Yes, Avocados Are Good for You!
August 01, 2012
Although touted as a high-fat food, the avocado is an excellent, nutritious addition to your diet. Yes, 85% of the calories come from fat, but since they’re anti-inflammatory, these fats help to support our immune system and reduce the risk of heart disease. On top of that, they’re also a complete protein containing all essential amino acids and are much easier to digest than meat, making them an excellent protein choice.
Why They’re Good For You
High in fiber and vitamin K, avocados are excellent for a healthy digestive system and blood sugar regulation. If that weren’t reason enough, consuming avocados can cut the risk of mouth, skin, and prostate cancers.
Avocados, combined with other healthy components, can help increase the absorption of antioxidants. For example, adding avocado or avocado oil to a salad containing spinach, romaine lettuce, and carrots, increases the absorption of carotenoids by 2-4x. Easy to buy, store, and prepare – avocados are a perfect fruit (yes, fruit) to add to your menu, whether for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack or condiment.
Making Them Even Better
When you are peeling an avocado, keep in mind that the dark green on the outer edge of the avocado contains the most nutrients, so it’s advisable to avoid cutting off the rind as it will remove at least some of the dark green flesh. The best method for extracting the flesh is to cut the avocado lengthwise, then twist to separate the two sides. You should then be able to peel the rind of the avocado off with your hands, leaving the flesh intact. If you are not consuming the avocado immediately, sprinkle the exposed flesh with lemon juice or vinegar to prevent darkening.
Introducing Them To Your Diet
So where can you add avocados to your diet? Fresh avocados are great for salads, salsas, dips, and guacamole, but can also be added to smoothies without affecting the flavor, or puréed to create delicious salad dressings to replace oil. If adding avocado to heated dishes, try to add it at the last minute – as cooking avocado for more than half a minute can destroy some of the health benefits. For example, if adding to soups, you can add just before serving.
You can also use avocado to replace mayonnaise as a spread for wraps, sandwiches, and burgers. There are over a dozen varieties of avocados, so the next time you hit the grocery store pick some up! Have extra? Use pureed avocados for hair masks and skin treatments for a healthier body – from head to toe, inside and out.