Nutrition Spotlight: Avocado
Exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Another huge component is proper nutrition. The optimum approach to nutrition can vary from person to person, but everyone can benefit from knowing the health benefits provided by the foods in their diet.
That’s why we’re going to provide in-depth nutritional information on specific whole foods that may or may not already be in your diet. This week’s “spotlight” is on the nutrient dense fruit that is popular among both meateaters and vegans. Of course I’m talking about the avocado.
Often mistaken for a vegetable, avocados are actually a fruit. The outside of the superfruit is a leathery dark green skin which protects a bright green “flesh” and large seed. PRO TIP: if you want to ripen your avocado quickly, place it in a paper bag with a banana or apple.
One cup of sliced avocado contains 21 grams (g) of fat, 12 g of carbohydrates and 3 g of protein. One cup also contains 10 g of dietary fiber with the majority of it being the insoluble form.
Most people think bananas are the best source of potassium in the fruit category. However, one avocado actually has twice the amount of this important micronutrient. Avocados are also high in vitamin K, folate, copper and contain all 8 essential amino acids.
The majority of the fat in avocados is monounsaturated. This type of fat has been linked to lowering the risk for certain types of cancer and type 2 diabetes in recent studies (source). Studies have also shown that the fiber contained in avocados can contribute to weight loss by helping consumers feel fuller longer and aid in digestion (source).
Avocados are a great addition to any breakfast, lunch or dinner. Chop them up for salads, mash them up for homemade guac or eat them right out of the skin. This superfruit is the epitome of delicious and nutritious.