Superfood Highlight: Avocado


I love avocado! It’s perfect with salads, sandwiches, dips, eggs, and don’t forget the guacamole (yummy, yummy guacamole). My favorite way of eating avocados is in a salad. It’s so simple and easy and it’s the best way to incorporate healthy fats in your diet. The avocado has many nutritional benefits, ranging from cholesterol management and high fiber content to alleviating arthritis and potentially lessening the side effects of chemotherapy[1][2]. Here are a few key reasons avocado is the way to go:

Monounsaturated fat: Yup, that’s the “good” fat. Monounsaturated fats can improve cholesterol levels, decrease the risk of heart disease, and can benefit brain activity and locomotion[3][4][5].

Vitamin E: Vitamin E packs an antioxidant punch, protecting body tissue from damage by disabling free radicals (groups of unpaired atoms in the body that can lead to cancer or heart disease)[6]. It’s also vital to red blood cell formation — another plus, since these cells are responsible for circulating oxygen and getting rid of waste.

Vitamin B6: Among other awesome functions, Vitamin B6 (also known as pyridoxine) assists with the body’s formation of glycogen (back-up fuel that’s stored in the liver and muscles) and promotes skin health (suddenly those moisturizers make more sense…)[7][8].

Carotenoids: When eaten together, avocados may increase the body’s absorption of carotenoids from other healthy foods like fruits and vegetables[9]. Carotenoids are high in Vitamin A and have been linked to a reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, and eye degeneration[10].

Now, the rule of thumb for picking a good avocado is to buy the fruit when it’s firm, and let it ripen for a few days before eating. To know when the avocado is ready to eat, squeeze it lightly. It should still be somewhat firm, but with enough give that a knife could smoothly cut through it. Just keep in mind that there can be too much of a good thing. Due to the fruit’s high-fat content (roughly 85% of the avocado’s calories come from fat), most experts recommend consuming no more than roughly half of a whole fruit per day.

What’s your favorite way to eat avocados? Have you incorporated avocados into your normal eating routine? Share your experiences in the comments!

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