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March 2, 2022

Avocados: Things You Need To Know

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I break down the superfood nutrition facts and value for avocado, so you can have this information handy. Avocados are full of vitamins and minerals for the overall health of your body. There are also some terrific heart healthy and weight loss benefits to eating avocados. Don’t be afraid of the calories in avocados. Avocados are a nutrient dense superfood filled with heart healthy benefits.

History of Avocado

Avocados are fruits that grow on trees in warm climates. The avocado tree was first discovered in Mexico. Contrary to most fruits, avocados are not sweet. Most people add avocado to savory dishes. This fruit has a soft creamy green flesh with one large seed in the middle. The taste is often described as nutty or buttery. They are generally eaten in salads and made into oils, condiments and dips, such as guacamole. Avocados are a staple food in many cultures because of the superfood benefits they provide.

Avocado Nutrition Facts 

Let’s discuss some nutrition facts of avocados. Avocado health benefits are highly regarded. This creamy super food has the highest healthy fat content, especially monounsaturated fats. Vitamin E in avocados increases oxygen uptake, which is fantastic for improving circulation and helps in promoting healthy hair growth. This is simply one of the beauty benefits of avocados.

Is it OK to eat an avocado a day?

How many carbs are in an avocado? There are 12 carbs in one avocado. How many calories are in an avocado? There are about 320 calories in an avocado. Is it OK to eat an avocado a day, and are they good for weight loss? Yes, you can eat an avocado a day, and may even notice some weight loss benefits because of the higher fat content. You will be full longer, which can help to decrease your daily overall caloric intake. If you don’t want to eat a whole avocado, eat half of it and spoon out your favorite salsa on top for added flavor. For myself, I really like mango salsa which combines the savory and sweet for a delicious treat!

Heart Healthy Benefits of Avocados

Avocados contain a high amount of monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat is a type of unsaturated fat and is considered a “healthy fat” when eaten in moderation. Incorporating unsaturated fats into your diet is important for proper cell function. Studies have shown that when these types of fats are consumed, individuals tend to have a lower risk of heart disease and cholesterol problems.

Vitamins and Minerals in Avocados

In addition to the cardiovascular benefits, avocados are full of vitamins and minerals. One avocado contains vitamins B-6, C, E, K. Avocados actually contain more potassium than bananas. Studies have shown that people who increase their potassium intake decrease their risks for heart attack and strokes, as well as reduce blood pressure. In addition, an avocado is an excellent source of magnesium, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Are avocados good for weight loss or management?

Yes, you may even lose weight when you add avocados to your diet. Many people feel fuller longer when they eat them. Avocados are chock full of antioxidants that can minimize free radicals from wreaking havoc on your metabolism. 

What are the beauty benefits of avocados?

There are many beauty benefits to adding avocados into your diet. Avocados help to regenerate and nourish the skin. Lutein, a carotenoid, helps hydrate, boost elasticity, and preserve skin lipids in the skin. B vitamins, like niacin, helps in DNA repair and reduce redness and inflammation in the skin. Avocados are rich in biotin, which can help to improve hair strength and help stop hair breakage.

Digestion and Avocados

Avocados are also a fiber-rich food. Fiber keeps you feeling full, feeds the good bacteria in your gut, and sweeps out excess hormones in the body. So, how much fiber is in an avocado? There is 10 grams of dietary fiber in one avocado.

AVOCADO KEY NUTRIENTS

Lutein | Beta-carotene | Phytosterols | Fatty acids | Oleic Acid | Pantothenic acid | Vitamin K | Copper | Vitamin C | Folate | Vitamin B6 | Vitamin E | Potassium | Omega-3, 6, and 9

Avocado Eating Suggestions

They are quite versatile and easy to incorporate into your diet. Here are some avocado preparation ideas to get you started. If you like them raw, you can slice them thin and add them to your sandwich or salad. You can smash them up and put it on toast topped with some salt and tomato slices. Consider chopping them up and adding them as a garnish to your chili. Others prefer to cook with avocados. You can add them to your scrambled eggs. Those who may be eating low carbohydrate diets may cut a hole in the middle of the avocado slice and put an egg in the middle to make an “egg in the basket.” Top it with cheese and it’s delicious. 

Soup is another option. You can test your culinary skills by making a chilled avocado soup. This makes a perfect lunch during the hot summer months. Stuffed avocados are also popular, since you can make various stuffings depending on your palate preferences. Avocados are delicious in smoothies, salads, in place of mayo (smash and spread just like you would mayonnaise) and let’s not forget the star dish, guacamole. You can have a taco night and whip up some guacamole.

Avocado Eating Recommendations

Aim to eat 1 medium avocado 2-3 times a week. Don’t fear the calories or fat in avocados. Whatever way you prepare your avocados, know that you are adding a super food to your diet. There are hundreds of ways to incorporate avocados into your diet to reap the nutritional benefits they provide.

How can you keep avocados from browning?

You can splash a bit of lemon juice over the avocado to keep it from browning.

My Favorite Avocado Recipe: Avocado Hemp Toast

To make Avocado Hemp Toast, you’ll need:

  • 1 avocado
  • Juice of ¼ lemon
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 slices of bread toasted (gluten free loaf works fine)
  • 2 tablespoons hemp hearts

Directions:

1. Mash the avocado, lemon juice, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl.

2. Spread mixture on top of the toasts. Sprinkle with hemp hearts. Enjoy!

Christa is a media dietitian and nutrition consultant in the New York City area. She works with various brands and has been featured in dozens of outlets such as Women’s Health, EatingWell, and Peoples Magazine as a nutrition expert. Being a fact checker for EatingWell Magazine and a Medical Reviewer for Nourish, she brings her extensive experience within the field to provide compassionate, inclusive care using science for intimate and personalized messaging.

Christa brings warm laughter, joy, and medical expertise to any conversation allowing for honest science-based discussions with authenticity at their core.

In her private practice, she works with men and women suffering from emotional traumas that cause binge eating disorders exacerbating their type 2 diabetes, PCOS and insulin resistance.

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