They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but there is another fruit that can do wonders for your health when included in your daily menu.
Yes, avocado is a fruit best known for its starring role in guacamole, but the creamy treat has many health benefits. With nearly 20 vitamins and minerals and abundant good fats, it’s no surprise that there’s abundant research linking avocados to heart health, weight management, and skin health.
But is it really healthy to eat avocado every day? Learn about the benefits of avocado and creative recipes to eat more of it.
Avocado Nutrition Facts
One serving of avocado (medium or 50 grams) contains:
- 80 calories
- 1 gram protein
- 7 grams fat
- 4 grams carbohydrate
- 3 grams fiber (11% Daily Value (DV))
- 250 mg potassium (6% DV)
- 15 grams magnesium (4% DV)
- 0.1 mg Vitamin B6 (6% DV)
- 1 mg Vitamin E (6% DV)
- 4 mg Vitamin C (4% DV)
- 11 mcg Vitamin K (10% DV)
- 5 mcg folate (10% DV)
Is avocado a healthy fat?
One serving of avocado (medium) contains 6 grams of unsaturated fat. Fat was once considered the enemy, but unsaturated fat has been linked to reduced heart disease risk. It is saturated fat that is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and other chronic health conditions. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend replacing saturated fats in the diet with unsaturated fats, such as those found in avocados.
Avocado may reduce risk of heart disease and diabetes
According to a recent systematic review of research, avocado is good for your heart. Of the studies examined, ten substituted avocado for other fat sources and two added avocado to participants’ standard diet. The overall results showed that consuming avocado twice a day as part of a low saturated fat and cholesterol diet may help reduce total and LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. Another observational study of more than 68,000 women found that more avocado consumption was associated with a lower risk of heart disease.
Recent research also shows that adding avocado to your diet may have positive effects on metabolic disorders and type 2 diabetes. A randomized trial of overweight adults found that eating just half an avocado with lunch increased their satiety without negatively impacting their blood-sugar levels, which may be a benefit for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. There is a big benefit. In other words, avocado can make you feel full without increasing blood sugar.
Is avocado good for weight loss?
Since avocados are higher in calories than other produce, you may be concerned that eating them regularly could lead to weight gain. The good news is that research actually points to the opposite. A study of more than 55,000 people found that those who ate avocados weighed less than those who did not eat the fruit regularly. After following participants for 4 to 11 years, researchers concluded that participants who consumed at least 2 tablespoons of avocado per day were the least likely to be overweight or obese.
Research also shows that replacing carbohydrates in a traditionally high-carb meal with avocado contributes to a feeling of satiety. This is because the fat in avocado helps you stay full longer and may actually cause you to eat less overall.
Vitamin E present in avocado is good for your skin
Recent research is beginning to explore the potential skin benefits of the vitamin E in avocado. A pilot study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology It was found that eating one avocado daily for 8 weeks increased the elasticity and firmness of the skin. Therefore, avocado can be a delicious addition to your skin care routine.
Are there any side effects of eating avocado?
While avocado comes with impressive benefits, it’s important to keep serving size in mind. Unfortunately, it is possible to eat too much avocado. Eating the fruit daily will keep calories in check and ensure that avocado does not contribute to weight gain.
Due to a number of factors such as low supply, changes in weather, farming issues, and inflation, avocados can become too expensive to be on your grocery list. Plus, they only stay ripe for 2-3 days before turning brown. Since most avocados in the supermarket are not ripe yet, you will have to keep a close eye on them to make sure you are eating them at the right time.
Fun Facts About Avocado
Apart from the health benefits, here are some interesting things you should consider during your next trip to the produce aisle.
There are hundreds of avocado varieties
According to California Avocado, there are hundreds of varieties of this green fruit. But you’re probably most familiar with the Hass variety because they account for 95% of the avocados eaten in the United States. Hass avocados are medium sized and oval, with light green pulp and dark green skin. They can be grown year-round in places like California, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Dominican Republic and Colombia.
You may also see Florida avocados on store shelves. This larger variety is grown in sunny conditions, and has slightly less calories and fat than the Hass variety. But due to the low fat content in them, their taste is also a bit bland.
They are good alternatives to butter
If you’re trying to reduce saturated fat, use avocado in place of butter in baked goods. Their creamy consistency makes them a great stand-in for butter in recipes, and since their flavor is neutral, you won’t even notice a difference in the flavor of the overall dish. Use a 1:1 ratio to substitute butter for avocado in any recipe.
How to Grow Your Own Avocado
It doesn’t matter where you live, you can grow an avocado tree in your home. You can grow an avocado as a houseplant in your home by soaking the seeds of an avocado in a cup of water, says Ginger Hultin, a Seattle-based registered dietitian nutritionist, dietitian, owner of Champagne Nutrition, and author of E. -Meal Prep Book 101 for Weight Loss.
After eating the avocado, save the pit and let it dry. Stick 3-4 toothpicks into the pit and suspend it over a glass of water, so that the bottom half of the pit is submerged. Place the glass of water in the sun and roots will grow in 2-6 weeks. A stem will appear and the avocado plant will begin to grow. Plant it in a pot with soil and watch your avocado tree grow!
Healthy Avocado Recipe
Avocados are incredibly versatile, says Hultin. I recommend my clients incorporate these in a variety of ways as a healthy fat source and anti-inflammatory food. Here are some creative ways to include more avocados in your diet:
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