Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat your body burns easily for energy. They may be one of the healthiest foods you can eat every day as they help protect your heart and optimise your cholesterol. They also are rich in fibre.
Together with high amounts of several essential vitamins and minerals, including the B vitamins, potassium and vitamin K, the avocado is a fruit you may want to consider for more than guacamole. Adding avocados to salad also helps your body to absorb three to five times more carotenoids, helping your body fight against free radical damage.
An average sized avocado also contains about 10% of the recommended daily value of magnesium, a mineral used by every organ in your body. Insufficient levels may lead to unexplained muscle fatigue or weakness, abnormal heart rhythms or muscle spasms.
Avocados are also surprisingly high in fibre, which plays an important role in digestive, heart and skin health. Fibre is also important in helping to regulate blood sugar and weight management. One study found eating one-half of a fresh avocado with lunch may help you feel full longer and prevent snacking later.
Avocados don't ripen on the tree, but only after they're picked. Choose firm avocados, as they will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks, ripening slowly. On your counter, they will ripen within a few days. After you cut it, an avocado will turn brown from oxidation.
If you don't eat it all, you can keep it fresh longer by leaving the pit with the avocado and storing in an airtight container. Brush lemon juice and olive oil over the cut flesh to help inhibit oxidation. Be aware, though, that the oil can add oiliness to the texture, while the juice will give it a slight lemon flavor.
Avocados at Breakfast May Reduce Hunger Through the Day
Being overweight increases the risk of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes and it's possible that eating avocados may help address these conditions.
A clinical study published in Nutrients sought to evaluate how well avocados could satisfy hunger and replace carbohydrates in a meal. Using 31 overweight or obese adults, the researchers used a visual analog scale that matched against serum levels of ghrelin, a hormone associated with appetite, to measure how full the participants felt after consuming one of three different meals.
There was greater suppression of hunger after the participants consumed a whole avocado as compared to the control meal high in carbohydrates and low in fat. They also felt more satisfied after a meal with a half or whole avocado as compared to the control meal.
The researchers wrote, "Replacing carbohydrates in a high-carbohydrate meal with avocado-derived fat-fibre combination increased feelings of satiety …" Although the study size was small, the findings support a growing body of research that eating healthy fats, including those found in avocados, has a positive impact on weight management and glucose control.
A Fat Found Only in Avocado Associated With Glycemic Control
Another intriguing study found that avocados have yet another impact on glucose control and the management of diabetes. Researchers from the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, discovered a fat molecule found only in avocados, avocatin B (AvoB), has a positive effect on reducing insulin resistance.
The researchers wrote a diabetic's inability to properly utilise blood glucose is associated with mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation. When the body completely oxidises fatty acid, the body can use fat for fuel. However, obesity and diabetes inhibit the body's ability to completely oxidise fatty acids.
AvoB counters this incomplete oxidation in the pancreas and skeletal muscles, improving insulin sensitivity. As detailed by Science Daily, scientists fed mice fed high-calorie meals for eight weeks to induce obesity and insulin resistance. Then, in the following five weeks, they added AvoB to the diet of half the group.
At the end of the study the treated animals weighed less than those in the control group, demonstrating slower weight gain during the intervention, and exhibiting improved insulin sensitivity. The researchers also engaged human subjects and found AvoB supplement was absorbed safely without affecting kidney or liver function.
The human subjects also enjoyed weight reduction while eating a typical Western diet. The beneficial effects of consuming monounsaturated fats from avocados shown in recent studies support past research comparing a diet rich in complex carbohydrates against one rich in oleic acid from avocado and olive oil.
Data revealed replacing complex digestible carbohydrates with monounsaturated fatty acids in those with noninsulin-dependent diabetes improved the participants lipid profile while maintaining glycemic control.