Most of us are familiar with the message that it’s important to eat healthy sources of fat in our diet each day to support our brain, eye, heart, joint and skin health. There are plenty of super sources, including walnuts, chia and hemp seeds, nut butters, cold-pressed flaxseed and walnut oil, coconut oil, spirulina, chlorella and oily fish for fish-lovers.
But avocados and almonds are two of my top faves and appear in my diet almost everyday to help keep my skin soft, smooth and healthy. Here’s why they’re so good:
One of nature’s most nutritious beauty creations, avocados impart their creamy softness to your skin when enjoyed regularly in your diet.
Cultures throughout the centuries, from the Maya Indians to the South Americans, have used avocados for their powerful anti-ageing ability and to maintain the suppleness of joints. They help to lubricate your body from the inside out with their plentiful monounsaturated fats.
They’re one of the very best food sources of potassium, vitamins A, C and E, plus iron and copper, the mineral components of antioxidant enzymes.
Eating up to half an avocado a day is an important part of my own beauty routine, and so delicious in salads, made into guacamole or smashed with lime juice, chilli and seasoning and spread or sliced on your favourite bread. In fact, avocados make a superb alternative to butter and margarine!
It’s easily digested plant fat, rich in amino acids, minerals such as iron, and dietary fibre to help stabilise blood sugar levels and help you to feel full for longer. As a nutrient dense natural plant foods, avocados make an excellent anti-ageing alternative to processed foods.
What about portion sizes?
One of the most common questions I get about healthy fat is how much is OK to eat without risking piling on the pounds. If you’re a relatively active adult, then I would suggest up to half a medium avocado a day is enough. On days I’m not training, I would keep it to a quarter on an avocado and increase it when I’m more active. Of course, If you’re trying to gain weight, then 1-2 a day should help.
Not only a great source of easily-assimilated plant protein, almonds are one of the very best food sources of vitamin E, to help nourish, soften and protect your skin from sun damage. I love raw almonds eaten alone as a snack, made into bliss balls, or chopped and added to salads, soups and stews. Raw almond butter is another super way to enjoy these protein-rich nuts, and can be used in so many different ways, including in biscuit recipes.
A handful of almonds or a tablespoon of almond butter would generally be enough for the average adult, unless you’re particularly active.