It’s a fruit! It’s a fat! It’s a superfood!
It’s not sweet, but avocado is technically considered a fruit because it develops from a flower and contains the seed. Nutritionally speaking, it is counted in the “fat” group, due to it’s low sugar and high fat content. Avocados are nutrient all-stars because they contain nearly 20 vitamins and other nutrients in every serving – giving you a multitude of health benefits!
Don’t let the “fat” thing scare you. It’s true, avocados are high in fat, but it’s mostly monounsaturated fat – which can help lower cholesterol, especially the “bad” LDL kind. That means it can improve your heart health! Fat also provides satiety – including some fat in your meal can make you feel more satisfied and actually help your waistline.
Still not convinced? Check out this article: “Want to Get Lean? Eat Fat!”
The fiber in avocados also helps you feel full longer. (1) In one study, people who added a fresh avocado half to their lunch were less interested in eating during the next three to five hours.
Avocados also contain the following amazing nutrients:
- B vitamins – which help support a healthy immune system and nervous system
- Vitamin C – which helps fight infection and support a healthy immune system
- Vitamin E – which helps prevent plaque build up in your arteries
- Lutein – which is good for your eyes/vision
- Potassium – which helps control water balance, prevent muscle cramps and control blood pressure
- Phytonutrients – including glutathione, oleic acid and carotenoids – that provide antioxidant protection against cell damage and help your body fight cancer
If an avocado had a nutrition label, it would look like this:
If you are watching calories, try replacing less healthy items with avocado:
- Mash it up and use it in place of mayonnaise
- Slice it up on a sandwich or salad and skip the cheese
- Puree it for a creamy, healthy dressing or sauce
Check out these great websites for more ideas for including avocado into a healthy diet:
Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Avocados
- Wien M et. al. A randomized 3×3 crossover study to evaluate the effect of Hass avocado intake on post-ingestive satiety, glucose and insulin levels, and subsequent energy intake in overweight adults. Nutrition Journal. 2013;12:155.