As I mentioned earlier, near the end of 2015 a diagnosis of Coeliac disease, and also losing my gallbladder and of course with all the drama, some changes to my beloved diet had to happen. What we eat is very much tied to our overall wellbeing, we see more links between food and skin conditions such as acne. Furthermore, the density of nutrients and nutrient deficiencies are related directly to many common skin conditions.
One of the side benefits of Coeliac disease, trying to find the silver lining here folks, is a gluten free fresh diet is naturally healthy for our skin. With ties between high gluconic diets and acne, plus skin conditions prevalent in Coeliac sufferers in many ways, a gluten free diet is just a smart move for skin health. We have to be mindful, though, pre-packaged gluten-free food is often high in sugars, sorghum, tapioca, millet, potato and corn starches; these are all higher in carbohydrates and again are often aggressors of skin complaints. Apart from being high in carbohydrates, they also lack nutrients, empty calories we can call them. So the qualifying statement with gluten free and health is fresh is best and pre-packaged often not a good choice.
So with that, let’s chat about one of my favourite foods even before the Coeliac diagnosis, the humble Avocado
Unlike many fruits that are high in carbohydrates, the avocado consists mainly of healthy fats. Also, the vitamin count and nutrient density are very high; you could almost call it a superfood.
Avocados are super heavy in vitamins and minerals
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B9
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
That is a fair old list of skin building goodness!
Gut health is critical for sufferers of Coeliac disease, seeing that the consumption of gluten creates an immune response that attacks the villi that line the walls of the gut, impeding nutrient absorption. Avocados have a high fibre content typically 25% soluble and 75% insoluble; soluble fibre helps feed the friendly gut bacteria of the intestine.
Avocado the heart health super food. Soluble fibre attaches to cholesterol particles removing them from the body, this is good heart health, as we know high cholesterol is a leading cause of heart disease. Avocado has been the subject of many tests to determine the health benefits specifically around cholesterol. Reducing the total cholesterol count, reducing blood triglycerides by up to 20%, lowers LDL cholesterol by up to 22% and increases HDL cholesterol by up to 11%, that’s the good cholesterol. Containing 23% Folate, another heart disease fighter, helps lower the chances of stroke plus Folate helps decrease the chances of birth defects, such as spina bifida and neural tube defect.
Staying fuller for longer low (GI) foods aid in weight control, also the soluble fibre aids in a healthy regular bowel movement.
Consuming enough fibre, the Coeliac sufferer needs to think about fibre as we lose a good proportion of fibre, with cutting out whole-wheat. We can supplement that loss, with the high fibre the avocado offers.
Neutralising free-radicals, environmental factors in our everyday lives contribute to the occurrence of free radicals. Blood cells carry oxygen throughout our bodies, pollutants, affect the oxygen contained in the mitochondria a spherical or ovoid organelle found in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells turning it into free radicals. Glutathione contained in avocados can be absorbed into the mitochondria neutralising the free radicals.
As I mentioned in the nutrient deficiencies article, part of the problem is nutrient absorption. With Coeliac sufferers, this becomes even more of critical issues and could explain why we are finding links between the condition and common skin conditions. Avocados the Oleic acid, high food, Oleic acid is a healthy fatty acid classed as a monounsaturated omega-9. It is not enough to just have a good level of high nutrient density foods in our diet we also need to be able to absorb them. Many nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants need a fat carrier to be absorbed. Vitamins A, D, E plus K and carotenoid antioxidants are all fat soluble. Adding avocado to your salad, does not just taste great, it also increases the nutrient absorption rate.
We all know antioxidants help to stay healthy and avocados contribute to maintaining good eye health. Nutrients Lutein & Zeaxanthin antioxidants directly linked to reducing the risk of macular degeneration plus cataracts, eating avocado throughout your life could stop macular degeneration & cataracts from forming in later years.
Who would have thought that the humble avocado could have such wide-reaching health benefits? Incorporating avocado into your diet even if you have not been diagnosed with Coeliac disease it can only be a good thing, for your general health and skin health.
As a bonus, my husband put this little salsa together that you can use on sandwiches, salads and I can agree with the awesome taste. (I am not the cook in the house)
Take 3 or 4 avocados combine with 1 1/2 cups of gluten-free unsweetened Greek yoghurt add a clove of fresh garlic, a good sized red onion, a pinch of cumin, one chilli to the heat of your preference, a good pinch of fresh ground pepper and pink Himalayan rock salt (apparently it has the best taste) a punnet of fresh cherry tomatoes and a handful of coriander. Give it a very quick spin in a blender or a hand powered hand chopper (preferred)