which is vital for healthy growth and development, at all stages of life, particularly for children, and essential during pregnancy for healthy foetal development.
Nitty gritty avo facts
- A serve of avocado (75g or about ½ an avocado) contributes 81.6 ug of folate, which is approximately 20% of the folate recommended daily intake (RDI) of 400ug per day for women of childbearing age.
Weight & Type 2 Diabetes management
We love avos as much as you do and knowing they’re also good for you just makes our love for them even stronger. Not only do avocados support weight loss, but they can also curb your appetite and help you keep your blood sugar levels under control. In fact, current research demonstrates the benefits of fresh avocados in the management of weight and metabolic syndrome (a group of risk factors that occur together and increase the risk of coronary artery disease, stroke, and type-2 diabetes).
Many studies show the benefits of regular avocado consumption on weight and Type 2 Diabetes including a lower likelihood of developing metabolic syndrome, weight loss including shedding extra kilos around the waist, and better appetite and blood glucose control.