Avocado is one of my favorite fruits. In fact, as far as fruits go, it probably is my favorite. I adore the healthy monosaturated fat, the color, the creamy consistency, and the unmistakable flavor that avocado lends to any dish it graces. What else can the humble avocado offer?
Here’s why an avocado a day is even better than an apple a day for optimum health:
Bone Health – Avocados contain loads of Vitamin K. In fact, they provide a whopping 26% of the recommended daily allowance of this important vitamin, which is difficult to find in most diets. Avocados also contain calcium, zinc, magnesium, potassium, vitamin D which are all important for bone health.
Liver Health – Avocados may be high in fat, but they’re actually super protective against fatty liver disease. They also aid in the production of glutathione, which is a master antioxidant important for free radical scavaging.
Eye Health – Speaking of antioxidants, avocados contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which are important for eye health. These powerful antioxidants reduce the formation of cataracts.
Cardiovascular Health – Avocados can significantly reduce total cholesterol levels. Not only that, they have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol by up to 22% and increase the HDL cholesterol by up to 11%. If that wasn’t enough, these fantastic fatty buddies also were shown to reduce blood triglycerides by up to 20%. By the way, these studies were done on real people (1-7)
Gut health – Avocados are loaded with both soluble and insoluble fiber which feeds your gut buddies (the beneficial bacteria in your gut) and helps with regularity.
Arthritis – Avocados are high in fat, we know that. It is one of the fattiest plant foods on Earth, deriving 77% of its calories from fat. Did you know that the fat they contain has superpowers? The fat in avocados is monosaturated oleic acid which has been shown to significantly reduce inflammation (8, 9). If you didn’t know, inflammation wrecks havoc on just about everything, including joints. Reducing inflammation decreases symptoms and damaging effects of arthritis.
Cancer prevention – Not only are the inflammation zapping effects of oleic acid good for joints, they are also good for preventing cancer (10). Oleic acid is also in olive oil, which has been widely studied for its beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer (11).
Weight management – Want to weigh less? Eat more fat! People who regularly eat avocados have a lower BMI and significantly less belly fat. The fat in avocados is very satisfying so you can feel fuller with less food. Avocados also contain a decent amount of fiber which helps reduce spikes in blood sugar and the resulting insulin spike, possibly the biggest factor in weight management.
Better nutrient absorption – You can eat all the healthy foods you want, but if the nutrients aren’t properly absorbed they will not do you any good. The fat in avocados helps the body absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K which are very important for many aspects of health.
Healthy pregnancy – Avocados contain 20% of the daily value of folate which is essential in the replication of DNA. It is very important that women get plenty of folate during their pregnancy to assure the healthy development of their babies.
Don’t you want to go out and get some avocados now? Here is a handy buying guide.
I like to buy green avocados and let them ripen at home so I am sure to get the perfect avocado every day. They tend to be expensive, so keep an eye out for them to go on sale and then stock up with green ones. Keep green avocados in the fridge to store longer. Take them out to allow them to ripen on the counter a few days before you want them.
Avocados are super delicious and versatile. Add them to salads, make guacamole, use them in your smoothie, or make this fantastically creamy chocolate mouse from our friends over at Bulletproof:
Prep Time: 15 min.
Total Time: 45 min.
Makes: 3 servings
- 1 large, ripe avocado (chilled)
- 2 1/2 tablespoons Bulletproof Collagen Protein
- 2 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
- Stevia or xylitol to taste
- Chill ripe avocado for 1-2 hours prior. This step assures the blender stays cool, which helps maintain the temperature of your dessert just in case you want to consume it immediately.
- Add avocado to your blender, along with chocolate and protein powders, followed by the coconut milk.
- Add sweetener of choice (optional).
- Put the lid on and blend for 10 seconds then rest for 10 seconds in intervals until mousse reaches silky consistency. Do not blend your collagen protein on high, as the protein structures are delicate and should be mixed with care.
- Transfer to bowls and add your favorite toppings!
- Himalayan Sea Salt
- Bulletproof Fuel Bar shavings
- Chopped nuts (try macadamia or Brazil nuts)
- Fresh ginger, chopped or shaved
- Lightly toasted coconut
Serving size: 100g
Total fat 15.6g
Sat Fat 6.78g
Total Carb 8.8g
Dietary Fiber 5g
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 9%
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