by Faith Lumpkin
One of the newest trends seems to be adding avocados to almost any food from toast to pizza to even ice cream! This fruit has become the rave due to its high content of healthy fats, it’s smooth texture and, of course, yummy taste. So, you may be asking yourself are avocados really that beneficial in my diet? And if so how can I incorporate it into my meals?
Yes, that’s high for a fruit BUT two-thirds of the total fat is from monounsaturated fats. Due to this high content of ‘healthy fats’, avocados may help lower one’s risk of developing cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.1
Avocados are also high in the antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E compared to other fruits. They also contain high amounts of Vitamin K, which has beneficial effects on bone health in older adults, and potassium, which can help regulate blood pressure.2
Research suggests incorporating avocado into your diet can help lower the levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol in one’s body due to the phytosterols in avocados, which compete with cholesterol for absorption in the intestine.2
Adding Avocados into your Diet
There are many great ways to add avocados into your diet as they can give texture and flavor to foods and can be used as a replacement for foods that are high in saturated fats. For example smash avocados onto whole wheat toast as a snack or healthy breakfast or use them on a sandwich or with eggs in replacement of cheese!
Avocados are awesome in smoothies as they add a silky texture without an overpowering taste.3 Or for a nice summertime snack smash an avocado up and add some tomatoes and other vegetables to make guacamole!
- Avocados were initially discovered in Mexico when Spanish explorers reported Aztecs eating them!
- Although you cannot consume the skin of an avocado it works as a natural packaging to protect the inside of the fruit!
- Because of their thick skin, avocados are on the Environmental Working Group’s “Clean 15” list, meaning they have very little pesticide residue.
Brain Power Smoothie (from GimmesomeOven)
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1 cup pomegranate juice (or any unsweetened berry juice)
- 1 cup ice cubes
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 ripe banana, peeled
- half of an avocado, peeled and pitted
- Add all ingredients to a blender and pulse until combined and smooth.
- If the smoothie is too thick, add more juice. If the smoothie is too thin, add more ice.1
- Ingram D, et al. Potential Health Benefits of Avocados. In: Bioactives in Fruit: Health Benefits and Functional Foods. Chichester, UK: Wiley Blackwell; 2013.
- Rabin RC. Ask well: Are avocados good for you? New York Times. December 18, 2015. Accessed June 28, 2016.
- Spiegel A. 11 Times Avocados Made Smoothies So Much Better. The Huffington Post. April 23, 2014. Accessed June 28, 2016.
- Brain Power Smoothie. January 3, 2014. http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/brain-power-smoothie-blueberry-avocado-smoothie-recipe/. Accessed June 28, 2016.