The fruit of the Persea americana–or Avocado Tree–has some highly unique qualities when compared to other fruits. For instance, they are high in fats, low in carbohydrates, and ripen in cool, dark places as opposed to warm, well lit ones.
Also called Alligator Pears due to the appearance of their skin, they are are highly nutritious, and easily qualify as a “superfood.”
Of course, perhaps the best part about these amazing treats-of-nature is their wonderful flavor and creamy texture. After all, who says that something which tastes good can’t be good for you?
Let’s start with the nutritional profile of the avocado, which is an area our modern diet tends to fall dismally short in.
By being naturally high in essential vitamins and minerals, the nutritional content of avocados reads more like a food-based multi-vitamin than it does a fruit.
Minerals such as potassium, magnesium and copper–all essential to good health and wellness–are all well-represented in the avocado:
- Copper is used by the body along with iron to produce red blood cells, which are necessary in distributing oxygen throughout the body.
- Magnesium is used to help the small intestine absorb calcium for bone health, and also helps maintain a balanced nervous system.
- Potassium is essential in keeping our blood pressure low, as well as other key muscle and heart functions.
All of these key minerals are commonly deficient in the standard American diet.
Avocados are also a rich source of:
- Folate vitamin B6
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin E
- Pantothenic acid
- Vtamin C
This makes the avocado one of the most nutritionally complete foods nature has to offer.
Sure, many of us cannot get away from the stigma of fats making us, well, fat.
However, his is far from the truth, since healthy fats are essential for heart health, brain function, as well as, yes, weight management.
In fact, with an average of 20 grams of mono-unsaturated fats per fruit, avocados can help us remove belly fat, lower our LDL (the bad kind) cholesterol, and do so while satisfying our palette.
By reducing the risk of metabolic syndrome–or a series of biomarkers associated with weight gain–avocados can indeed help us win the Battle of the Bulge.
In fact, studies show us that mono-unsaturated and oleic fatty acids can help regulate the expression of fat genes, thereby reducing abdominal fat.
With around 9 grams of fiber on average per fruit, avocados are a smart choice for optimum digestion.
Not only does the typical avocado contain a high amount of insoluble fiber, but soluble as well.
What this means is that by snacking on avocados, we can feel fuller and be less inclined to overeat.
Plus, fiber benefits our gut bacteria, which also helps us enjoy better digestion, as well as better overall health.
So, with more potassium than a banana, very little (15%) carbohydrate and a wealth of beneficial nutrients, it really is hard to beat the avocado as a superfood.
Throw in their delicious, rich flavor, and we run out of reasons not to enjoy them.
So mash up some guacamole, slice some onto whole wheat bread with some sprouts and Jack cheese, or just cut ’em in half and enjoy with a spoon–just be sure to enjoy one every day!
Both your health AND your palette will thank you.