Avocados for a sharper mind!
April 22nd, 2021
Who doesn’t love a good a creamy guacamole to dip crispy corn chips into or slices of avocado to top your morning toast with? Is it the texture? Is it the taste? Or is it the many health benefits that attract us to this amazing fruit. Fruit? Avocado was once thought to be a member of the vegetable family, however we now know that it belongs to the berry family and is indeed a fruit.
See what we did just there...using our brains already!
Our brain is in constant use, as even the simplest tasks require use of our cognitive functions. When running smoothly, these functions allow us to understand and relate to the world around us and perform the complex sorting of multitudes of incoming and outgoing information in split second intervals. Another fun fact....the brain is the fattiest organ in the human body at 60%! In order to support and improve our fat brain’s function, consuming fatty acids from fruits such as avocados is crucial. One avocado can contain up to 15% (one of the highest in the plant world) of the healthy omega 3 and oleic acid fats. Therefore, avocados support the integrity of your brain and its ability to perform well.
So our brain, like most of our other organs, is fueled by the foods we eat and is dependent on a healthy food supply. In addition to being high is healthy fatty acids, avocados are packed full of potassium. Even more potassium than bananas! What does potassium have to do with brain health, you ask? Potassium is an important nutrient involved in blood pressure regulation and when blood pressure is within normal limits, more healthy nutrients are being transported efficiently to the brain and help it to function at its best.
Another brain health component contained in avocados is vitamin K. This potent vitamin is an important fat soluble nutrient involved in the development and survival of brain cells. It has anti-inflammatory and protective properties which function as guardians to our brain cells.
The third and final brain benefit of this creamy green fruit is that an avocado is also a highly bioavailable source of a carotenoid called lutein. You may have heard that lutein supports eye function, but it has also been found to significantly improve cognitive health, mainly due to anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
‘Which to choose...they all look the same?’
Picking the right avocado really depends on how soon you want to use it. If you wish to use the avocado in the next few days, I would recommend you choose one that is mostly black in color, with hints of green to indicate ripeness. Hold it in the palm of your hand and squeeze it gently. It should feel firm but not soft. Check the skin, ensuring there are no large soft indentations, which would indicate bruising. And one last tip; look underneath the stem end, if it is still green it is good to consume. If it is brown it is overripe and no longer fit for consumption. Let’s avoid the disappointment of cutting open an avocado and finding it all brown and rotten inside!
Try this delicious and nutritious fruit in a frozen treat on a warm sunny day and fuel your brain at the same time!!
BRAIN BOOSTING AVOCADO CHOC POPSICLES
Serves: 12 Small Popsicles
2 medium ripe avocados
100g bar melted dark chocolate 70%+
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 tablespoons raw cacao powder
3 tablespoons agave
3 tablespoons almond butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups Almond Milk
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Melt the dark chocolate bar, and use half to pour into the bottom of a small Popsicle container (I use the one with 6 slots), alternatively you can place the melted chocolate on top after the avocado mixture. Spoon the ripe avocado into a blender, add in the remainder melted dark chocolate, cocoa powder, agave, almond butter, vanilla, almond milk, and sea salt.
Blend well until smooth. Pour into ice pop molds on top of the chocolate and put in the Popsicle stick. Freeze overnight. When removing the Popsicle to eat, take them out of the freezer to sit for a few minutes, as they will be easier to remove. You have no sharpened your mind!