Avocados are delicious and nutritious. They are the green fruit machine! While some people consider avocados a fruit or a vegetable, they are actually a berry! So while it would be more accurate for this post to be titled the green “berry” machine, it didn’t have quite the same ring to it so you’ll have to have to forgive our scientific inaccuracy. We promise that that will be the first and last inaccuracy you’ll find in the post— or anywhere on our website!
We are big fans of avocados. Our founder, Jaime Fontaine Nappi actually eats an avocado every other day. As she is located in California, the top producer in the USA and home to 5,000 avocado farms, it’s a staple in her kitchen! Can you imagine how many avocado trees are out there in California— wow!
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, packed with vitamins, help raise good cholesterol levels while lowering the bad, reduce inflammatory responses in the body and last but not least – they taste fabulous!
What’s in an Avocado?
According to Harvard Health, “A whole medium avocado contains about 240 calories, 13 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams protein, 22 grams fat (15 grams monounsaturated, 4 grams polyunsaturated, 3 grams saturated), 10 grams fiber, and 11 milligrams sodium. Along with their low sodium levels, avocados contain no cholesterol.”
Avocados also are a source of B vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Potassium, Folate, Magnesium, and Carotenoids. Avocados provide a hefty dose of the essential nutrients that are needed to support critical body functions and boost our immune system.
Why Are Avocados Good for You?
- Avocados have more potassium than bananas. Many of us are not getting enough potassium (a macro mineral) that helps maintain proper nerve conduction in the body.
- Avocados contain lutein, a carotenoid that helps protect against eye disease and preserves healthy skin and hair!
- Avocados are loaded with healthy fats.
- Avocados support better digestion!
- Avocados are cardioprotective and help reduce heart disease risk
Avocados and Antioxidants
The bioactive compounds, such as carotenoids, in avocados, are a big reason that they earned the title of the green machine! Proven to have shown significant neuroprotective and antioxidant activities, avocadoes seem to be made of magic.
Lutein does more than just protect against eye disease and preserve healthy skin and hair (which is nothing to sneeze at for sure!), but lutein also protects the body against oxidative damage, which is associated with a myriad of chronic diseases.
Avocados and Healthy Fats
Avocados are loaded with healthy fats. They contain oleic acid, a fat that activates the part of your brain that makes you feel full, and contain a good source of pantothenic acid, monounsaturated fats, and alpha-linolenic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid). All these fats are key for our health. Healthy fats keep you feeling satiated and help with your mood as they impact your hormones. Our bodies can’t make hormones without fats.
Believe it or not, Avocados can actually help you lose weight. Contrary to popular belief, fat doesn’t make you fat. Sugar and processed foods cause weight gain. Due to avocados’ high-fat content, avocados help regulate blood sugar, provide a source of energy, and keep you feeling full longer, preventing a sugar crash from eating processed, carb-infused food. Instead of being a sugar burner, which delivers a quick surge of energy and then a crash, try being a fat burner – fats are slow burning, help to maintain insulin levels, and keep you full. This prevents overeating, bad snacking, and feeling tired. AMAZING health benefits!
Avocados Aid Digestion
Fats play a role in digestion because it nourishes our intestines and colon and is needed to absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. One cup of avocado contains about 10 grams of fiber. Interestingly enough, an avocado can potentially have more fiber than vegetables, beans, or any other fruit depending on its size of it. When you’re taking in good quality fiber, your body will release toxins and waste naturally.
Fiber is key for promoting healthy bacteria in the gut. A scientific study found that adults who consume 175 grams of avocados daily for 12 weeks had lower fecal bile acid concentrations and increased bacterial diversity. Lower fecal bile acid? What’s that all about? Having a high concentration of fecal bile acid is associated with intestinal inflammation and ultimately, negative health issues like colon cancer. That’s why lower fecal bile acid is a big deal!
Avocados May Reduce Heart Disease Risk
Avocados have tons of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats that all help to keep a cardiovascular system healthy! Moreover, avocadoes increase heart-protective cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol (the kind that builds up plaque inside our arteries!). Since avocados also have a good amount of potassium and magnesium, those two minerals help to keep our blood pressure regulated. Good blood pressure helps to prevent heart disease.
To make a long story short, there are numerous health benefits from avocados! This is why they’re considered one of the healthiest fruits you can eat.
How Many Avocados Should You Eat?
While there is no hard and fast rule on how many avocados you can eat per day, a good rule of thumb is ½ avocado per day. Given all the benefits, you definitely don’t want to miss out on eating avocados regularly.
Ways to Eat Avocados
While there are a thousand incredible avocado recipes out there, we wanted to provide you with a few quick ideas for how to incorporate avocados into your daily diet!
- Blend avocados into smoothies
- Mash avocados on sandwiches or toast
- Slice avocado and roll into sushi
- Dice and add to salads, tacos, or onto whole grains
- Make an avocado dip like guacamole
- Chop and garnish a hearty soup
- Slice and add to any wrap
- Blend into a sauce or salad dressing
- Use avocado oil in your stirfry or in your dressing
Are you gung-ho for avocados? Eat up. Support your whole body, mind, and heart with these green gems. At EatToHeal, we’re all bout nourishing the body with whole food that comes straight from nature. As the green fruit machine, avocados are a MUST on your journey of health and wellness.