We made it to the middle of the week! I hope you’re making lots of healthy choices. If you’re looking for a way to boost your nutrition in the second half of the week, you’ve come to the right spot.
Today we continue our summer series, Food = Medicine, and we’re learning about AVOCADOS. They’re truly an amazing food with a plethora of health of benefits. They’re a fruit that contains protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Believe it or not, they have more potassium than a banana!
Have you noticed there are two kinds of avocados found in local supermarkets: the California avocado (typically the Hass variety) and the Florida avocado? The Hass avocado has a bumpy texture and turns from green to purple-black when it’s ripe. The Florida avocados are a bit larger and have a smooth skin. Here’s your interesting fact of the day – California avocados have more calories than a Florida avocado because it has more fat. Other than that, both varieties contain a similar nutrient profile.
If you haven’t been too creative with using avocados in your meals, now’s the chance to put on your thinking cap. Avocados are fantastic on salads and sandwiches, and you’ve probably already thought about guacamole. Did you know that a lot of countries around the world also use them for desserts? Because of their mild flavor and creamy consistency, they are great in things like puddings and mousse. They also work great in smoothies! Get creative and see how you can sneak them into the dishes you love to eat everyday.
Avocado Nutrition Facts
Check out all the nutrients you get from eating an avocado! Studies suggest that the average consumption is about one-half an avocado, so these numbers reflect that – about ½ a medium-sized avocado.
- 113 calories
- 6 g dietary fiber
- 10 grams fat
- 6 grams carbohydrates
- only 0.2 gram total sugar
- 14 milligrams vitamin K (19 percent DV)
- 60 milligrams folate (15 percent DV)
- 6 milligrams vitamin C (12 percent DV)
- 343 milligrams potassium (10 percent DV)
- 2 milligrams pantothenic acid (10 percent DV)
- 4 milligram vitamin B6 (9 percent DV)
- 3 milligrams vitamin E (7 percent DV)
- 5 milligrams magnesium (6 percent DV)
Looking even deeper, and you’ll see even more components that make avocados an amazing, super-charged food.
- Monounsaturated fats
- Fat-soluble vitamins, A, E, and K
- Water-soluble vitamins B and C
- Important trace minerals (like magnesium, potassium, iron, and copper)
- Lots of Fiber
- Phytonutrients (polyphenols and flavonoids)
- Antioxidant phytochemicals (such as lutein and glutathione)
Health Benefits of Avocados
Improved Heart Health
Avocados (and especially avocado oil) promote heart health by balancing blood lipids because of their fatty acid composition. They contain about 71% monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs.
Eating avocados has been linked to the reduced risks for both cancer and diabetes. The is due to the phytochemicals found in the fruit, in addition to their healthy fat content from MUFAs.
Help with Weight Loss
Looking to lose weight fast? Avocados are your friend. The healthy fats in the fruit help you feel full faster, so you eat less overall.
Lower Risk for Metabolic Syndrome
Eating avocados helps regulate hormones associated with risk factors for diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases; including, insulin, triglycerides, and cholesterol.
Healthy Skin, Eyes, and Hair
Because they are rich in fat-soluble vitamins and monounsaturated fats, avocados give you glowing skin, bright eyes, and shiny hair. This can happen when you eat them or use them topically. (I just made an avocado facemask last week. Boy, am I glad we didn’t take any pictures of my green face!)
Better Digestive Health
Avocados are one of the best fruit sources of fiber. Plus, the healthy fats are essential for digestion and nutrient absorption because they nourish the lining of the gut.
Better Hormonal Balance and Cognitive Function
Because fatty acids play an important role in regulating the central nervous system, eating avocados can boost your mood. In fact, higher-fat diets might even lower depression.
Protection from Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
A diet rich in monounsaturated fats helps balance glucose and insulin levels and helps prevent obesity.
Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!
Melissa Merkle and Kirt Lietzow own Boomers N Motion, an exercise and health coaching business focused on keeping baby boomers and older adults healthy into their golden years. For more information on group classes and private, in-home coaching, please contact Melissa and Kirt at coaches@boomersNmotion.com.