Shopping for healthy foods can be confusing. Many foods products claim to be “healthy”, “all-natural”, “organic” or “low fat”. But how do you know if these words are real benefits or just clever marketing schemes? If your food comes in a box or a package, it is likely not as healthy as it claims. If you base the majority of your diet around whole foods, you will be making a much wiser investment in your health.
This Healthy Food Friday series will help you learn to identify the difference. You will also learn more about the amazing benefits of whole foods along with delicious ways to enjoy them.
Avocados have been shown to help promote heart health, help to reverse diabetes, and even fight cancer. Those are some amazing powers from a little green fruit with a hard, leather-like skin.
Before my days as a Wellness Achiever, I would walk right past avocados in the grocery store. Usually I avoided the entire produce section, actually. I wondered, what in the world would you do with that? How do you even eat an avocado? Why would anyone eat avocados?
Well, I am glad that I learned about these amazing little fruits. After discovering the delicious nutrition they provide, I now consume avocados almost daily. Once you learn about these health benefits, you will want to do the same. In fact, I will give you quite the advantage by also providing you with several wonderful ways to prepare and enjoy avocados.
Amazing Health Benefits of Avocados
Much can be said about the healthy nutrition of avocados. Here are my top five.
Heart Healthy Fats – The avocado is an unusual fruit in the fact that 85% of its calories come from fat. However, the type of fat in avocados is actually very healthy. They have about 160 milligrams of healthy Omega-3 fats per cup of sliced avocado. These fats are a big reason why avocados are very heart healthy. These fats also help you absorb other fat soluble vitamins and nutrients from your diet as well.
Fight Free Radicals – Avocados contain the highest amount of glutathione of all plants. Glutathione is powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight free radicals, prevent early aging and rid your body of toxins.
Anti-inflammatory – An anti-inflammatory diet is very important for fat loss, healing from injuries and maintaining good health. Avocados are one of best anti-inflammatory foods.
Cancer Fighting Carotenoids – Carotenoids are a group of powerful, plant-based, fat soluble antioxidants that fight and prevent cancer. They give plants many of their bright colors. Avocados are rich in many carotenoids including as lutein, beta-carotene and neoxanthin. They fat content of avocados helps your body absorb with antioxidants more effectively.
Blood Sugar Regulation – Avocados are very low in sugar and carbohydrates and very high in fiber. Avocado also contains special types of sugars that provide energy but do not affect your blood sugar levels the way that glucose and fructose do. This combination makes them great for diabetics looking to control blood sugar naturally.
How to Cut, Slice and Dice an Avocado With Ease
It may seem very difficult to prepare an avocado at first. However, it is actually quite simple. Here’s how:
5 Delicious Ways to Eat Avocados
Sliced over salad – This is one of the simplest ways to regularly enjoy avocados. They add a rich texture to your salad. They also compliment the flavor the other vegetables and the salad dressing as well.
Chopped as garnish for soups – Avocados add a delightful color and texture to a black bean soup, a spicy curry soup or butternut squash soup. Dice them and place them on top of your soup for a quick, colorful, healthy addition.
Guacamole – This is another easy way to prepare avocados. Simply cut and peel one or more avocados, place them in a bowl and mash them. You can use a an electric mixer to make a creamy guacamole or just use a fork to make it a little chunky. Then you can mix in any spices you like such as salt, garlic, or red pepper. I also like to add a little lime or lemon juice as well. It can be enjoyed with tortilla chips or sliced celery or added to other recipes. Here is a delicious, slightly more sophisticated guacamole recipe.
Vegan Chocolate Mousse – What!? Yes, you can even use avocados to make a scrumptious, healthy chocolate mousse. This is certainly one of my favorites! Here is a quick and easy recipe for chocolate mousse made with avocado.
Avocado & Tomato Bruschetta – I love bruschetta and avocados definitely make it much healthier. Slice your avocados and tomatoes. Toast some bread – preferably a sprouted grain bread like Ezekiel Bread. Cut the toasted bread into four squares, lightly drizzle with olive oil/italian seasoning mix, then top with sliced avocado and tomato. Absolutely delicious and nutritious appetizer!
Avocados are certainly one of the healthiest foods you can buy. They pack a powerful nutritional punch. Are they the perfect food or a funky fruit? Both! Begin enjoying avocados today.