Here’s a fact that will make your day: Many professional in the fields of medicine and nutrition consider avocados a superfood! This is great news, as avocados are one of my very favorite foods. What could be better? A buttery, rich-tasting, creamy fruit that not only tastes sublime and spreads like a dream but is cholesterol-free, sodium-free, is loaded with healthy vitamins and a good dose of fiber. Avocados have the well-earned reputation for being high in fat calories. However, those calories are nutrient dense and the fat is monounsaturated, so it is readily used by the body as energy making avocados worth the caloric investment. One-fifth of a medium avocado (2 Tbsp.) has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a highly nutritious food choice. When compared as a spread to butter and mayonnaise, avocados come out quite favorably. Two tablespoons of fresh avocado contain 50 calories, 4.5 g of total fat and 0.5 g of saturated fat with no sodium or cholesterol. Salted butter contains 204 calories for two tablespoons, 23 g fat and 14.6 g saturated fat while the numbers for mayonnaise are 109 calories, 9.4 g fat and 1.4 g saturated fat. Both salted butter and mayonnaise have significant levels of sodium and cholesterol.
According to the California Avocado Commission, avocados act as a nutrient booster by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha- and beta-carotene as well as lutein in foods that are eaten with the fruit. Try a salad of sliced, fresh tomatoes and avocados drizzled with a little extra virgin olive oil for delicious taste and optimal health benefits.
Avocados are amazingly versatile, equally at home at breakfast, lunch, appetizers, dinner and snacks. Add some sliced avocado or a spoonful of guacamole to an omelet in the morning. Spread avocado on a sandwich in place of mayonnaise at lunch. Put chunks of avocado into my Spinach and Grapefruit Salad which is already full of important FoodTrients such as spinach– a good source of iron as well as age-defying antioxidants and grapefruit which is full of vitamin C, potassium as well as more antioxidants. At dinner, boost the flavor and healthful properties of fish and chicken with my recipe for Strawberry-Avocado Relish. The strawberries, avocado, and cilantro all contain antioxidants while the avocados also provide glutathione, a detoxifying agent.
Avocado’s Health Benefits
There are so many health benefits associated with avocados. According to the website, Natural News here are the ten top health benefits of avocados:
1. Brain — Helps prevent or slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s.
2. Heart – High in monounsaturated fats that lower LDL and triglyceride blood levels while raising HDL (“good” cholesterol).
3. Pregnancy — Folic acid helps the fetus develop its brain and other vital organs.
4. Eye health – Contains the carotenoid lutein, which protects eyes from poor vision, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
5. Blood pressure — High potassium content with omega-3 and oleic acid can help reduce blood pressure.
6. Blood sugar — Monounsaturated fats can prevent or reverse insulin resistance.
7. Anti-inflammatory — Plant phytonutrient polyphenols and flavonoids are anti-inflammatory agents.
8. Anti-aging — The master antioxidant glutathione supports a strong immune system.
9. Digestion — Nutrients and enzymes in avocado reduce inflammation in the stomach and small intestines, while beta carotene and lycopene help reduce the chance of stroke.
10. Cancer — help protect against prostate and breast cancers.
So go out there and enjoy avocados! With California avocados in full swing right now and avocados from Mexico, Chile and Peru available at other times of the year, they’re a healthy indulgence all year round.