Forget an apple-a-day, we suggest an avocado-a-day to keep the doctor away!
While technically it's classified as a fruit (a berry to be precise), avocados differ from other fruits because they have such a high amount of healthy fats and protein, as well as 20 different essential nutrients.
Bursting with nutrients and goodness, avocados can easily be integrated into any meal: a smoothie, dip or spread (check out our holy guaca-moly recipe), tossed through a salad or even a turned into a healthy mousse or ice-cream. The options are endless!
If you're still not convinced that daily avocado intake is the way to go, here are another six health benefits:
Avocados are a rich source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, which will help to balance out the pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids found in our diets. Carotenoid antioxidants and phytosterols are also great anti-inflammatory compounds found in avocados. These anti-inflammatory benefits may also help to relieve arthritis-associated pain.
2. Nutrient Booster
The rich fat content in avocados assists absorption of the essential fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, acting as a “nutrient booster”.
3. Folate Rich
Containing more folate (folic acid) than any other fruit, avocados are especially good for expectant mothers as folate is an essential prenatal nutrient required for the production and maintenance of new cells in a developing foetus. A high folate intake has also been associated with a lower risk of heart disease and heart attacks.
4. Rich in Potassium
Avocado contains more than double the amount of potassium found in a banana. Potassium is essential for maintaining fluid balance in the body; replacing electrolytes, maintaining blood pressure and removing toxins.
5. Skin Health
Monounsaturated fats found in avocado are beneficial for improving skin tone. These healthy fats are vital for maintaining moisture levels in the epidermal layer of the skin - making it look and feel healthy and soft. Avocados are also packed full of antioxidants that help to protect the skin from cellular damage caused by free radicals, slowing the ageing process.
6. Reduce Cancer Risk
Phytochemicals in avocados may help reduce cancer risk by inducing apoptosis (cell death); preventing cancer cells from growing or spreading. Avocados may also have beneficial affects during chemotherapy, as chemotherapy drains the body of the antioxidant, gluthathione, and avocados are a rich source of Vitamin E and gluthathione.