Addicted to AVOCADO! Are you ? I am.
Here are 6 reasons why avocado addiction is SO GOOD FOR YOU!
How: An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but your daily avocado will keep the cardiologist away. “Healthy fats help to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and reduce risk of stroke, heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases,” says Sandra J. Arevalo, MPH, RDN, a spokesperson for the American Association of Diabetes Educators and director of nutrition and outreach at Montefiore Community Programs in New York City.
“The high fat content helps with reducing spikes in blood sugar when consumed with other foods,” agrees Maureen Eyerman, a registered dietitian and certified Diabetes educator in San Luis Obispo county. “Monounsaturated fats found in avocados reduce LDL, or ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, while increasing HDL, ‘good’ cholesterol levels.” And speaking of daily fruits, you might be surprised to learn that avocados have more potassium than bananas. Potassium helps with lowering blood pressure and with prevention of strokes. Folate, a B vitamin found in avocados, also prevents strokes and reduces the risk of certain brain and spinal cord birth defects.
Recipe idea: Add 1⁄2 an avocado to a smoothie for an easy way to access benefits.
2 DIY Skincare
How: We’re skeptical of anything prescribed for all skin types, but avocados contain beneficial nutrients to address a rangeof concerns. In addition to ingesting the delicious fruit, you can apply it topically to reap even more beauty benefits. The natural oils in avocados can deeply penetrate the skin to nourish, soften and hydrate, Eyerman explains: “The hydrating properties may reduce fine lines and wrinkles, help keep skin smooth and boost skin’s immunity against stress and other environmental factors.” Specifically, antioxidants such as vitamins E and C help protect cells from free radical damage—one of the best anti-aging methods, points out California-based dietitian and nutritionist Jessica Gust, MS, RDN. Avocados also contain lutein, a carotenoid that promotes skin elasticity, while oleic acid and chlorophyll help to reduce redness and inflammation.
Recipe idea: Eyerman suggests mixing 1⁄2 avocado with yogurt and raw, organic honey for a hydrating mask. Leave on face for 15-20 minutes, and rinse off with lukewarm water. Optional:Add in oats to help exfoliate skin. She also recommends utilizing the avocado seed: Break the pit into a few pieces, let dry for a few days, then blend into a fine powder and mix with coconut oil or yogurt. Rub on skin as exfoliant, and rinse off with lukewarm water.
How: Rough day at work? Rather than a coffee break, consider grabbing an avocado. “Avocados are loaded with magnesium, the anti-stress nutrient,” according to Certified Eating Psychology and Nutrition Expert Elise Museles . “Magnesium helps you release tension and also sleep better. And when you’re relaxed and well-rested, you’re more likely to have a positive outlook on life!”
Recipe idea: The New York-based nutritionist and podcast host suggests converting your avocado into an edible bowl: “Just scoop out a little of the flesh and add quinoa salad or chickpeas right into the sliced half.”
How: Consider an avocado your daily multivitamin. Museles also notes that avocados are filled with biotin for lustrous hair and nails. Plus, vitamins B and E can protect hair strands from dryness and damage, control hair loss and repair scalp damage.
Recipe idea: “Ever buy too many avocados that start getting soft before you can eat them? Mash them up and put the mixture directly on your hair as a nourishing mask,” she says. You might also consider applying avocado oil to strands for extra shine or directly to scalp to treat dryness and flakes.
How: The fiber found in avocados—which is more than in many traditional fruits—allows you to feel full longer and improves digestive health. According to Adita Yrizarry-Lang, a holistic lifestyle coach, health professional and author in Miami, “When it comes to weight loss, fiber is a big plus: It helps to clean us out our system and feeds our good bacteria, helping us digest all of our other food choices in a better manner.”
Additionally, oleic acid, the primary monounsaturated fat in avocados, activates the part of the brain which makes you feel full, reduces cravings and prevents you from overeating. Beth Warren, MS, RDN, CDN, who is also an author based in New York, adds, “Because avocados have the healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, they contribute to satiety. Studies show it shrinks your waist line and contributes to a lower BMI and body weight when eaten in moderation.”
Recipe idea: Squeeze avocado toast with lime and red pepper flakes for an easy breakfast go-to.
How: Avocados’ healthy fats and nutrients, such as folate, copper and vitamins C and E make for great brain food. “Our brains are over 60% fat and need fat to function properly,” explains Museles. “Also, the fat and fiber will help keep your blood sugar balanced so that you can stay sharp and focused throughout the day.”
Recipe idea: Sauté your favorite veggies in avocado oil, Museles recommends. “For cooking, avocado oil is flavorless and has a high smoke point compared to other oils. This makes the oil a safer choice for sautéing and when using higher heat.”