Deliciously healthy, avocados are nutrient rich.
Not only are they loaded with rich fat but are also an excellent source of fiber. They are packed with nutrients such as folate, vitamins B6, C, E, K as well as selenium and zinc. Added bonus: they are low in carbohydrates and sodium! Unlike the unhealthy saturated fats, the fats in avocados are mono-unsaturated, similar to olive oil. These MUFAs (mono unsaturated fatty acids) found in avocados are known to lower the risk of heart disease and other health risks.
Following a low carb diet? Avocados are perfect with only 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats. Although it contains 9 grams of carbs, 7 of those are fiber so there are only 2 “net” carbs are counted. Cholesterol and sodium free, they are also low in saturated fats. When people think about potassium they always think of bananas however, avocados have 14% of the RDA compared to 10% in a serving of banana.(1)
Avocados are considered an anti-inflammatory food. Reducing inflammation in the body also lowers your risk of certain cancers as well as joint pain and other diseases. Research shows that these smooth green fruits help to fight off cancers such as prostate, skin and mouth cancers. Because of their anti-inflammatory properties they also fight arthritis, gingivitis, and promote wound healing. Skin diseases such as scleroderma and psoriasis can also be improved by consuming the mighty avocado. They do this via these five nutrients: phytosterols, carotenoids, antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, and polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PSAs).
Lutein and Zeaxanthin, two antioxidants found in avocados, are extremely important for long-term eye health. they actually lower the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration which can afflict the elderly. In addition some studies have shown that the nutrients in avocados may lower the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy.
Best Ways to Use Avocado
Eating avocados with other plant foods can actually improve your absorption of the nutrients of antioxidants up to 15 times better. Due to this, consider adding this mighty fruit to your salads. Avocados are not just for guacamole anymore! You can enjoy them on dips, in salads, blended into smoothies and on sandwiches. Mix one avocado with 1 cup of low-fat yogurt adding a dash of salt and you’ve got a great dip for veggies or with a few herbs and spices you can use it as a fabulous salad dressing!
Next time you have a cookout try adding some avocado slices to your bun instead of mayo and cheese. Avocados are a great addition to salsa or a delicious topping for any type of eggs. Try replacing the mayo with avocado the next time you make deviled eggs.
Our family enjoys eating avocado in the form of my Avocado Salsa. The recipe is a huge hit at parties and gatherings.
Want a cookbook full of avocado ideas? Check out one of my favorite cookbooks from the TOM Cookbook Club!
How do you eat your avocados?