After almost 10 years of healthy eating, I have acquired a taste for many different healthy foods. You name it, I’ve probably tried it. But I do feel it’s very important that I make at least one post for perhaps my favorite healthy food of all: the avocado.
Who doesn’t like avocado? You know a food is important when it’s compared to Oprah. There’s avocado toast, guacamole, ceviche, or just plain old avocado with salt and pepper (and for me at least, a little Sriracha). Most people know that avocado is packed with healthy fats which is reason enough to make sure you incorporate it into your diet. But what some of us might not know is that it has a number of other great health benefits. Bring on the guac.
So what is avocado?
Avocado is a pear shaped fruit that is native to Central America and Mexico. It’s also known as the “alligator pear” due to its scaly skin. However, the inside is so delicious that I suspect even Donald Trump would allow this Mexican immigrant to pass the border (too soon?).
Benefits of avocado
Avocado contains around 20 different vitamins and minerals; Vitamin K, Folate, and Vitamin C being the most abundant.
- Vitamin K is essential for healthy bones and blood flow. It also aids in blood clotting which is important when it comes to injuries, and also greatly strengthens heart health. Avocados have 26% of the RDA of Vitamin K in a single 3.5oz serving.
- Folate is another vitamin that promotes heart health. It is also an essential prenatal vitamin; as it supports normal fetal development. It also benefits your psychological and emotional health. Avocados have 20% of the RDA of Folate in a single 3.5oz serving.
- Vitamin C, as we all know, is a vital ingredient for a healthy immune system. And we know a healthier immune system equals a longer, fuller life. It also protects against cardiovascular diseases, eye disease and prenatal health diseases as well. Avocados have 17% of the RDA of Vitamin C in a single 3.5oz serving.
Aside from these primarily abundant vitamins, there are a number of other beneficial properties the avocado contains.
- When we think potassium, most of us think bananas. Avocado actually has more potassium than bananas. Potassium supports healthy blood pressure levels, which can help prevent stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure.
- Healthy fats: this is probably the benefit most are aware of. Though 77% of calories in avocado are from fat, which shouldn’t alarm you – most of the fat is oleic acid. Oleic acid reduces inflammation and supports a healthy digestive system. If you’re following a plant-based diet, for example, avocado is a healthy way to ensure you incorporate necessary fats into your diet.
- Fiber: while we’re on the topic of a healthy digestive system, it’s worth it to note the large amounts of fiber in avocado. An unhealthy digestive system is more trouble than you would imagine – so incorporate fiber into your diet whenever you can.
- Low cholesterol: avocados don’t contain any cholesterol or sodium, which are things we need to limit in our diets. It’s full of flavor without the added salt.
- It makes healthier food healthier. Avocado increases the absorption of important vitamins and minerals found in other foods (i.e. veggies). So not only will you be getting nutrients from the avocado itself, but you will be getting prime benefits of the foods that you’re consuming avocado with.
As we’ve seen, avocado is a superfood that should be on-hand in your kitchen at all times. These are just a few of the health benefits it offers. The only guilt we should be feeling about eating avocado is the ridiculous up-charge Chipotle requires to add guacamole to your burrito (Dear Chipotle: take all of my money).