By Annie Daly
Avocado stops afternoon munchies. And that’s just one of the reasons you need to eat more avo – we’ve got five! Don’t you just love this list already?
You probably love avocados already unless you’re (a) allergic to them or (b) crazy. It’s hard not to: they’re creamy, fresh, satisfying… we’re practically drooling just describing them. But they’re not just good – they’re also really good for you. So much so, in fact, that we thought it was high time to compile a list of their most amazing health benefits. Read on to get even more pro-avo than you already are…
1. They could help you slim down
A study from Nutrition Journal found that eating half an avocado for lunch helps you feel fuller in the afternoon than if you don’t have one. Translation: put avocado on everything lunch. We’re talking your salad, your sandwich, on top of your soup, everything. You’ll feel more satisfied during the afternoon and therefore less likely to snack – and more likely to lose a few of those afternoon munchies kilos. Boom.
2. You may make healthier choices if you eat them
Avocado lovers are basically synonymous with health lovers. Seriously! A US study of 17 567 adults found that people who ate half an avocado per day were healthier overall than those who didn’t. They reported diets containing more fibre, vitamins, minerals and good-for-you fats. What’s more, they also weighed less and had lower BMIs, smaller waists and healthier cholesterol levels. Keep in mind, the results were correlational – meaning that avocados didn’t necessarily cause these things. But the authors believe that avocado consumers are more health conscious overall than non-avocado consumers, meaning it can’t hurt to hop on the nature’s butter train.
3. They’re great for your skin
You are what you eat – quite literally. The monounsaturated fats in avocados help to nourish your skin, hair and nails. And avocados also contain lutein, which helps improve your eyes.
4. They may lower your blood pressure
Avocados are very high in potassium, which helps lower blood pressure. And even though most people think bananas are the go-to potassium source, avocados actually have more. Half an avocado contains 487mg, whereas a medium banana only has 422mg.
5. They can help prevent injuries
Nature’s butter, nature’s Band-Aid, what’s next? The reason avocados can help keep you injury-free is that they contain lots of good-for-you monounsaturated fats. And US research actually found that competitive female runners whose diets were made up of less than 20 percent fat were more likely to suffer injuries than those who consumed at least 31 percent. Translation? Incorporating more healthy fats into your diet may help your body better fend off injury. Now that’s reason for a post-run guacamole fest if we’ve ever heard one.
Want some avo-rich lunch ideas? Here’s what the Women’s Health team members do with their slimming avo lunches!
Itching for that avo on toast, but yours is rock-hard? Here’s how to ripen an avo in 10 minutes!