This blog post originally appeared on TerrasKitchen.com
Trendy health food avocados are a staple in almost every healthy diet -- probably yours included. Any self-respecting fitness or nutrition blogger has already done a post of about the beauty of avocado toast, how to make an avocado facial, or next-level ways to use avocados. We all know avocados are healthy, but what exactly do they do? Here are a few of our favorite benefits that will inspire you to add more green goodness to your menu this week.
- Avocados fit into many diet regimens because they are gluten-free, dairy free, vegan and cholesterol-free!
- Avocados are part of a heart healthy diet because they are cholesterol-free, sodium-free, and low in saturated fat. They are also an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fats, which boost good (HDL) cholesterol and lower bad (LDL) cholesterol. Just like olive oil, avocados are rich in a particular monounsaturated fat, oleic acid. Oleic acid has been linked to reduced inflammation and been shown to have heart-healthy beneficial effects. Since they are a great source of potassium, they even help to balance your potassium-to-sodium ratio, which is vital to overall health. Many people don’t get enough potassium, and avocados are an easy and delicious solution. Several studies show that a high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart attacks and strokes.
- Avocados are a superfood because of their nutrient density and conferred health benefits. A single avocado is host to over 20 vitamins and minerals. For example, they contain more potassium than bananas and are also a rich source of vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, potassium and B vitamins and contain upwards of 10 grams of fiber!
- Avocados have the highest protein content of any fruit. Yes, avocados are fruit!
- Avocados keep your digestive system running smoothly because of their high fiber content. Avocado fiber is made up of about 25% soluble fiber which keeps you feeling full, and 75% insoluble fiber that adds bulk to stool for easier passing.
- Avocados boost antioxidant absorption from other foods as well. Their high content of healthy fats (15 grams) enables the body to better absorb fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K and antioxidants including beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for vision. One study showed that adding avocado or avocado oil to either salad or salsa increased antioxidant absorption by 2.6 to 15-fold.
We include avocado in many of our Terra’s Kitchen dinner kits because of their nutritional value, but also because they are delicious. Here are a few of our quick recipes including this superfood.