Just to be clear, an avocado is a fruit. Some might confuse it as a vegetable!
They are a powerhouse to behold, and if you don’t include them in your eating routine, you are sorely missing something wonderful!
Nutrient packed fruit
- Avocados contain over 20 vitamins and minerals. Due to the higher calorie content, a “serving size” is 1/5 of an avocado. You can see from the chart above how powerful this little fruit is … it’s called a “superfood” for a reason!
- The B vitamin content fights off infection and disease. The C and E vitamins are known to help prevent cancer.
- They also contain more potassium than bananas! Potassium is known to control blood pressure (high blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes).
- Avocados also contain folate, which assists cell repair and is very important during pregnancy, as well as lutein, which is known to be good for eye health.
Heart Healthy Fat Source
- If anyone argues that this fruit is high in fat, they’re right. HOWEVER…not all fats are created equal! These are high in good fat – monounsaturated fat or monounsaturated fatty acid (oleic acid). The advantage of this fat is that it helps to lower bad cholesterol when eaten in moderation.
- Oleic acid is a major part of olive oil, and it is one of the contributors to the benefits of olive oil. Oleic acid has also been associated with decreased inflammation.
- The fat in avocados is a great for cooking because it is resistant to oxidation caused by heat.
- Depending on the size of an avocado, half of one contains around 25%-30% of the Daily Value (DV) for fiber.
- Fiber is known to control blood sugar spikes, help you feel fuller, and assist weight loss efforts as well as being linked to reducing risks for other diseases.
Avocados can be sliced, diced, chopped, and mashed! Here’s just a few ideas… experiment and come up with your own.
- Guacamole. This is the most well-known preparation for this fruit, of course! Here is just one of MANY awesome recipes!
- Sliced or mashed and layered on sandwiches.
- Chopped and added to omelets or scrambled eggs.
- Chopped and added to salads.
- Pureed with smoothies or protein shakes
- Mashed and spread on a piece of gluten-free toast, then topped with scrambled egg. My daughter LOVES this and she runs out the door to school with it!
Hints to prepare avocado:
When choosing avocados, they shouldn’t feel rock hard, nor should they feel mushy… they should yield a little to a gentle squeeze. The outer skin should be black or dark purple/green. If you have to choose some that aren’t quite ripe, keep them at room temperature when you get them home. You can speed the ripening by placing them in a paper bag with an apple or banana.
Wash the outer skin before cutting to make sure you don’t transfer bacteria from the skin to the flesh of the fruit. After cutting in half, remove the pit and scoop out the flesh and discard the skin. You can slice, chop, mush (for spreading), or puree.