LIFESTYLE

Avocado Nutrition Benefits, Calories, And Recipes Explained

Avo fans, listen up.

01/06/2016 17:04

Whether they're smashed onto toast or blitzed into our favourite smoothies, we can't get enough of avocados.

Global consumption of the creamy fruit has doubled in the last decade, with the avo industry now worth a whopping £2 billion.

But when it comes to health benefits, are avocados really as good as they taste?

Anna_Shepulova via Getty Images

The Pros:

Nutrition consultant Charlotte Stirling-Reed says avocados are a "versatile and very healthy addition to the diet".

"Avocados are a great source of healthful fats, specifically monounsaturated fatty acids and a smaller amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are known as ‘heart healthy’ fats, as they help to lower blood cholesterol levels," she tells The Huffington Post UK.

"Avocados are also a good source of fibre and potassium as well as other vitamins and minerals."

Nutritional therapist Karen Poole explains what some of these vitamins and minerals are:

  • B6, B5 and B2 to support hormone synthesis, lessen the impact of stress, aid energy production and protect the immune system
  • Biotin for proper nail and hair maintenance and the metabolism of fat, protein and carbohydrate

  • Vitamin C which is vital for collagen production, a robust immune system and bone and teeth growth

  • Copper to aid wound healing and support the cardio vascular system

  • Tyrosine to help the formation thyroid hormones and aid concentration

  • Magnesium for relaxation and also help ease muscle tension and fatigue

  • Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant, to limit the impact of the stresses of modern day life.

"If you include avocado as part of a varied and balanced diet you'll help efficient energy and weight management and provide both fibre and protein to help regulate blood glucose levels to keep you feeling fuller for longer and energised throughout the whole day," she adds.

The Cons: 

While there aren't many downsides to avocados, even die-hard fans will admit that finding a fruit at the perfect ripeness to eat can be a challenge.

"Leave them a day too long and they are overripe and a day too short and they are too hard," Stirling-Reed says.

"Additionally, you sometimes have to shop around to get a really good quality one and they often aren’t too cheap either."

Poole points out that avocados do have a high calorie content with an average 100g avocado having around 190 kcals. 

However, she says this shouldn't put you off of eating them completely.

"I don’t usually calorie count as not all calories are equal, however, regulate your intake to a suitable daily amount - probably no more than half a fruit a day," she says.

 "Avocados do contain fat but it is almost all monounsaturated and actually helps the body function by maintaining the cell membrane and aiding cellular energy, which is vital for the efficient function of every cell, as well as supporting the immune and endocrine system."

How To Eat It:

When it comes to mixing avocados with other ingredients, the possibilities really are endless.

Poole recommends spreading avocado on rye bread for breakfast, pairing it with prawns and salad for lunch, or turning avocado into a dessert by making delicious cupcakes or cheesecake.

Meanwhile Stirling-Reed prefers to eat an avocado with a slice of wholemeal sourdough toast topped, with a sprinkling of chilli flakes and a few drops of lemon juice.

If that's not enough to tickle your tastebuds, scroll through the slideshow below for more ideas on how to use avocado.

The Best Avocado Recipes

Also on HuffPost

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS