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.
|Posted on June 23, 2018 at 9:37 AM|
Many people carefully tend to the skin on their face, regularly exfoliating, cleansing, and moisturizing. But when's the last time you tended to the skin on the rest of your body?
Your skin is your largest organ, after all, and there is one simple step you can add to your morning routine that can greatly improve its health – dry skin brushing.
I'm not only referring to your skin's aesthetic appearance, either (although many would agree this is important to). The benefits of dry skin brushing go beyond skin deep, offering whole-body benefits to your health.
Dry Skin Brushing: 7 Key Benefits
Your skin is a complex system made up of nerves, glands, and cell layers that, when healthy, serves as a buffer that helps protect your body from extreme temperatures and chemicals.
It also produces antibacterial substances to protect you from infection and enables your body to produce vitamin D when exposed to the sun. Your skin even contains densely packed nerve cells that act as messengers to your brain, making your skin a crucial part of your interactions with the world around you.
Another crucial role your skin plays is supporting optimal detoxification. But if your skin is overrun with toxins or dead skin cells, it will not be able to eliminate wastes from your body efficiently.
This is where dry skin brushing can be invaluable, not only in brushing off dead skin cells but also in activating waste removal via your lymph nodes. Beyond this, dry skin brushing offers multiple benefits including:
1. Stimulate Your Lymphatic System
In your body, your lymphatic system is the system responsible for eliminating cellular waste products. Hundreds of miles of lymphatic tubules allow waste to be collected from your tissues and transported to your blood for elimination, a process referred to as lymphatic drainage.
When your lymphatic system is not working properly, waste and toxins can build up and make you sick. Lymphatic congestion is a major factor leading to inflammation and disease. By stimulating your lymphatic system and helping it release toxins, dry skin brushing is a powerful detoxification aid.
Dry skin brushing removes dead dry skin, improving appearance, clearing your clogged pores, and allowing your skin to "breathe."
3. Increase Circulation
When you dry brush your skin, it increases circulation to your skin, which encourages the elimination of metabolic waste.
4. Reduce Cellulite
Dry skin brushing may help to soften hard fat deposits below the skin while distributing fat deposits more evenly. This may help to diminish the appearance of cellulite.
Dry brushing is also said to help reduce cellulite by removing toxins that may break down connective tissue, although some believe the effect is temporary.
"When we heard dry skin brushing was an effective method for reducing cellulite, we knew we had to include it in our anti-cellulite road test. Sure enough, it was indeed one of the more successful ways to smooth away less-than-perfect spots on your legs." - Huffington Post -
5. Stress Relief
The act of dry brushing has been described as meditative (especially if you do it in a quiet space) and may reduce muscle tension, calm your mind, and relieve stress. Many compare it to a light whole-body massage.
6. Improve Digestion and Kidney Function
Dry skin brushing may go even deeper, helping to support your digestion and organ function. According to one skin care and spa expert:
"…many naturopathic doctors use dry brushing to help with bloating because massaging the lymph nodes helps the body shed excess water and toxins. One of the immediate effects of dry brushing is smoother skin, but it can also help improve digestion, kidney function, and more."
7. It's Invigorating
Many people become "addicted" to dry skin brushing (in a good way) because it simply feels so good. Along with glowing and tighter skin, regular dry skin brushers report feeling invigorated after a quick session.