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  • Writer's pictureKim Smolders

The Awesome Avocado.

I need not tell you that the avocado is totally awesome!

It is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available, and is thus considered to be one of the best superfoods we can eat, and even use on our skin and hair. It is bursting with nutrients and anti-oxidants, such as folate, B vitamins, omega 3, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, E & K, copper, lycopene, beta-carotene, lutein and fiber.

The beauty of this fruit, yes in botanical terms it is a fruit, is also that it is so versatile, meaning we can all find a way to incorporate it into our eating habits.

The avocado is native to Mexico and Central America, but is now cultivated all over the world.

The benefits of avocado.

The avocado is one of those foods that has a great combination of all things wonderful, nutrients that are health optimising, anti-inflammatory, heart healthy, immune boosting & anti-aging. More specifically, the avocado is great for:

  • the heart - the avocado is bursting with healthy monounsaturated fats, including some omega 3 & omega 6 fatty acids. These can help lower the bad LDL cholesterol & triglycerides, and improve blood pressure. It also contains a natural plant sterol called beta sitosterol, which helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

  • vision - the phytonutrients lutein & zeaxanthin abundant in the avocado are also abundant in eye tissue, thus

helping to minimise damage to the eyes from UV light.

  • fetal health - as the avocado contains abundant levels of folate, it is a great food for expectant mothers. Folate is an essential nutrient as it supports a healthy pregnancy, and reduces risk of miscarriage & neural tube abnormalities. The healthy fats in avocados are also important in ensuring the healthy growth of the baby.

  • gut health - a fiber rich diet is important for the optimal functioning of our gut, as well as the health of our microbiome. Fiber has shown to lower the risk of colon cancer and will prevent constipation (daily bowel movements are essential for optimal health as toxins are removed through stool as well as urine & sweat).

  • the microbiome - in addition to overall gut health, fiber is also the number one food that the microbes in our gut love in order to create metabolites such as short chain fatty acids that are essential to our health. Half an avocado provides around 7gr of fiber. The recommended daily intake for women is at least 30gr, and 40gr for men.

  • preventing chronic disease - due to the high level of health-optimising nutrients, the avocado is a great addition to your diet when trying to heal from or prevent chronic disease. The fatty acids will help support your cardiovascular system, the fiber can lower blood pressure & cholesterol as well as improve insulin sensitivity, and the high level of phytonutrients have an anti-inflammatory affect, protecting you against numerous diseases such as cancer & osteoporosis.

  • brain health - vitamin E & omega 3 fatty acids are known to be important for brain health & reducing the progression of degenerative diseases.

  • bone health - the vitamin K in avocado helps improve bone density & prevent fractures

  • balancing blood sugar - the avocado is low in carbs, high in fiber & healthy fats, which makes it the perfect food for those looking to balance their blood sugar, and those with pre-diabetes or T2 diabetes.

  • the skin & hair - the high concentration of nutrients such as vitamin C, E & healthy fats make the avocado wonderful for the skin, whether eaten or used topically as a face or hair mask. It can moisturise, exfoliate & reduce appearance of wrinkles.

Ways to integrate the awesome avocado into your day.

The avocado is luckily a very versatile food that can be used in many ways:

Served on salads - slice half an avocado into cubes or thin slices and place on top of your rainbow coloured salad for an even healthier meal!

Blend into your smoothies - the avocado is a great way to add creaminess & healthy fats to your smoothie. Add half an avocado (or less if you are making a small one!) with your leafy greens, lemon & ginger combo for a delightfully healthy & filling smoothie.

Make avocado spread - we all love a beautifully instagrammable avocado toast! You can easily make your own at home by taking the flesh of one or two avocados, placing it in a bowl and mashing it with a dash of extra vrigin olive oil, pinch of pink Himalayan salt, pepper & chili flakes & a dash of lemon. You can mash it until it is smooth, or, like I prefer it, having it chunky. Serve on sourdough toast with your favourite topping such as eggs, tomatoes, herbs or simply just some more chili flakes.

Avocado chocolate mousse - desserts are allowed when they contain superfoods such as avocado & cocoa! There are many delicious avocado chocolate mousse recipes out there, so experiment a bit and find your favourite one. I love to add some pink Himalayan salt to it for a surprisingly wonderful taste.

Face mask - given its anti-inflammatory & anti-aging properties, the avocado makes a fabulous homemade self-care beauty treatment. You can use it alone, or add organic yoghurt, manuka honey & some lemon to make it even more powerful!


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