Do you eat avocados? If not, you’re probably hiding from one of the healthiest superfoods on this planet. I say “hiding” because many people are afraid of the high amounts of fat included in each serving (approx. 85% of calories come from fats), but you couldn’t be more wrong. Let’s take a closer look at what’s included in an avocado. There are three factors of fats inside that include phytosterols, polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (or PFAs), and oleic acid. Both the phytosterols and the PFAs support the inflammatory system by keeping it under control, and the oleic acid increases the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients. The cool thing about the monounsaturated fats is that they help lower the risk of heart disease, and who wouldn’t enjoy that, am I right?
Another great characteristic of the avocado is that it aids in the absorption of two important carotenoid antioxidants known as beta-carotene and lycopene. What that means is when you add avocado to say, a salad that contains tomatoes, you will be taking in the lycopene from the tomatoes approx. 200%-400% more effectively than if the avocados weren’t included. Did I forget to mention that lycopene may reduce the risk of certain cancers? Very cool.
Depending on how you prepare the avocado it may effect the nutrients as well. Researchers say that the most nutrient dense area is the dark green portion located right underneath the skin. So when you are cutting it try to get as close to the skin as possible to make sure you aren’t missing out on a lot of the benefits. Here are a few quick ways to incorporate avocados into your daily life:
- Slice an avocado on a toasted whole wheat english muffin with scrambled eggs and turkey (personal favourite)
- Chop avocados, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, and seasonings together for a little different guacamole
- Spread avocado on a sandwich instead of mayo
- Toss sliced avocado into garden greens
Whatever creative way you decide to include this awesome food into your diet I will totally support because it is such a great move on your part. Sometimes you need to look beyond the nutritional information and dig deeper into the value of nutrients to see how healthy a food can be. Be sure to let me know any great ideas you might come up with involving avocados and how they will help you become so healthy!