Functional food super hero #10 – Avocado
All hail this fruit of goodness!
Avocados have become increasingly popular, and it is easy to see why. A fantastic source of wholefood, healthy fat and fibre, its creamy texture leaves you satisfied.
Which means in the end, you are getting good bang for your caloric buck.
Nourishing and nutritious, there is an array of wonderful qualities in an avocado! Here are a few highlights as to why we think avocado should be on your everyday, functional superfood enjoyment list.
We love a good fat here at That Sugar Movement. And avocado is brimming with it, comprised largely of monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats (the oleic acid component in particular) are anti-inflammatory and found to be helpful in preventing cardiovascular disease.
These fats are also more stable at a higher heat than many other seed oils, and leave you feeling fuller for longer minus that tired drag following consumption of processed or highly cooked oils.
Loves your heart
As mentioned, avocados serve a good dose of oleic acid, which is super heart-friendly. It is also high in potassium that is also known to be helpful in lowering blood pressure.
Boosting the brain
Not only does the brain love healthy fats, but also nutrients vitamin C, magnesium and the B vitamins folate and B6, which all support cognition and mood. And the humble avocado contains all of these.
Shaped like the lady
There is a teaching in ancient European philosophy addressing the similarity of certain foods to human body parts. This is called the Doctrine of Signatures.
Consider the walnut, which looks like a brain; the tomato, which has four chambers like the heart; and the carrot, when cut across the width, looks like the eye. And all of these foods are indicated to support their respective organs!
Similarly with avocado. It is shaped like the uterus, and modern research has found it can balance reproductive hormones – perhaps due to its stellar folate and vitamin E content. Fun fact – it takes nine months for an avocado to grow from blossom to the ripe fruit – crazy!
Packed full of nutrients
An avocado does its best to cover the nutrient spectrum – and it comes close! It is filled to the brim with fibre, vitamins C, E, K, B vitamins (including folate), as well as the minerals potassium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, and even some calcium and iron.
It is a darn good source of plant-based protein, offering an array of amino acids, and one avocado can deliver nearly 10% of the daily protein requirement.
Vitamin E and K are fat-soluble vitamins; meaning they can only be absorbed by the body when consumed alongside fat. Thankfully the avocado has that sorted in its own neat package!
Vitamin E is integral for skin and heart health; while vitamin K is needed for normal blood clotting, metabolising calcium and bone health, assists in brain tissue repair and pancreatic beta-cell proliferation (so one would assume very handy for those struggling to produce insulin) – whoa!
Oh my yum!
Need avo-inspiration? Look no further – this versatile fruit is waiting for you to experiment and tuck on in. Slice into salads, spread onto sandwiches, smash onto sourdough, or slip into sushi rolls. Here are some more ideas to get you started:
- Chocolate avocado mousse
- Green smoothie
- Raw Key Lime pie
- Guacamole or other dips
- Creamy pesto sauce for zucchini pasta
- Baked avocado with eggs
By Angela Johnson (BHSc Nut. Med)