How Avocados Help to Reduce AnxietyJan 14, 2021
Botanically, avocado fruit is a berry with a single large seed. I know you will never look at an avocado the same way again now that you know this, right?
Avocado is known as a superfood because of its exceptional nutritional and phytochemical composition; it is a rich source of potassium, vitamins E and C, and beta carotene (provitamin A). Moreover, avocados contain a number of minerals, including phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, sodium, iron, and zinc.
Avocado is said to have a neuroprotective effect due to its unique antioxidants, which preferentially impede the generation of free radicals.1
Compared to other vegetable oils, avocado oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), healthy fats like oleic and palmitoleic acids, and low in PUFAs, like linoleic acid and linolenic acid. Avocado oil proved to increase the production of collagen, a protein that is a major component of connective tissue, and decrease inflammation in a study. 2
In terms of its total fat composition, avocado oil is most similar to olive oil. Oleic acid is the principal fatty acid in avocado, comprising 45 percent of its total content. 3
Avocados are notable for being potassium-rich. One provides 60 percent more potassium than an equal serving of banana.4 Potassium can reduce feelings of anxiety as it is known to help regulate the heartbeat. Low levels of potassium may cause symptoms like heart palpitations, which produce a sensation that is commonly linked to stress or anxiety. However, in some cases, this really is a sign of nutritional deficiency.5
Ways of Incorporating Avocado in Your Anxiety-Free Kitchen:
- Eat an avocado whole, as a snack; just scoop it out with a spoon. You can add a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle some broccoli sprouts, hemp seeds, or sesame seeds on top, or just eat it plain.
- When you serve soup, add some cubed avocado; it makes a great nutrient booster and adds a nice, creamy texture.
- Avocado can make smoothies super creamy and smooth.
- Did you know you can freeze avocado? Some juice bars freeze it in little cubes so it can be added as a healthy fat booster to whatever they’re blending up.
- You can use avocado oil for a bread dip when you’re entertaining. It has a delicious flavor on its own or you can season it. There aren’t many organic avocado oils in the marketplace, so I love the ones that Nutiva distributes.
- You can make any epic salad dressing with avocado oil as a base.
- Use avocado as a spread instead of butter, cream cheese, mayonnaise, etc.
Anxiety-Free Recipes in my new book with Avocado
- Grounding Lentil Soup with Avocado and Ginger
- Superfood Kale Salad
- Brain Bowl with Walnut Pesto Sauce
- Chocolate Avocado Mousse
1. K. Ameer, “Avocado as a Major Dietary Source of Antioxidants and Its Preventive Role in Neurodegenerative Diseases,” Advances in Neurobiology, vol. 12 (2016), pp. 337–54, doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-28383-8_18.
2. A.P. de Oliveira, et al., “Effect of Semisolid Formulation of Persea americana Mill (Avocado) Oil on Wound Healing in Rats,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, vol. 10 (March 2013), doi: 10.1155/2013/472382.
3. D.J. Bhuyan, et al., “The Odyssey of Bioactive Compounds in Avocado (Persea americana) and Their Health Benefits,” Antioxidants, vol. 8, no. 10 (October 2019), doi: 10.3390/antiox8100426.
4. M.T. Murray and J. Pizzorno, The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods (New York: Simon and Schuster; 2010), p. 72.
5. J.J. Olivero Sr., “Cardiac Consequences of Electrolyte Imbalance,” Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal, vol. 12, no. 2 (April–June 2016), pp. 125–6, doi: 10.14797/mdcj-12-2-125.
6. D.J. Bhuyan, et al., “The Odyssey of Bioactive Compounds in Avocado (Persea americana) and Their Health Benefits,” Antioxidants, vol. 8, no. 10 (October 2019), doi: 10.3390/antiox8100426.