Avocados are a stone fruit with a creamy texture that grow in warm climates and are often a feature of Mexican and South American cuisine.
Also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA).
Avocados offer nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving, including potassium (which helps control blood pressure), lutein (which is good for your eyes), and folate (which is crucial for cell repair and during pregnancy).
Avocados are a good source of B vitamins, which help you fight off disease and infection. They also give you vitamins C and E, plus natural plant chemicals that may help prevent cancer.
Avocados are low in sugar. And they contain fiber, which helps you feel full longer. In one study, people who added a fresh avocado half to their lunch were less interested in eating during the next three hours.
Eating a diet that contains plentiful fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions. Numerous studies have found that a predominantly plant-based diet that includes foods such as avocados can help to decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy and overall lower weight.
Healthy for the heart: According to registered dietitian Patricia Groziak, MS, RD, with the Hass Avocado Board, avocados contain 25 milligrams per ounce of a natural plant sterol called beta-sitosterol. Regular consumption of beta-sitosterol and other plant sterols has been seen to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Great for vision: Avocados contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that are especially concentrated in the tissues in the eyes, where they provide antioxidant protection to help minimize damage, including from ultraviolet light.
As the monounsaturated fatty acids in avocados also supports the absorption of other beneficial fat-soluble antioxidants such as beta-carotene, including avocados as part of a healthy diet may help to reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
Osteoporosis prevention: Half of an avocado provides approximately 25% of the daily-recommended intake for vitamin K, a nutrient that is often overlooked, but which is essential for bone health. Vitamin K is often overshadowed by calcium and vitamin D when thinking of nutrients important for maintaining healthy bones, however, eating a diet with adequate vitamin K can support bone health by increasing calcium absorption and reducing urinary excretion of calcium.
Cancer: H, low levels of which have been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer in women. Adequate intake of folate from food has also shown promise in protecting against colon, stomach, pancreatic and cervical cancers.
Although the mechanism behind this apparent reduction in risk is currently unknown, researchers believe that folate protects against undesirable mutations in DNA and RNA during cell division.
Improved digestion: Despite its creamy texture, an avocado is actually high in fiber, with approximately 6-7 grams per half fruit. Eating foods with natural fiber can help to prevent constipation, maintain a healthy digestive tract and lower the risk of colon cancer.
Natural detoxification: Adequate fiber promotes regular bowel movements, which are crucial for the daily excretion of toxins through the bile and stool. Recent studies have shown that dietary fiber may also play a role in regulating the immune system and inflammation.
Healthy Chocolate Avocado Pudding
It’s hard to believe that you can take a ripe, green avocado and make it into something sweet and chocolate-y, but I’m here to tell you – it’s possible and it’s delicious
A healthy version of chocolate pudding – made with avocado and ready in under 5 minutes!
⦁ 1 ripe avocado
⦁ 2 tbsp. raw honey
⦁ 3 tbsp. cocoa powder
⦁ 6 tbsp. coconut milk [from carton, unsweetened]
⦁ pinch of sea salt
⦁ crushed almonds [optional]
⦁ coconut flakes [optional]
⦁ Add all of the ingredients to a high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth