[dropcap]A[/dropcap]vocado is a regular ingredient in healthy diets. It also features in the diets of professional athletes, fitness models and bodybuilders. It’s full of the nutrients and goodness the human body needs. The avocado is also rich in good fats.
We all know how bad saturated fats are. They could be responsible for an increase in cholesterol levels, heart disease, diabetes (type 2) and high blood pressure – to name but a few. In fact, they are so bad, that even those wanting to gain weight should avoid saturated fats. There are also good fats and the avocado fruit contains plenty of them.
The avocado is one of the healthiest fruits you could incorporate in your diet. It’s nutritious and it’s very rich in good fats. It’s also has high levels of vitamins and minerals.
AVOCADO AND ITS NUTRIENTS
You don’t need a pharmacist to appreciate the nutritious values of avocados. Each fruit is packed full of vitamins and minerals.
Avocados are a great natural source of B-complex Vitamins (26% of recommended daily intake). These are the vitamins that aid the functioning of the nervous and cardiovascular systems, energy levels and mental well being. It’s also rich in Vitamin K (53% of recommended daily intake) which plays a major role in blood clotting and it keeps your bones and teeth healthy.
An average avocado contains 33% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C. We often take Vitamin C for granted. It’s the most water soluble vitamin there is and we need regular supply of Vitamin C in our diets. It is an antioxidant and it aids muscle recovery and growth.
Potassium is another important nutrient found in avocados (28% of recommended daily intake). It is an electrolyte which plays a role in maintaining body fluids, delivering nutrients to cells etc. From a muscle building point of view, potassium is important because it helps to transform amino acids into protein.
The term good fats refers to unsaturated fats. There are two types of unsaturated fats – monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats help lower cholesterol and encourage good cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated fats are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory qualities. They help lower blood pressure and protect our brain and nervous system.
The avocado contains one particular type of omega-3 fatty acids – essential fatty acid. It cannot be manufactured by our bodies. Eating foods rich in essential fatty acid (such as avocado) is the only way to get them in our system.
An average avocado contains about 25g of good fats. That’s about 40% of the recommended daily intake.
At first glance, the high fat levels of avocado may put people off. It’s worth remembering though that avocado is high in good fats which help fight the damage caused by consuming bad fats. The avocado is one of the most nutritious fruits and regarded as complete meal. It is also a versatile food product. It’s great in salads, smoothies, spreads or on its own.
[quote_box_center]When was the last time you had your good fats avocado? Leave your answer as a comment or share your favourite avocado recipe on to our facebook page.[/quote_box_center]