Spotlight On Avocados

Todays healthy food spotlight is on the not so beautiful to look at avocado. But hey, don’t judge a book by it’s cover ( uh, you shouldn’t be judging anyway 😉 ) because lurking underneath it’s dark blackish rough exterior is a whole lotta creamy, delicious goodness going on inside.

A long time ago, I used to think they were one of those forbidden type foods I should only eat in a sparse and occasional way.  Then I started getting healthy and got into running and what not… the rest is history… but anyway… somewhere in there…. I got invited to be in a fitness challenge ( and got grief from some people cause I guess I was considered a bit to…uh…fit.. to be in the challenge) it was a 90 day thing that involved Crossfit and the last 30 days we had to commit to doing the whole Paleo gig. I figured I could do anything for 30 days and informed them, I would be going back to my Greek yogurt when it was over. (cause they totally eliminate the dairy food group)

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Guacamole anyone?

 

I’m such a rebel.

It should be noted as well I was training for my second half marathon at the time. It should also be noted there were times I thought I’d die of hunger or fear I didn’t have enough energy to drag my carcass back after a run.  THIS is when I learned about the lovely benefits of the avocado. They encouraged you to eat them as heartily as they encouraged bacon. It should be mentioned, I tried to limit the bacon stuff.

So I pretty much learned to eat avocado like, all the time in that 30 day challenge.  And I learned it’s really, really good for you.

If you wanna read about my (brief) time doing Paleo, find my post here  https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2015/06/08/my-experience-with-the-paleo-movement/

First things first

Do you know an avocado is actually a fruit?  Yes, really. I wouldn’t mess with you and lead you astray. The avocado is a nutrient dense fruit, not a vegetable.  And did you know the avocado is actually a berry! Botanically they are a large berry containing a single large seed.   Learn to think of them as a fruit.

For those of us in the south who enjoy them all smooshed up with spices in the form of a dip called guacamole and a side of crispy corn chips, we might have to stretch our minds more to consider them as food source for sweet things used in smoothies or desserts.

Avocado also goes by an alias…..  alligator pear……. so there’s that.

Nutrition 101

Of course you’re gonna want to know all the healthy benefits of the avocado.  Avocados are nutrient dense! They are a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium . They also provide lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.

One fifth of an avocado contains 64 calories, almost 6 grams of fat, 3.4 carbs, less than a gram of sugar, and almost 3 grams of fiber. Although most calories come from fat, don’t shy away from that! The fats in avocados are the good healthy kind that keep you full and satiated. When you consume fat, your brain receives a signal to turn off your appetite. Eating fat slows the breakdown of carbohydrates, which helps to keep sugar levels in the blood stable.

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Fat is essential for every single cell in the body. Eating healthy fats supports skin health, enhances the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, and may even help boost the immune system.

Avocado also promotes a healthy heart by helping to lower cholesterol, it’s good for vision, and it can also support bone health as it’s high in Vitamin K with a half an avocado offering 25% of the daily recommendation. This nutrient is often overlooked but is essential to bone health.

It has also been shown to protect against some types of cancers and protect against miscarriages as folate is extremely important for a healthy pregnancy.

With it’s high fiber content it can also aid in digestion and prevent constipation.

They offer an energy boost.

Adding an avocado to your lunchtime meal may help you avoid the 3pm slump! Of all three macronutrients (carbs, protein, fats), fat is the most concentrated source of energy for our bodies.

Healthy fats provide a slow, steady stream of energy so you can power right through the workday. In addition, when they’re eaten along with a carbohydrate, they slow the digestion of the carbs, meaning you won’t suffer the energy-zapping sugar crash that typically follows simple carbs like white bread.

Of course all those wonderful nutrients are great for making your skin and hair look healthy and the anti oxidants as you know, are the best anti aging tool you can utilize.

Ok got it? The avocado, like all the other fruits and veggies we’ve talked about is awesome for your health.

Can we eat now?

There isn’t much to prepping an avocado. Just slice its firm skin, cut in half and like magic, it’s wonderful green creamy goodness awaits.

A avocado is ripe when you can gently press into the skin. If it’s hard it will need to sit for a few days to ripen. Soft ones are great for dips while firmer ones are good for sandwiches or salads.

I love avocado on toast for a healthy quick breakfast. I’ve also used it as a substitute for mayo in my chicken or tuna salad.

Avocado is almost always present on my breakfast plate. It is rich and satisfying alongside my eggs and other veggies.

How about a couple tasty recipes to experiment on?

 

 

Oh… and something amusing I found in my search… a comment that said “how do I eat avocados if I don’t like them”

Uh… just don’t eat them. Haha 😛

If you want to learn more about foods that are good for you, be sure to check out all my other “spotlight” posts.

Now tell me, do you like this tasty fruit?  If so, how do you eat it?