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How you peel it makes a difference!
Avocados might be the last thing you would consider would help you lose weight, but you'd be wrong. Not only can they help you lose weight, but they also improve your heart and brain and eyes, and can rejuvenate your skin.
And their effects are even more beneficial if you are older. When we're older, we need more metabolic repairs done inside and out - and avocados are the perfect food to help.
I eat a half-avocado every day. I lace it with other goodies such as turmeric, ginger and apple cider vinegar. But putting those aside, whatever you do with avocado - chop it, slice it, mash it, mix it - it has an astounding range of nutritional benefits, including:
I will cover just a few of the most significant of these for people over 50, starting with weight loss.
Here are four reasons explained - how you benefit from avocado: weight management, eye health, how it improves nutrient absorption from other foods, and clearer healthier skin.
1. Weight Management
In a study published in Nutrition Journal, participants who ate half a fresh avocado with lunch reported a 40% decreased desire to eat for hours afterwards. That's one secret as to how avocados help you maintain a healthy weight - they keep you feeling full for longer.
Avocados have a medium energy density of 1.7 kcal/g and an unusual combination of water, dietary fibre and fruit oil matrix that enhances satiety, which supports weight control. Unlike a typical fruit, avocados contain a very low sugar content with only about 0.2 g sugar per one-half fruit.
Nearly 15 out of the 22 grams of fat (68%) found in one cup of avocado come from monounsaturated fat. By contrast, less than 3 grams come from the category of polyunsaturated fat, which includes both omega-6s and omega-3s. (This high level of monounsaturates puts avocado in a similar category with olives, which provide about 14 grams of fat per cup and about 73% of those grams as monounsaturates.)
Researchers believe that the high levels of monounsaturated fat in avocado, especially oleic acid, play a role in its heart-related benefits.
In addition to its high percentage of monounsaturated fat, however, avocado offers some other unique fat qualities. It provides us with phytosterols. These are a particular group of fats that has been shown to provide significant anti-inflammatory benefits to our body systems, including our cardiovascular system.
In these days of the pandemic, any natural food which can reduce chronic inflammation is worth adding to your daily diet.
2. Eye Health
To maintain eye our health dietary lutein and zeaxanthin are selectively absorbed into our eyes (into the macula). However, relative intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin decrease with age (and the levels are lower in females than males). This reduction leads to declining eye health.
Avocados may contribute to eye health since they contain lutein and zeaxanthin. Avocados contain 185 g of lutein/zeaxanthin per one-half fruit. This quantity is notable because it is believed to be more highly bioavailable than from most other fruit and vegetable sources.
Mexican Americans maintain higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin than any other ethnicity in the United States, and they are among the highest consumers of avocados.
3. Improves the dietary benefit of other foods
Here's something fascinating. Avocados help improve carotenoid absorption from other fruits and vegetables.
Salad greens including romaine lettuce and mixed greens like kale, chard, and spinach are great examples carotenoid-rich foods. Suppose you happen to be consuming such an avocado-free meal that contains very little fat yet rich amounts of carotenoids.
In that case, some added avocado would go a long way in improving your carotenoid absorption and vitamin A nourishment.
Researchers have experimented with the addition of avocado to meal choices including salads, side servings of leafy greens, side servings of carrots, or tomato sauce. Anywhere from two to six times as much absorption occurred with the added avocado (one small one).
This is another excellent reason to add avocado into your daily dishes. You will get more health benefits from the same foods you are eating now.
4. Improves skin health
Last but not least, avocados contain chlorophyll to reduce inflammation, water to hydrate, Vitamin E to promote softness and prevent wrinkles, potassium, lecithin, and many other nutrients that can nourish and moisturise the skin.
The inside of an avocado peel can is perfectly suitable for moisturising your face. Run your fingers around inside and then onto your skin, and leave for 15 minutes.
Avocado oil can be massaged into the skin, used in a face mask, or added to lotions, creams, shower gels, or bath oils. Bottled avocado oil can also be used to moisturise your face overnight.
How you peel it makes a difference!
Surprisingly, the method you use to peel an avocado might make a difference to your health.
The highest phytonutrient concentrations occur in portions that we do not typically eat—namely, the peel and the seed. The pulp of the avocado is much lower in phytonutrients than these.
However, although lower in their overall phytonutrient richness, the areas of the pulp that are closest to the peel are most nutrient-rich. For this reason, if you are peeling an avocado, then you should aim to retain as much of the outer pulp as possible.
Here is the "nick and peel" method recommended by the California Avocado Commission:
You now have a peeled avocado that still contains most of that dark green outermost flesh. This flesh will provide you with the best possible phytonutrient richness from the pulp portion of the avocado.
Add slices of avocados to sandwiches or tacos, or throw some guac on top of toast or eggs, add to your salads as mentioned above, or simply eat a half avocado daily, as I do.
Whatever, it's one of the tastiest and healthiest whole foods that we can eat, and especially beneficial as we age.
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Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter