Avocados: The Other Fruit

Here is another one of my favorite foods and it can be easily added to your meal without a lot of preparation! Avocados have a lot of essential nutrients such as vitamin A, B, C, E and K, copper, iron phosphorous, copper, as well as fiber, protein, and antioxidants.

Health benefits are many including helping to maintain a healthy heart. Avocados contain B6 and folic acid which help regulate homocysteine levels. Elevated homocysteine levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.  Avocados can help lower cholesterol levels, decrease triglycerides and LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol). Lower cholesterol levels and may help protect against strokes. One avocado contains about 23% of the daily recommended value of folic acid which is known to decrease certain birth defects such as neural tube defects and spina bifida.

Avocados have polyphenols and flavonoids which are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that decrease inflammation and some degenerative disorders. Antioxidants help prevent cell damage and as a result my help slow the aging process and boost your immune system. They may also help prevent breast cancer and inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.

Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats and fiber, both of which can help with insulin resistance and stabilize blood sugar levels.

Avocados are also high in fat with ½ of an avocado containing 10 gm of fat 7 of which are monounsaturated and 1.5 grams saturated fat. They are high in calorie as well so should be used sparingly.

Ways to enjoy avocados:

  • Fresh slices on a salad
  • Guacamole
  • Try mashing some avocado and using in place of mayonnaise
  • Add some slices to your favorite sandwich or tacos
  • Stuff an avocado half with your favorite tuna or chicken salad

Homemade Guacamole

3 avocados, mashed
1 tomato, finely chopped
1-2 tablespoons minced onion
Chopped fresh cilantro
1 Jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Lime juice to taste

Nutritional Information
Serves 4
Calories 262
Fat 22.2 grams
Cholesterol 0 mg
Carbohydrates 18 gm
Fiber 11.4 gm
Protein 3.7 gm