What’s so great about avocados you ask? Coming from a person who wouldn’t touch them six months ago, I am eager to share all about their nutritional greatness as well as some of the ways I’ve been enjoying them regularly. So glad I overcame my aversion to eating foods high in fat! Avocados are high in many vitamins, including vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 as well as potassium, dietary fiber, folate, and copper. However, on average, just a cup of avocado packs in 235 calories – a large amount for a piece of fruit! And many are scared off by the amount of fat in this creamy fruit, but you need not be afraid! Avocados contain a monounsaturated fat, called oleic acid, they may improve cholesterol levels, which improves overall heart health. Another mineral found in avocados, potassium, helps protect its consumers from circulatory diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and also stroke. Folate is another nutrient found in this fruit, and it is believed that it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke and has also shown to reduce women’s risks of having heart attacks or disease. Some other studies have shown that avocados reduce the risk of breast cancer, again with help from their concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids.
Another interesting fact about avocados’ carotenoids is that they are fat-soluble. This means that there must be fat present in order for carotenoids to be absorbed in the bloodstream, giving another reason for all that fat in this creamy fruit. Thankful I finally realize we need healthy fats like this in our diet. I truly feel like I’m going something great for my body when I eat avocado.
There are many great ways to enjoy this heart-healthy fruit. They are great in dips, like my fav-guacamole (see my post on Chipotle-style Guac), which I sometimes pair with my Amy’s Organic Bean and Rice burrito. This summer, I loved smearing avocado on a monstrous veggie sandwich. And one of my most favorite uses is in smoothies. I’ll be posting that recipe on here for sure!! Using guacamole or simply avocados as a spread proves to be a healthy alternative to mayonnaise. You can also chop them up and serve them over a baby greens salad or in a quinoa or black bean salad. Remember, that avocado also mixes quite well with fruits, like oranges, when served in a salad. If you want to try a more daring alternative, try avocados with chocolate shavings over pancakes or waffles.
However you choose to consume these rich, creamy fruits, remember you’re doing good for your heart and your health.
*Thank you Brittany Baker, PeacefulHerbivore, for some of the specifics for this article!