Did you know that most heart attracts happen on Monday morning at 8am? I thought I share with you how to strengthen your heart by adding just ONE vegetable to your breakfast or lunch a day. It’s part of my favourite breakfast on most days – avocados! Keep on reading.
Avocado Benefits Your Heart and Brain
Besides its beneficial influence on your cholesterol, avocados have also been found to provide other heart-healthy benefits. For example, one interesting 2012 study11 found that eating one-half of a fresh medium Hass avocado with a hamburger significantly inhibited the production of the inflammatory compound Interleukin-6 (IL-6), compared to eating a burger without fresh avocado.
Also, just like avocado does not raise your blood sugar levels, fresh avocado did not increase triglyceride levels beyond what was observed when eating the burger alone, despite the avocado supplying extra fat and calories. Avocado has the ability to benefit vascular function and heart health. Healthy fats are also vital for optimal brain function, and for the prevention of degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer’s. As noted in a recent issue of Scientific American:12
“The brain thrives on a fat-rich, low carbohydrate diet, which unfortunately is relatively uncommon in human populations today,” reports David Perlmutter, author of Grain Brain. “Mayo Clinic researchers showed that individuals favoring carbohydrates in their diets had a remarkable 89 % increased risk for developing dementia as contrasted to those whose diets contained the most fat.
Having the highest levels of fat consumption was actually found to be associated with an incredible 44% reduction in risk for developing dementia.” …‘Good’ fats include monounsaturated fats, found abundantly in olive oil, peanut oil, hazelnuts, avocados and pumpkin seeds, and polyunsaturated fats (omega 3 and omega 6), which are found in flaxseed oil, chia seeds, marine algae oil and walnuts.”
To Maximize Benefits, Peel Your Avocado the Right Way
Interestingly, the manner in which you de-skin your avocado can affect how much of its valuable phytonutrients you get out of it.
To preserve the area with the greatest concentration of antioxidants, you’re best off peeling the avocado with your hands, as you would a banana:
- First, cut the avocado length-wise, around the seed
- Holding each half, twist them in the opposite directions to separate them from the seed
- Remove the seed
- Cut each half, lengthwise
- Next, using your thumb and index finger, simply peel the skin off each piece
How to Get More Avocado into Your Diet
While avocado is commonly eaten raw, on salad or alone, there are many other ways to include avocado in your diet. For example, you can use avocado:
- As a fat replacement in baking. Simply replace the fat called for (such as oil, butter, or shortening) with an equal amount of avocado
- As a first food for babies, in lieu of processed baby food
- In soups.
- As a banana substitute in smoothies or your protein shake.
On top of that, avocados have been rated as one of the safest commercial crops in terms of pesticide application,15 so there’s no real need to spend extra money on organic avocados.
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