Yes, we know they are a super food. Yes, we know they are healthy for us, but why all the hype? If you get out of the house at all lately, if you watch the news, visit a restaurant, or scroll social media, you have been bombarded with images of people eating avocados. But what's the BIG deal about this strange tropical fruit? Read on to learn about the nutritional reasons everyone is talking about avocados and why you should consider adding them to your everyday!
Let's begin by talking macro-nutrients. Those are proteins, carbohydrates and fats. An average avocado is approximately 19% carbohydrate, 4% protein and 77% fat. Whoa! You might start to panic seeing that fat percentage but (take a deep breath) remember that all fats are not created equally! The majority of the fat in an avocado is healthy monounsaturated fat with some omega 3's and 6's included. We need fats to feel our best, we just need to ensure they come from a healthy source such as an avocado!!
Along with the macro-nutrients comes the protective micro-nutrients. These include the vitamins and minerals found in food. Avocado's pack a B-vitamin punch, with the exception of B12. The B-vitamins can help with energy levels and lately it seems that most of us are in need of more energy! Avocados have vitamin C which has properties that support the immune system. With the coming cold and flu season I know I want to get as much naturally-sourced vitamin C as I can! Another vitamin to note in avocados is vitamin E. This vitamin has been known to support smooth blood flow and has anti-inflammatory properties. Both vitamin C and vitamin E act as antioxidants that can fight free radicals in our bodies!
When it comes to the gut (my favorite topic!), avocados rank high on my list of important foods as they are VERY high in fibre. They provide 10 grams of dietary fibre for every cup eaten!! This is a tasty way for anyone looking to get more fibre into their day!!
Then we come to phyto-nutrients. What are phyto-nutrients? Every plant has them! They are chemicals that help protect the plants and when we eat them they benefit us as well! The phyto-nutrients in avocados include phytosterols, carotenoids, flavonoids and more. The area closest to the peel is the richest in these beauties, so be sure to scrape out every last bite!
So, for those of you who have yet to try an avocado there are MANY ways to enjoy them. My personal favorite is to whip up some guacamole to dip my veggies in. For the hard core avocado purists, you can simply cut the avocado in half or quarters, drizzle with lemon juice, sprinkle on some sea salt and pepper, and then scoop with a spoon. I've incorporated avocado into salad dressings, spreads, chopped it up in salads, and even added it to burgers and sandwiches.
Do you have a favorite way to eat avocado that you would like to share? Let me know in the comment section below! Spend the week experimenting and report back! Good Luck!