But why is avocado so incredibly popular in the first place? The avo has quickly become the unofficial totem for millennial health, rising to international popularity firstly with health seekers and fitness enthusiasts, followed closely by trend riders and the rest of the world. Although it might seem like another passing health trend, avocado is actually revered for good reason!
Aside from the popularity appeal, avocados are jam-packed full of healthy goodies. There are various different types of avocados available, but the most popular is the Hass, known for its rough, green, bumpy exterior. The pear-shaped green fruit, originating from south Mexico, is commonly referred to as a superfood based on its multitude of health benefits.
Benefits of avocado:
Yes, avocados are delicious and can be paired with essentially anything including toast, cheese, smoothies and more, but they also provide essential nutrients to the brain and body.
Avocados can improve digestion
A healthy digestive system is extremely important for the metabolization of food and healthy weight loss. Avocados are a rich source of fibre, providing up to 14 grams per fruit. Consuming healthy amounts of fibre-rich food can help to lessen the chances of colon cancer and can also prevent constipation.
High in potassium
Surprisingly, avocados contain high levels of potassium. Potassium helps with the healthy functionality of your nerves, contraction of muscles and helps to regulate your heartbeat. I know it was engrained in primary school health class that bananas were our best hope of including high levels of potassium in our diets, but news just in: Avocados hold approximately four percent more potassium than a good narnie!
So, what we know so far is that avos are rich in potassium and fibre, but there are a bunch of other fantastic nutrients present in a single serving of avocado including:
- Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5,Vitamin B6,Vitamin C, Vitamin E & Vitamin K
Lower risk of depression
The presence of folate in avocados can help to break down a build-up of homocysteine. Homocysteine can prevent the proper circulation of nutrients to the brain and can affect the production of serotonin and dopamine which helps to promote healthy sleep, stabilise moods and regulates appetite.
You might have heard that avocados are super high in fat, this isn’t exactly wrong but rest assured, these are actually good fats! According to healthline, avocados are one of the fattiest plant-based foods in the world, but this fat isn’t harmful if consumed in moderation. Avos are rich in oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid commonly found in olive oil which can help to treat inflammation.
Not only are monounsaturated fats great for reducing inflammation, but the fat found in avocados can also help with the overall absorption of other nutrients such as vitamin K, E, D and A and antioxidants. These particular nutrients are fat-soluble, which means they can only be absorbed by the body when paired with fats. Therefore, by adding avo or avocado oil to other meals, you can essentially make other ingredients healthier and more nutritious.
Although there are plenty of benefits associated avocados, there are also a few cons we should be aware of before packing our salads full of avo.
Unfortunately, like most good things, there is always a catch! With avocados, the catch is the hefty price tag which means eating avocado regularly can be a difficult and expensive exercise. Over the past decade, the price of avocados has risen by 129% due to increased demand which is only expected to escalate over time.
High in fat
As we have already discussed, avocados have extremely high fat content. Although these fats are considered healthy, too much avocado doesn’t necessarily define healthy eating. Given your average avocado holds approximately 23 grams of fat, this can equate to a massive 250 calories; therefore, if you’re looking to eat more than one a day, this could negatively affect your macro count.
If you already have liver health issues, avocado can potentially cause long lasting damage, however, this is only if you are consuming large quantities of avocado over lengthy periods of time. Avocado promotes collagen formation, which can result in an over accumulation of collagen if the body does not properly process it; this can lead to fibrosis.
For people who have issues with digestion, avocado can prove to be difficult for your body to process. Avocado is technically a FODMAP food, which means due to the avocado’s high carb content, you may struggle to digest it.
All in all, avocados seem to be well worth all of the hype! Regardless of the few cons associated with the creamy, green fruit, the pros seem to well out-weigh the cons! So, next time you’re out for brunch with your pals and you’re questioning a plate of pricey avocado toast, try to remember all of the great health benefits associated with our favourite green fruit.