Though most people we counsel in our groups and private sessions are already on board with avocados as a health food, they typically have no idea just HOW healthy they are. That’s because this unusual fruit is packed with such a variety of nutrients.
It’s rich array of fiber, minerals, vitamins and healthy fats makes it a worthy food to include for battling several chronic ailments.
In fact, avocados contain about 20 different vitamins and minerals, including significant amounts of vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, potassium (more than bananas!), and several B vitamins.
Here are some of our favorite reasons to include more of this luscious creamy fruit into your weekly meals and snacks (plus some fun ways to eat them).
1). Reduces risk of heart disease. The beneficial effects of avocados have been studied related to several risk factors for heart disease, including cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammatory markers, and blood pressure. Researchers believe this has something to do with the type of fat in avocado is known as oleic acid (the same fat that’s found in olive oil). This, coupled with its high potassium and high fiber content are likely the reason behind avocado as a superfood for the heart. More info on the benefits of healthy fats HERE.
2). Supports healthier looking skin. Healthy fats can greatly benefit skin health. Avocados also contain a substance called sterolin, which studies indicate can soften the skin and reduce the appearance of age spots. A study published in the journal Dermatology found that a mixture of vitamin B12 and avocado oil helped to relieve the symptoms of psoriasis over a 12-week study period. Get even more scoop on healthy foods for your skin HERE.
3). Loaded with fiber. This is a surprise to most people. Keep in mind that fiber feeds your beneficial bacteria and keeps your digestive system healthy and humming. Consider that the goal is to eat about 25-30 grams of fiber a day. One half an avocado supplies 7 grams of fiber, a good chunk of your daily recommended intake.
4) Boosts nutrient absorption. Some nutrients are “fat soluble,” meaning that they need to be combined with fat in order to be utilized, including vitamin A, E, K and the famous vitamin D. So… not only is avocado highly nutritious, it can actually increase the nutrient value of other foods that you are eating!
5) Contributes to eye health. Avocados contain two powerful antioxidants, Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which have been shown to reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
Convinced yet? Here are some delicious ways to include avocado in your diet:
- Cut in half, pull out the pit, and sprinkle with lemon juice and sea salt for a mid- afternoon snack
- Slice and pair with scrambled eggs or veggie omelet
- Dice and toss onto a salad
- Blend into a smoothie
- Mix into a luscious chocolate dessert treat!
- Use avocado oil! This mild tasting oil can be found at most any supermarket and is a great sub for olive oil when you don’t want the olive flavor.
- We also love this avocado mayo which uses avocado oil as the base instead of soy or canola oil.
Try our simple homemade guacamole recipe that you can use as a dip for veggies, spread for sandwiches, or mashed with tuna for an incredible tuna salad upgrade.
2 ripe avocados
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1 small diced tomato
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons minced onion
½ teaspoon sea salt
Mash avocados. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and enjoy!