Do you ever wonder the benefits that your body is actually getting while eating the foods you love?
Avocado is one (of many) foods I absolutely love. Like bananas, I can’t live my day without avocado. One, because of the variety of ways you can utilize avocados into your diet but two, because they are considered a superfood because they are incredibly nutrient dense.
In your daily diet you want to focus on consuming foods that are very nutrient dense. Meaning, foods that you are getting “more bang for your buck”. Avocados are one of those foods!
So, why are avocados part of the superfood category? The list of reasons why is massive! For today, let’s focus on my favorite Top 5.
1. AVOCADOS ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR HEALTHY FAT CONTENT (will get to that later) BUT THEY ALSO CONTAIN 16 DIFFERENT VITAMINS AND MINERALS.
Vitamin K: Needed for prevention of blood clotting but is also essential to building strong bones and prevention of heart disease.
Folate: Also known as Vitamin B9 or folic acid. Needed for DNA synthesis and repair which is a necessity for cell and tissue growth.
Vitamin C: Also known as ascorbic acid, helps the body build a strong immune foundation as well as form and maintain bones, blood vessels and skin.
Potassium: Potassium is one of the most important minerals in the human body. It is essential for muscle function, nerves, and regulates our heartbeat which are all important for cardiovascular health. Potassium is also important for low blood pressure, anxiety, stress, water balance and metabolism function. Considered a super mineral, specifically for athletes.
Vitamin B5: Also known as pantothenic acid, is essential in our diet because we need Vitamin B5 in order for our body to properly use carbohydrates, protein, fats and aids in healthy skin.
Vitamin B6: Also known as pyridoxine, is important because it’s essential to help with adrenal function, help maintain a calm and healthy nervous system and needed for key metabolic processes.
Vitamin E: This vitamin is very powerful and helps fight and protect your cells and body from all types of inflammation.
Apart from all the above, avocados also contain small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus, Vitamin A, Vitamin B2, and Vitamin B3.
2. THEY ARE LOADED WITH MONOSATURATED FATTY ACIDS (Omega-3 & Omega-6):
Avocados are known to be very high in fat, because they are! 77% of the calories in an avocado is fat, making this fruit one of the fattiest (and healthiest) plant foods out there! Fatty acids are essential for brain function (keep you alive & alert!), fight off inflammation and manage overall body functions and growth. Fatty acids are also essential for controlling your blood cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure, making this a heart friendly food and prevention of heart disease.
3. THE FAT FOUND IN AVOCADO HELP YOU ABSORB NUTRIENTS FROM OTHER PLANTS
Fat intake is very important in order for your body to absorb the fat soluble vitamins. This includes, Vitamin A, E, D and K. If you’re consuming vegetables and fruits that contain these vitamins but your body is lacking daily fat intake, your body will have a hard time or not absorb these nutrients at all. Due to avocado being very dense in fat, it can dramatically help increase the nutrient value in the other plant foods that you are eating.
4. THE SUPERFOOD WILL KEEP YOU FULL LONGER
Fats are a slow-digestible food. Meaning, when fats enter your small intestine, your body takes a while to break down the fat which will leave you feeling full longer.
Now that we’ve learned some of the nerdy parts to an avocado, lets discuss how to incorporate this nutrient dense fruit into your diet. Here are a few of my recommendations:
USE AVOCADO AS A SPREAD. Avocado has a creamy-like texture which means you can substitute this in replacement of processed condiments such as mayo, ketchup, mustard and salad dressings. Try this recipe! https://thedailydiehl.com/2016/06/01/shrimp-avocado-toast/
PUREE. You can puree the avocado making a great pair with your favorite protein. Try this recipe! https://thedailydiehl.com/2015/04/26/steak-and-avocado-puree/
GUACAMOLE. You can combine the avocado with lime juice, chopped tomatoes and onions for a quick and delicious guacamole.
FRUIT SALSA. You can add chopped avocado to a favorite fruit salsa to make your salsa more nutrient-dense and fulfill your appetite.
SMOOTHIE. Incorporate 2-3 tablespoons of avocado into your favorite smoothie for some added creaminess.
TOPPING. Top chopped avocado on top of your eggs or favorite omelet!
HEALTHY DESSERT. For a healthy dessert, try making chocolate avocado pudding! Sounds questionable, but I promise it’s surprisingly delicious s and it cuts the craving of the need for bad food choices such as that ice cream!
The possibilities are endless when it comes to adding avocado into your diet! The take home message here is don’t fear the fat and don’t be shy to incorporate this food into your everyday! The right daily consumption of an avocado can benefit you in more ways than you are aware of. Happy eating!