Avocados – Healthy superfoods – by Dr. Nuwanthi Fernando
Health benefits of Avocado: What you need to know
by Dr. Mariangel Leota
In case you did not know, avocado is a fruit and not a vegetable as many thinks. If you plan to exclude it from your diet because its calories can hurt you, you should know that this is a myth. The reality is that the avocado contains so many benefits that make it a fruit with a very high market value.
It is the most friendly and versatile fruit for all kinds of meals, can accompany any salty preparation and you can also include them in desserts. Its smooth and creamy flavor make it a delicious contour for any meal where you want to include it.
You can take advantage of its benefits by including them in your meals or you can also use it as a natural beauty treatment for the skin and hair.
Do not make false myths and begin to include avocados in your diet, your long list of benefits will change your mind. Should you consume it moderately? The answer is Yes, depending on the diet you are fulfilling, with 4 ounces (113g) of water cate are sufficient to take advantage of all its nutrients.
Avocados: A healthy option for your heart
Avocados are well known for their characteristic of having “good fats”. 36% of the weight of the avocados is made up of vegetable fats and 78% of these fats are Linoleic Acids, the same compound of the Virgin Olive Oil.
The truth is that it provides a wide variety of healthy fats that when metabolized by our body become “good” cholesterol (HDL). This HDL cholesterol has the characteristic that it cleans the inner layer of our arteries eliminating the accumulations of bad cholesterol “LDL”, thus decreasing the risk of cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks.
Recent studies have confirmed that the increase in HDL cholesterol caused by daily avocado consumption, in addition to lowering harmful cholesterol (LDL) also decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease.
Extra tip to include avocado in your diet: you can use avocado as a healthy substitute for processed butters. You can take advantage of all its nutritional benefits, in addition to its creaminess and delicious flavor by spreading it on bread toast or whole-grain crackers from your diet.
It’s a natural complex of Vitamin B
If you feel muscle cramps, muscle spasms in your legs or face, if your eyelids tremble or you have sudden muscle aches, you should know that your Vitamin B levels are low. The Vitamin B complex is made up of a set of nutrients that have an important function in the maintenance of muscle fibers and nerve sensations. Vitamin B deficiency can cause muscle contractions, severe pain or all the symptoms described above.
The truth about commercial multivitamin complexes is that they are not necessary if you have a good diet. Avocado, is an excellent natural supplement of Vitamins B, is one of the plant sources with more amounts of Vitamin B. A portion of 100 grams can provide up to 28% of the entire complex of Vitamin B we need daily.
The vitamins provided by the avocado are very important if you are pregnant, because the avocado provides a large amount of folic acid to your body, preventing premature birth, defects in the development of the brain or the spinal cord.
Extra tip to absorb these Vitamins to the maximum: These vitamins are absorbed to the maximum by our body when we perform physical exercises, such as jogging, swimming, dancing or any resistance exercise. The absorption of Vitamin B increases by 30%.
Reduces stress and anxiety
The avocado is composed of complex carbohydrates and fatty acids essential for the body, especially for the functioning of the brain. Our brain is composed to 60% by omega-3 fatty acids like avocado, in this regard, avocado consumption influences the formation of neurotransmitters and improve brain function.
The dopamine is a key neurotransmitter in the pleasure and in the modulation of the sensation of motivation or reward. The avocado increases the production of this hormone and enhances its functioning, since it provides an essential amino acid for its production called “Tyrosine”.
The increase of this neurotransmitter has relaxing effects reducing stress and anxiety.
Extra tip to reduce stress completely: Doing exercises releases a well-known hormone called “endorphins”. Endorphins act on our brain by decreasing the effect of cortisol (hormone released during stress) and stimulating pleasurable sensations and self-esteem. Therefore, when performing exercises, we feel happy, encouraged and free of stress.
Consume avocado daily and reduce aging process
The consumption of avocados has recently become popular not only for its incredible and delicious taste, but also because they contain the perfect cocktail of vitamins that reduce the impact of aging. The amounts of Vitamin E and C are impressive, also the composition of their fatty acids that are perfect to moisturize our skin.
Avocados contain an impressive amount of Vitamin E, known as Anti-Aging Vitamin. This Vitamin is a potent antioxidant that stimulates the formation of new cells in the skin and organs, as well as preventing the damages caused by free radicals and toxins from processed foods.
This fruit despite its creamy and smooth taste, also contains an impressive amount Vitamin C as any citrus. Vitamin C is essential in the process of healing and repair of skin tissue. The consumption of this natural supplement will reduce the damage already caused by aging due to the repairing and revitalizing effect of Vitamin C on the skin.
Extra tip to moisturize your skin with avocado: In the nights before sleep, you can apply a facial mask prepared with crushed avocado and a few drops of lemon. The fatty compounds of the avocado will penetrate the pores of your skin hydrating them deeply. The lemon has an antimicrobial effect significantly reducing acne.
Increase collagen production
The anti-aging effects of the avocado are amazing. Recent studies certify that the extract of the avocado seed increases the production of collagen. The oil that is extracted from its seed is used as a lotion on the face, its properties stimulate the formation of collagen, restoring the damage caused to the skin by aging. The rejuvenating effect of the avocado seed extract also prevents cellular aging due to its large number of antioxidants.
Tips for caring for your skin: Use these extracts and natural avocado lotions at night or when you have no direct contact with the Sun. It is advisable to use sunscreen on the day for your daily activities.
It has a high content of minerals
The high mineral content of this fruit makes it the preferred food for athletes. Its potassium content is as high as that of the banana, in addition to having large amounts of magnesium, phosphorus and zinc.
Know why the importance of potassium
After each workout or sports activity, your body consumes a large amount of potassium that is excreted by sweat. Potassium is responsible for muscle functions such as contraction and relaxation of muscles, as well as being an important neurotransmitter that acts in many processes of the nervous system. Potassium deficiency can cause muscle cramps, shocks and dehydration.
A serving of 100g avocados can contain up to 18% of the potassium you require daily, so a small portion can cover the percentage of potassium lost during training.
Know the importance of Zinc
Zinc acts in important processes of the immune system and the formation of DNA. If Zinc levels are low in our body, our immune system will not act properly and we may be exposed to contagious diseases. An adequate consumption of avocado strengthens our immune system preventing contagious diseases.
Know the importance of magnesium
Magnesium has a long list of benefits. Its daily consumption helps in the digestive processes and metabolization, increasing the absorption of other nutrients. The avocado can provide up to 15% of this important mineral with a small portion a day.
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Prepare a delicious and nutritious guacamole
The star preparation of the avocado, very famous all over the world, is the guacamole. This preparation is made as natural as possible without processed foods, so you can take advantage of all the nutrients of the avocado.
3 medium ripe avocados.
1 medium onion
Juice freshly squeezed lemon
1 Jalapeno or hot pepper of your preference
Salt (a small amount)
Grind the avocados with the help of a processor or with a fork. Add the onion and chopped tomato in small cubes, also add the jalapeño peppers with fresh chopped cilantro. Finish the juice of a lemon freshly squeezed and a small pinch of salt. You can accompany it with bread toast or salty cookies.