Avocados are one of my favorite foods. Not only are avocados delicious, they are also many health benefits of avocados. They considered one of the “good fats” and a superfood, and can be added in a number of ways to your meals.
You can add avocados to a salad. Whip up a delicious guacamole dip, or substitute avocado for butter or mayonnaise on a sandwich. Here are some reasons why you want to add more avocado to your meals.
Avocados are packed with nutrients
Avocados have over two dozen vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Eating an avocado gives you vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin BE, potassium, folate, fiber, lutein, and beta-carotene. You will also find smaller amounts of other nutrients, including B1, B2 and B3, vitamin A, phosphorous, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, and zinc. These vitamins can help your health in a number of ways.
Maximize nutrients with a Magic Plate!
If you are trying to make some healthier changes to your diet, you may be choosing to eat more plant foods. That’s a great decision. Yet did you know that you might not be getting all the nutrition possible from those plant foods? Many nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat soluble, so by adding in a healthy fat like avocado you can absorb even more nutrients from your meal.
When I work with clients, we talk about eating a “Magic Plate.” What’s that? A magic plate is the best way to get maximum nutrition at each meal. Think of your plate divided into thirds. Have a palm-sized serving of lean or plant protein, some green vegetables, a starchy vegetable or grain, and then 1 to 2 Tablespoons of a healthy fat (like avocado, coconut oil, nuts, or seeds). When you’re able to aborb your nutrients better, those nutrients are able to help your body in many ways, including heart and vision health.
Help your heart
One of the most important parts of your body that you need to focus on is your heart. Far too many people take their heart health for granted, eating loads of saturated fat that clogs the arteries and leads to heart disease. The bright side is that avocados taste delicious, but are also considered heart-healthy foods. Beta-sitosterol is in avocados, which is a type of natural plant sterol. This can help reduce your cholesterol, which then helps strengthen your heart health.
Eye and vision health
Avocados also happen to be great for your vision! This is another part of the body that is often overlooked. Many age-related eye conditions can be lessened or avoided altogether with healthy eating. Avocados contain phytochemicals like zeaxanthin and lutein, which help to provide antioxidant protection to the tissues of the eyes. This can help protect against permanent damage from UV light, as well as helping to reduce age-related macular generation.
A potassium alternative
When people think about adding more potassium in their diet, they often turn to bananas first. While bananas are definitely a great option (and also a superfood!), avocados actually have a higher potassium content than the yellow fruit. In a small 3.5 ounce serving of avocado, you get 100 grams of potassium. This is about 14 percent of the RDA, while bananas contain about 10 percent of the RDA. With more potassium, you reduce stomach cramps, lower your risk for stroke and heart attack, and can lower your blood pressure.
Get creative with avocados to include them more often in your meals.