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What Do Avocado's Do For You?            


Avocados could just be one of the most overlooked and underrated superfoods on the planet.

Even though they are often considered a vegetable or superfood, avocado is actually categorized as a fruit. This little wrinkly and unappealing food, is loaded with health benefits that you simply can’t afford to miss out on. And the taste?

While you may not prefer a plain avocado, when you catch a glimpse of the delicious recipes we have in store for you, you’ll definitely want to start adding this amazing fruit to your diet on a weekly basis. Heck, even a little hot sauce, Himalayan sea salt, and pepper can bring out its true flavors.


Before we dive into the health benefits of avocados and just how they may help you shed unwanted body fat, let’s look at their history and give you some fun facts.


HISTORY OF AVOCADOS

The avocado originally came from South Central Mexico and is the only fruit to have an unusually high amount of friendly fat content.

And it’s virtually sugar free, so it has a much different nutrient profile than all the other fruits. There is evidence of avocado’s dating back as far as 10,000 years in Mexico.

Slowly its use began to spread moving to Europe and then later on, into the United States and North America. 4 A typical serving size of 1/3 of a medium avocado has 80 calories, 8 grams of healthy fats, and only 4 grams of carbohydrates, of which 3 of those grams are fiber, 1 gram of protein, and virtually zero sugars.


FUN & INTERESTING UNKNOWN FACTS

Let’s look at some fun and interesting facts about the avocado. Bet you didn’t know most of these!

• Avocados almost went extinct at one point, but fortunately, giant ground sloths started eating them and saved them from dying off.

• Chipotle uses about 97,000 pounds of avocados per day amongst its many restaurants.

• Avocados used to be called ‘alligator pears’.

• There are certain species that should not eat avocados as they are incredibly poisonous to their body. This includes birds, cats, dogs, and rabbits.

• Americans collectively consume around 69 million pounds of avocados on Super Bowl Sunday. Holy smokes, that is a lot of guacamole!

• Wondering where it got its name? This is kind of strange; the word avocado is actually the Aztec word for testicle named for its oval shape and reputation as an aphrodisiac.

• Avocado trees do not self-pollinate, meaning they need to have another avocado tree close by to bear fruit. Now that you’re up on your avocado trivia, let’s get into the long list of their amazing health benefits.


4 ANTI-AGING HEALTH BENEFITS OF EATING MORE AVOCADOS

Just about everyone can benefit from eating avocados. Young or old, male or female, fit or unfit, avocados should be at the top of your weekly grocery list.

Anti-Aging Benefit #1: Rich In Dietary Fiber First, avocados are loaded with dietary fiber, making them great for stabilizing blood glucose levels and warding off diabetes. Since fluctuating blood sugar level is the hallmark trait of diabetes, the better you can keep your levels under control, the less risk you’ll have of this condition. They are also a perfect way to help manage your symptoms if you’re currently suffering from diabetes already. In addition to blood sugar benefits, their high fiber content is also great for helping lower your risk for heart disease.

The fiber found in avocados will help to reduce levels of bad cholesterol in the body and raise the level of good cholesterol, keeping your ticker working optimally. One study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association1 noted that one avocado per day as part of a moderate-fat, cholesterol-lowering diet lowers bad cholesterol levels, particularly small, dense LDL.


Anti-Aging Benefit #2: Healthy Skin, Hair, and Nails Another added benefit of avocados is that they can actually help you look younger. In addition to helping you lose unwanted body fat, which we’ll get to in a second, avocados are loaded with vitamin E, which is a fat soluble vitamin that is critical for keeping your skin, hair, and nails looking their best. If you find that your skin and hair looks dull and lackluster you may be lacking this fat soluble vitamin and avocados can help you fill in the missing gap.

You can even use them topically by preparing a hair or face mask as well. The vitamin E will help to promote better circulation to the scalp, which will then help to increase hair follicle health.


Anti-Aging Benefit #3: Antioxidant Benefits Vitamin E serves as a powerful antioxidant in the body, combating free radical damage and helping you side-step today’s most deadly diseases. The more free radical damage your body encounters on a day to day basis from stress, poor dietary habits, and environmental factors, the faster your body begins to break down.

Oxidation, which is the end result of free radicals is like rust on a car. It slowly eats away at your cells internally until things start to malfunction. Research2 has suggested that vitamin E may help to reduce the risk of coronary artery disease, illustrating another one of its key health benefits.


Anti-Aging Benefit #4: Reduced Risk Of High Blood Pressure And Stroke Finally, avocados may also help keep your blood pressure in check. Most people today consume a diet that is loaded with table salt and other unhealthy versions of sodium and not high enough in potassium.

Avocados can help you reverse this trend. This fruit offers a generous dose of potassium and is very low in sodium, which is the key combination for lowering blood pressure.

Research published in the BMJ journal3 noted that those who have the highest intake of unhealthy sodium in their diet plan are at the greatest risk for stroke, so by replacing some of your high sodium diet foods, such as processed cheese for example, with a healthier lower sodium source of fat like avocado, you can reduce your risk.

Ok, now that you are up to speed on the biggest health benefits of the avocado, let’s now talk about the fat burning benefits they have to offer.


4 DIFFERENT WAYS AVOCADOS CAN HELP YOU BURN UNWANTED FAT

If you’re reading this report, you obviously know by now that you’ll never get a flat, attractive belly without having a solid nutrition plan in place, and the avocado should be one of your go-to fat burning foods.

They have several metabolic benefits that can help you burn unwanted fat, but make sure you monitor your portion control carefully. Due to the friendly fat content, which yields 9 calories per gram vs. 4 calories per gram for carbs and protein, eating a third to a half an avocado as part of your meal is plenty to get your fat burning engine revved up.

Here’s how they work their metabolic magic on your body’s stubborn fat…


Fat Burning Pathway #1: Insulin Control Earlier we spoke about how avocados help to control your blood glucose levels. They are low in sugar, high in fiber, and offer a good source of healthy fats, which is pretty much a home-run hit for preventing a spike in blood glucose levels. The more stabilized your blood glucose levels are, the less insulin the body needs to release accordingly.

The less insulin released, the lower the risk there is of storing unwanted body fat.

And get this: when insulin is high and blood sugar is high, your body is basically in ‘nutrient storage’ mode. Insulin takes up the excess glucose from the blood and shuttles it away to the body fat stores—causing your fat cells to expand.

Keeping insulin levels under control is one of the quickest ways to preven fat storage and keep the body in a fat burning environment. Win-win for fat burning!


Fat Burning Pathway #2: Improved Satiety Another great fat fighting benefit that avocados deliver is that they’re great for helping you control hunger and cravings.

Simply adding 5-10 grams of dietary fat (found in a quarter of an avocado) to your meals will help that meal ‘stick to your ribs’ so to speak. Most people find that meals that are completely devoid of fat and only contain carbohydrates and protein leave you wanting more in half an hour’s time. A little friendly fat added into the mix helps put the brakes on your hunger. People who follow the Standard American Diet (SAD) that’s recommended all over the world (a low-fat diet) get hungry from lack of friendly fat intake so they cave and eat more than they should.

On top of this, research suggests that a lower carb diet in general can help to promote calorie reduction and weight loss results. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine4 had subjects follow a reduced carbohydrate diet for a period of 14 days. The subjects consumed more calories when following their usual uncontrolled diet for seven days.


Fat Burning Pathway #3: Long Lasting Energy Everybody wants more energy—right? I know I do!

Another way avocados can help you achieve your weight loss goals is by providing you with a stable source of energy. Because avocados are rich in dietary fats and fiber they break down slowly, causing a steady stream of sustained energy.

Furthermore, one whole avocado actually contains more potassium than a banana does. This mineral helps to play a part in regulating muscle contractions. So, if you’re on a lower carb diet and about to hit the gym, avocados may just be the perfect preworkout meal companion to your protein source.


Fat Burning Pathway #4: Protein Power Avocados are also a decent source of protein—especially when compared to other fruits. Even though you only get four grams per fruit, when you contrast this to other fruits that are virtually protein-free, it’s definitely favorable.

Protein is essential for keeping your metabolism up, preserving lean muscle mass, and keeping hunger low. I consider it mandatory to eat some sort of healthy fat while on a reduced calorie plan, and many people will find they feel less restricted eating a source of fat that contains a bit more volume such as avocados or nuts compared to oils.

This isn’t to say you should avoid healthy oils altogether, as many oils do offer great health benefits… just keep in mind that friendly fat sources that provide more bulk (like avocados and small servings of raw nuts) will help keep you feeling full longer.


PROS OF AVOCADOS

• Are an easy to prepare food

• High in fiber

• Low in sugar content

• Great for stabilizing blood glucose levels

• Can help lower cholesterol levels5 and improve heart health6

• Provide a stable source of energy

• Are highly versatile and can be used in a number of different recipes

• Are relatively cost effective

• Can be purchased year-round in most areas


CONS OF AVOCADOS

• Are higher in calories so portion control is key

• Don’t have a very long shelf life

• Many people don’t like the taste of them plain on their own

So there you have it – a complete crash course on this amazing fruit called the avocado. Don’t let the high fat content scare you off. You need friendly fats if you want to burn body fat, avoid diseases, and live longer.

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I Feel It In My Gut

Posted on February 14, 2018 at 4:57 PM
When you stop to think about all the little tiny organisms you can’t see, and how many millions...billions...of them there are, it’s pretty mind-blowing.

While many are floating around in the air, there are also hundreds of them inside your body.

No, this isn’t a new version of the movie Alien - none of them are going to try to take over your body - but in a sense, this really is a symbiotic relationship.

You thought your unique fingerprint is pretty cool, right?  What about your unique microbiome?

You have bacteria living throughout your body, but there are 300 to 500 different kinds of bacteria in your gut: especially in your intestines and colon. When paired with other tiny organisms like viruses and fungi, you get the microbiome.

And your mix of microorganisms is different from everyone else’s. It’s partly due to your mother’s microbiome that you were exposed to at birth, and partly due to your personal diet and lifestyle.

These bacteria affect everything from your metabolism to your mood to your immune system.

In fact, scientists now know that the bacteria in healthy people are different from the bacteria in people with illness and disease.

Bacteria affect your metabolism by determining how many calories you get from food, and the nutrients you can extract from it. If you have too many gut bacteria, they may turn fiber into fatty acids, leaving fat deposits in your liver. This can cause obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Too-low levels of anti-inflammatory gut bacteria can cause bowel diseases like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis, as the bacteria get off track and attack your intestines.

People with colon cancer usually have higher levels of disease-causing bacteria, and people with arthritis may have greater numbers of bacteria associated with inflammation.

And don’t forget the connection between your gut and your brain. When certain gut bacteria are off track, it can lead to anxiety or depression.

OK, what do you look for to see if you should check your gut health? These are some of the symptoms of an unhealthy gut:

  • Your stomach never really feels “right”. Diarrhea, constipation, bloating, reflux, irritable bowel disease, colitis, nausea, and heartburn are telltale signs of gut issues.
  • You crave sweets and sugars. This happens when there is too much yeast in your system. Be aware that good bacteria can sometimes be wiped out by a course of antibiotics, leaving you craving sweets due to too much yeast.
  • Sudden weight changes. Some bacteria are related to weight loss, and others to weight gain.
  • Anxiety or depression. The neurotransmitter serotonin - which affects mood, social behavior, sleep, appetite, memory, and libido - is produced primarily in the gut. If there is an imbalance, you may feel depressed.
  • Skin rashes and/or eczema. Inflamed, red, itchy skin may indicate an imbalance in gut bacteria.
  • Autoimmune diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other forms of autoimmune diseases are affected by an imbalance in gut bacteria.

As you may imagine, to affect your gut bacteria, you should change the way you are eating!

Start by eating prebiotics - plant fibers that act as a kind of fertilizer for the good bacteria in your gut. These include pistachios, bananas, garlic, onion, wheat, oats, and ancient grains like quinoa, millet, or chia.

Also add fermented foods such as yogurt, kombucha, kimchi, and kefir, which naturally contain probiotics (the good bacteria).

Eat a lot less (or even eliminate) processed foods, breads, and pastas, as well as foods that are high in fat and sugar, and low in fiber.

I’m sure you can guess what you should eat, right? :-)  Of course: plants, fruits, seeds, and nuts.

Exercise may encourage the growth of a variety of gut bacteria, which will reduce your risk of disease.

You may want to read my blog "The Gut-Brain Connection" for information :)

Finally, if you need to take antibiotics to fight illness, consider taking a probiotic supplement so you don’t kill off all the good bacteria, and cause more problems than you solve.

Categories: Health

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