Got 5 minutes? Try an avocado!
Fun fact: While we tend to think of avocados as vegetables, they are actually fruits — that are culinarily treated as a fat source — is that clear as mud? Avocados are packed with nutrition and are surprisingly versatile. Study after study touts their many health benefits, so today I wanted to talk about some of the ways this superfood can help improve our health.
Healthy Source of Fat
Avocados contain a hefty dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids in the form of oleic acid, which is also the main component of olive oil. Studies show that oleic acid reduces inflammation and may actually help to shrink cancer cells.
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Research now demonstrates that avocados are part of a heart-healthy diet. These recent studies show that eating avocados can reduce total cholesterol levels, lower LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol levels, and reduce blood triglycerides, as long as they are included as part of a “moderate-fat, cholesterol-lowering diet.”
Loaded with Potassium
Though we generally think of bananas as the fruit that bears the most potassium, avocados are actually a great source of the mineral. They contain roughly 14% of our recommended daily amount as opposed to the 10% found in bananas. Potassium is important for heart health, protection against strokes, and lowering blood pressure. It can also help prevent muscle cramps for all my fellow runners out there.
Yep, They Have Fiber, Too
Soluble fiber is important for the development of beneficial gut bacteria in the intestines. A single serving of avocados provides nearly 27% of the recommended daily amount of fiber for a healthy diet. The fiber content in avocados may also provide important support for metabolic health and weight loss.
If you aren’t currently adding avocado to your diet plan, there is no better time to start than now. Simple guacamole is my favorite way to eat them, but if you want a little more inspiration, check out this great round-up of 53 different recipes to try featuring this delicious superfood!
Want even more ways to eat avocados? We have an entire Pinterest board on the subject — see below! And if you have any favorite recipes, I would love to read about them in the comments!