Avocado – Health Tips and Beauty Tricks

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Trans fat, low fat, no fat – for decades our recommended dietary intake of fats has been influenced by nebulous and conflicting information. But, out of the smoke and fog, research has slowly come to terms with dietary fat. In fact, specific fats found in whole foods are essential for proper bodily functions, like – believe it or not – healthy metabolism, cardiovascular health and feeling satiated, to name a few. That being stated, what better food to champion the merits of healthy fats and nutrient-density than the avocado? Learn more here about good fats found in avocados and why In Balance LM believes avocado intake is beneficial for your waistline and even your beauty routine.

Benefits of avocado

Avocados are a native fruit of Mexico and Central/South America, and are considered a super food due to the quality of energy and nutrients it provides. The most common avocado sold commercially in the USA and Canada is the Hass avocado. Due to the ubiquity of this species researchers were able to determine its nutritional benefits and the average serving size consumed per person. Most people will eat one-half of an avocado at one time and we could not be more pleased.

  1. Healthy fats – One-half serving of avocado is packed full of healthy fats, called monounsaturates. Quality monounsaturates are not easy to find outside of whole foods and the avocado oil in one-half serving mentioned above, consists of 71% monounsaturated fatty acids (MFAs).1 Dietary MFA’s have proven to be beneficial for cardiovascular health and lowering bad LDL cholesterol; in fact, research suggests that a diet higher in monounsaturated fats is more beneficial than a low-fat diet could ever be in regards to cardiovascular health.2
  2. Fiber – Avocados contains both soluble and insoluble fiber, and 4.6 grams of fiber in total per one-half serving.3 Insoluble fiber is essential for healthy gut bacteria and soluble fiber for regularity and healthy cholesterol levels.45And, where on average women should get 25 grams of fiber per day and men, 38 grams per day, avocados have a significant amount to support your dietary needs.6
  3. Other Nutrients – If the healthy fiber and fat content has not impressed you, surely the other nutrients found in avocados will confirm this fruit’s super food reputation. You will find a myriad of cell-protecting antioxidants and phytochemicals, like vitamins A, C and E, to Lutein and Zeaxanthan; B vitamins, and an impressive amount of potassium, a mineral essential for efficient energy use.7

Besides the nutritional attributes of avocados, there are also significant benefits found in the act of eating avocados. How about learning a new recipe to amp-up your sandwiches?

Avocado Recipe

Rather than using butter or mayo, add satiating variety to spreads on your lunchtime wraps and sandwiches. Try this avocado spread on a toasted sandwich with mixed greens, sliced cucumber and peppers, with ½ of a sliced chicken breast or 1-2 tablespoons of hummus, depending on your body-type.

Lemon Dill Avocado Spread

1 ripe avocado, mashed

1 generous tablespoon of finely chopped dill

2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice

Pinch of sea salt (optional: black pepper)

  1. Stir all of these ingredients together with a fork and spread desired amount onto your sandwich or wrap.
  2. * Tip – To keep your avocado dip looking fresh, keep the avocado pit in the leftover dish with your dip. The pit helps keep the dip from immediately turning brown.

Real Food Beauty Tips

Not only a delectable addition to dips and sandwiches, this nutrient-dense fruit can also act as a face mask as well. The oils found in avocados are natural moisturizers, perfect to soften and nourish thirsty skin. Who knew self-care could taste so good?

Avocado Face Mask

This face mask is beyond easy to fit into any schedule. All this beauty tip requires is one ripe avocado mashed into a bowl, and 15-20 minutes before heading to bed for the night. Mash your ripe avocado with a fork, wash and dry your face, then apply a layer of avocado onto your face leaving to set for 15-20mins. When time is completed, rinse off with warm and then cold water and enjoy the generous benefits of using natural ingredients in your beauty products.

There you have it! There are a multitude of ways to eat for health and fun using avocados, and interesting ways to add a natural touch to your self-care. What are your favourite ways to enjoy avocados?

[1] Dreher, M et al. (2013) Hass avocado composition and potential health effects. NCBI: Crit Rev Sci Nutri. Received March 14, 2014 from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664913/

[2] Kris-Etherson, P et al. (1991) High-monounsaturated fatty acid diets lower both plasma cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Received March 14, 2014 from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/70/6/1009

[3] Dreher, M et al. (2013) Hass avocado composition and potential health effects. NCBI: Crit Rev Sci Nutri. Received March 14, 2014 from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664913/

[4]Andreson, J et al. (2009) Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber. Nutrition Review: International Life Science Institute. Accessed on 9/27/13 from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x/full

[5] Jenkins, D et al.(2002) Soluble Fiber Intake at a Dose Approved by the USDA for a claim of Health Benefits. American Society for Clinical Nutrition. Accessed on 9/27/13 from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/75/5/834.short

[6]Institute of Medicine. (2009). Dietary Reference Intakes: Macronutrients. Accessed on 9/29/13 from http://www.iom.edu/Global/News%20Announcements/~/media/C5CD2DD7840544979A549EC47E56A02B.ashx

[7] Dreher, M et al. (2013) Hass avocado composition and potential health effects. NCBI: Crit Rev Sci Nutri. Received March 14, 2014 from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664913/

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