Avocados are a highly nutritious and complete food. They are a great source of antioxidant vitamins E and C, and B complex vitamins and magnesium for energy production. Suprisingly avocados are also an excellent source of carotenoids antioxidants, such as beta-carotene and lutein, which are usually found in high concentrations in orange and red fruits and vegies like tomatoes and carrots. The dark green flesh just beneath the skin of the avocado actually contains the highest concentration of carotenoids, so try to save as much of the dark green outer flesh as you can.
A study from Iowa State University and Ohio State University found that adding avocado to a meal can significantly increase the absorption of two important carotenoids, lycopene and beta-carotene, from foods eaten. Carotenoids are fat-soluble nutrients that require the presence of fat for optimal absorption. The body’s ability to absorb carotenoids can be limited due to the fact that fruits and vegetables are commonly low in fat. Avocadoes on the other hand are rich in healthy unsaturated fats, which will enhance carotenoid absorption from your food.
Avocados contain high levels of the monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. This heart healthy fruit also boosts anti-inflammatory properties.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lisa Guy - Art of Healing
Lisa Guy is a highly qualified Sydney based naturopath and author, with 10 years of clinical experience. Lisa runs a busy naturopathic clinic in Double Bay called ‘Art of Healing’. Lisa is passionate about helping people achieve optimal health and wellbeing, through good wholesome foods, nutritional supplementation, healing herbs and homeopathic remedies. Being a mum of two, Lisa has a particular interest in supporting women through pregnancy and beyond, and for children’s health and nutrition. Lisa is also the author of ‘My Goodness: all you need to know about children’s health and nutrition’, ‘Heal Yourself’, and ‘Pregnancy Essentials’. Lisa is an avid health writer, being the resident nutritionist for Body and Soul magazine, and regularly writing for a number of health and natural parenting magazines and websites.http://www.artofhealing.com.au
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