You may have noticed that a lot of recipes for healthy eating involve avocados. These little green vegetables—or fruits, depending on your stance—do offer numerous health benefits. But you need to be careful that you don’t eat too many of them. They’re one of those vegetables that have numerous vitamins and minerals but also have a large amount of fat on them!
Just how will you gain from adding avocado to your diet and what are the limits that you should have. We’ll go through all you need to know about the vegetable and include some delicious recipes to help you make the most of them.
Don’t worry if you don’t think you like the taste of avocados right now. There are various ways that you can cook or use them, including making guacamole for your burritos!
Support Your Heart Health with Good Fats
Yes, avocados do have fat. The good news is that they have healthy fat.
Wait, fat can be healthy? Of course, it can, and your body does need some of it to support the health of the heart. What you want to stay away from is saturated fat. The type of fat in avocado is unsaturated. This type of fat won’t clog your arteries, making it difficult for the blood to circulate through the system.
You’re lowering the risk of developing heart disease or having a heart attack or stroke.
There are a few studies that have shown how beneficial unsaturated fat is for the body. Saturated fats raise both good and bad cholesterol levels, while the unsaturated varieties help to lower the bad. Bad cholesterol clings to the arteries and causes friction, while the good cholesterol clings to protect the arteries from damage and creates a smooth surface for the blood to circulate past.
You’re not just getting fat from the avocados either, and that will move us onto the next benefit.
You Get Plenty of Vitamins and Minerals
Any veg is good for your vitamin and mineral intake, isn’t it? Well, there are certain vegetables that are better than others. In this case, avocados are better than many other vegetables.
They are high in potassium and antioxidants. These help with the oxygenated of blood, which links to the benefiting of the heart. At the same time, your immune system is supported, and your organs all get enough oxygen to work as they should.
Improved blood flow does wonder for your body as a whole. You will feel like you have more energy and can concentrate much easier throughout the day. That fatigue that you feel around 3pm can be wiped out because your brain gets the oxygen that it needs.
Potassium also helps to support the heart, kidneys, and many other organs by keeping the blood circulating properly. It prevents clotting at the wrong times and is recommended as a mineral to get by numerous health associations, including the American Heart Association.
It’s recommended to get 4,700mg of potassium a day at least. So make sure you get the likes of avocados, bananas, and leafy greens. By the way, you’ve likely heard that bananas are great for potassium levels, but avocados have more potassium in them!
One average serving of avocado (around 3.5oz) will give you 14% of your recommended daily amount of potassium. You’ll also get 26% of the recommended amounts of vitamin K to help with blood clotting, 20% of your recommended daily amount of folate, and 17% of your vitamin C recommended allowance. There are also excellent amounts of vitamins B5, B6, and E.
Getting the antioxidants will help your body fight off more diseases and help you get the energy that you need throughout the day. At the same time, they help to fight off the free radicals in your system, which lead to cancer.
This cancer-fighting benefit also comes from the lutein—a type of protein—in the vegetable. People who have a large amount of lutein in their body have a lower risk of developing oral cancer. There are also studies that have shown the protein helps to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer. Some studies have shown that there may be the reduction in the risk of developing some forms of leukemia too. More research is needed to see just how much avocados will benefit you when it comes to fighting this disease that currently has no cure.
And do you remember the vitamins C and E that are in an avocado? Both of these have been linked to helping prevent various cancers. They can also help to prevent other diseases, including kidney disease, eye problems, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Slow Down the Aging Process
Don’t you just hate the idea of getting old? You just know that your hair will start greying and falling out and your skin will start to dry out and sag. Wouldn’t it be lovely if there was a way to slow down this aging process? Would it be great if there was a miracle cure?
Well, there isn’t quite a miracle cure, but you can slow down the process of aging through the use of avocado. This comes from various nutrients within the vegetable.
Let’s start with the lutein first. It doesn’t just help to fight against cancer, but also helps to support the body to slow down aging. It works with a compound called zeaxanthin. Together they help to reduce the damage that the UV rays do to the skin. UV rays speed up the process of aging, by causing dark spots, damaging cells, and reducing the moisture levels. If you can slow down the damage, you can slow down the side effects from the damage.
The fats in avocados also help to slow down the aging process. They help to support the oil production in the skin, which protects it from dryness. Not only will you slow down the process of aging, but you can help to ease some skin conditions. If you’re not going to eat avocados, add it to your topical treatments to help support your skin. Oh, and those oils will also help to improve the look of your hair! They prevent the hair from drying out and looking straw-like.
You’ll still need to drink plenty of water. Not only does the water help your body absorb all the nutrients, but it will also help to support your skin. The extra hydration will prevent it from drying out and keep the collagen levels up.
The aging process isn’t about the skin and hair, either. As we get older, our eyesight suffers. For some, it’s just the need for reading glasses, but others find that they have cataracts or macular degeneration. The antioxidants and proteins within the vegetable will help to reduce the chances of developing cataracts and can slow down the damaging of cells that lead to macular degeneration.
If you do currently have either of them, you may be able to halt or at least slow down the progression of them. Research is still being undertaken to see just how much our eyes can benefit from the use of avocados.
Support Your Weight Loss Efforts
What if you could lose more weight on a daily basis? Did you ever think a fatty vegetable could help you do that?
Remember that the fats in avocados are unsaturated, which means that they are better for your energy-burning process. The unsaturated fats will work within the liver to release ketones. These then help to support the fat burning process, so you have more energy to do things throughout the day. The fatter you burn, the more calories you burn so you can lose more weight.
Let’s also remember that avocados have plenty of protein and fibre. These two food groups are essential for building muscles, supporting the digestive system, and helping to keep you full. While you’re eating a meal with avocados, you’ll feel fuller sooner so you won’t feel the need to eat as many calories within a meal. You may even find that you can reduce the treats and desserts that you eat, so you don’t eat as much sugar throughout the day.
Because you feel full, you don’t get the same negative feelings when you say no to the sweet treats. You physically don’t feel like you can fit them anywhere, anyway. There’s that positive thought that you don’t need the sweet stuff to keep you satisfied. The healthy food has done it all for you.
If you have lost the weight, you’ll find it easier to keep the weight off afterwards. This again comes down to the thought of feeling satisfied. You can make lifelong changes that are good for your overall health.
Stop Worrying About Type II Diabetes
We all know that chocolate, sweets, and refined sugar is bad for us. The problem is we have sugar cravings that we just need to get a grip of.
Avocados can make it much easier to deal with your sugar cravings, so you reduce your risk of developing Type II diabetes. And the nutrients within the vegetable help to reduce the amount of glucose in your body anyway, even if you do enjoy a sweet treat now and then. Avocados are full of fibre, which has been linked to slowing down the risk of diabetes.
Those who eat avocados tend to be more health conscious. They tend to eat fewer sweet treats anyway, which also helps to reduce the risk of Type II diabetes.
Sure, this isn’t a magical cure to stop diabetes completely. However, it does help to slow down the progression and development.
Support for the Digestive System
Remember that fibre that helps to reduce the chances of developing Type II diabetes? Well, it also supports the digestive system. But you already knew that, right? You knew that fibre is great for keeping stools at the perfect consistency.
But did you also know that a high fibre diet can help to reduce inflammation within the body? Did you know that it can help to reduce the chance of developing some of the chronic pain diseases within the digestive system, such as IBS and even Crohn’s disease? There are still scientists looking into all the reasons these diseases develop, but inflammation within the gut is one of the considered reasons.
Every little helps, right?
If you don’t have one of the conditions, the inflammation can lead to bloating. Poorly supported digestive systems can cause blockages. You’ll need the fibre to grasp hold of anything that is in the way and push it through the whole system. Fibre—especially natural fibre—helps to keep the whole digestive and bowel system working as it should.
You can get too much fibre, so you’ll need to limit a number of avocados you eat to one or two a day. The average serving is around 3.5oz, which is the weight of an average small avocado. You’ll only need one or two of these a day to benefit from the fibre, especially when you get plenty of other fruits, vegetables, and grains in your diet.
Reduce the Chronic Pain and Arthritis
And let’s not forget that inflammation in the body isn’t just a problem for the digestive system. The fibre that reduces the inflammation will also help other parts of your body. You’ll find that chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis are lessened so you can get on with your day.
Eastern societies tend to use avocado extract in their diets to help ease inflammation and soothe chronic pain issues. In fact, it’s no secret that it is the western world that suffers from most of the chronic pain problems, which is why they are linked to a poor diet.
More research is needed in this, but so far the results are positive.
Absorb Far More Nutrients Than Ever Before
There’s no point in eating foods with lots of nutrients if you’re not able to absorb them! No, the body isn’t perfect, and there are some healthy foods that can go to waste because your body isn’t ready for or able to use them.
It’s not just about getting plenty of water—although that is important. You need to make sure you have enough soluble fat in your body to take in all the nutrients and get them where they need to be. Avocados have the perfect amount of soluble fat to be able to do that.
And it doesn’t just help absorb the nutrients within the avocado. You’ll find that the nutrients in all those other vegetables and fruits that you eat will be absorbed more effectively. This is why health experts suggest that you add avocados to your salads to improve some nutrients you get from all the other foods that you’re consuming.
You don’t need to add a whole avocado to your salad if you really don’t want. Avocado oil drizzled over your oil is an excellent alternative to olive oil and will help you get the exact same benefits.
But How Do You Get More Avocados In Your Diet?
The truth is that avocado is one of the easiest vegetables to add to your diet. This is another great benefit of the vegetables that we won’t quite go into because…well, it’s easy to see right now what that benefit is.
It can be used for breakfasts, in main meals and even in desserts! Yes, there are tarts that use avocado for the toppings, meaning that you can cut down on the amount of dairy and other saturated fats in your diet.
Oprah Winfrey is currently raving about the new Weight Watchers diet because she can still eat avocados for her breakfast. She simple mashes the vegetable and spreads it on her toast and tops that with a poached egg on a morning. She’s getting all of the food groups, plenty of nutrients, and a filling meal to start her day.
There are others who opt for smoothies or will just add raw avocado to their salads. And we can’t forget that avocado is the main ingredient in guacamole, which is great as a dip for your vegetable sticks!
But we know that you want practical ideas that will help to support your diet and health. That’s why we have a few recipes that you should try to make the most of the avocado in your diet.
Start Your Day with a Smoothie
A green smoothie is definitely something that you want to add to your day. You’ll only need one to help your diet. Any more than that and you run the risk of taking in too many calories—you drink more than you eat because they’re easier to consume. The benefit though is that you will absorb more nutrients in this one helping by drinking.
- ½ an avocado, preferably ripe
- 1 banana, preferably ripe
- ½ a cup of low-fat yoghurt
- ½ a cup of orange juice
Just put all the ingredients into a blender and combine them. It really is that simple!
Enjoy Your Mexican Night with the Girls
Make your own guacamole for your next Mexican night in with the girls using this very simple recipe.
- 1 peach
- 2 avocados
- ½ red onion diced
- 2 crisp bacon strips
- Seasoning to taste
- Dice your peach and place in a bowl
- Mash the avocados and combine with the peach
- Dice the crisp bacon and add to the mixture
- Throw in your onion and mix together
That’s really there is to it. Now, what’s your excuse for not making guacamole?
There are certain recipes that will work for specific needs. Do you want to reduce your risk of Type II diabetes or support your kidneys or heart? Here are some of the recipes you’ll want to try out.
Avocado Recipe for Weight Loss
Let’s start with the main reason people choose avocados. You’ve likely found out that they’re great for your weight loss efforts, so now want the perfect recipe (that isn’t yet another salad!) to gain all the benefits.
This avocado panini will give you the filling lunch that you’ve been craving for. It’s also one of those that is great in the winter when you want something warmer. It’s one of those that can be taken on the run with you so you can eat it cold if you want.
- 1tbsp olive oil
- 1 shallot/onion/garlic, chopped
- 8oz Portobello mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 cups of kale leaves
- 2 avocados
- 8 pieces of wheat bread, the thicker, the better
- Mozzarella cheese
- Seasoning to taste
- Place the skillet on a medium heat and melt the butter. Add your shallots and sauté until clear.
- Add the mushrooms and cook until brown.
- Add the tomatoes and kale and sauté until warm.
- Remove from heat and season.
- Mash your avocados and spread onto the slices of bread.
- Assemble all the other ingredients in the way that you like. Add in as many vegetables to your sandwiches as possible.
- Add the cheese.
- Place your sandwiches in your panini press and wait until cooked just the way you like.
- If you don’t have a panini press, you can always add your sandwich to the skillet again and fry lightly on both sides to create a grilled cheese sandwich instead.
- You can also eat this cold.
With this recipe, you get:
- 332 calories
- 2g protein
- 5g fat (4.8g saturates)
- 1g fibre
- 1g sugar
Avocado Recipe for Heart Health
When the health of your heart is the most important thing to you, you’ll want to try this delicious recipe. This may be a salad, but it is more than just adding avocado on top of a traditional pile of lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber. It’s cool, it’s delicious, and it’s hearty. And I can’t forget that it’s super easy to make!
- 2 small romaine lettuce heads, shredded
- 1 can of pinto beans, drained, rinsed
- 1 and a ½ cups of fresh corn
- 1 avocado, chopped
- ½ redonion sliced thinly
- ½ cup cilantro, preferably fresh
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 3tbsp lime juice
- ½tsp cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the lettuce with everything up to and including the cilantro.
- Whisk the oil and rest of the ingredients together.
- Place the salad on the plate and drizzle with the oil dressing.
This is great when served with potato chips, but you can cut them out if you wish.
With this recipe you get:
- 466 calories
- 14g protein
- 18g fat (2g saturates)
- 71g carbohydrates
- 16g fibre
Yes, this is fairly high in carbohydrates, but they are the good kind. You’ll also get plenty of protein and fibre to balance them out.
Recipes with Avocados to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy
This is another salad, but it’s another that doesn’t just involve your usual ingredients. If you have kidney disease or you want to improve the health of your kidneys and support their function to remove toxins, then you want to opt for this salad once a week.
Ingredients for the salad:
- 1 400g can of kidney/black beans, drained, rinsed
- 2 beef tomatoes, chopped
- 6 spring onions, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 1 red chilli, chopped
- Handful of coriander, chopped
Ingredients for the dressing:
- 1 lime, juice, and zest
- 1tbsp oil (olive, coconut, almond, or avocado preferred)
- 1/2tbsp white wine vinegar
- Seasoning to taste
- Place all of your salad into a bowl and mix together thoroughly.
- Mix all your dressing ingredients together in a bowl.
- Put your salad onto the plates and then pour the dressing over the top.
Don’t pour the dressing over it until you are ready to serve. If you’re not sure if everyone will want it, put the dressing in a small jug and allow people to choose. You can use lime juice on the avocados to prevent them colouring while you wait.
You will get:
17g fat (3g saturates)
This is another salad where the carbohydrates are relatively high, but they don’t all sugar. They break down slowly, so there isn’t the high risk of Type II diabetes and a sugar crash. Your fibre and protein arehigh enough to help balance it out.
Delicious Tacos to Fight Off Cancer
When you want to ward off or fight against cancer, you’ll want to add in foods that are full of antioxidants and heart-healthy benefits. Tacos usually sound unhealthy, but they can be made in a way that is especially good for you. You get to pack them full of vegetables, and avocados should definitely be added to the list.
Hey! And this recipe isn’t a plain salad!
- 3/4lbs shrimp
- 1 can black beans, drained, rinsed
- ¼ cup of scallions, sliced
- 1 avocado, diced
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ½ cup of bottled salsa verde
- 1 tbsp of lime juice
- ¼ cup of cilantro, chopped
- 1 ¼ cups of bell peppers, cut into strips
- 8 tortilla wraps
- Combine the shrimp, avocado, scallions and beans and season with the pepper.
- Stir the salsa, lime juice, and cilantro together in a separate bowl. Add a quarter of it into the shrimp mixture.
- Microwave the wraps two at a time to warm.
- Place the peppers in the centre of the wraps and top with the shrimp mixture. Drizzle a tablespoon of the salsa on top and serve!
You can pop in some other salad if you want, but it’s really no necessary. Serve with wedges of lime and some extra cilantro for a bit of an extra kick.
- 453 calories
- 30g protein
- 13g fat (3g saturates)
- 58g carbohydrates
- 13g fibre
This is one of the better options when it comes to carbohydrate and protein levels. It’s also very easy to make, and you don’t feel like you’re having yet another salad!
It’s Time to Add Avocados to Your Shopping List
If you haven’t already, start buying avocados. You can usually get them in netted bags, similar to tomatoes, oranges, and lemons. This will help to keep the cost down.
Avocados don’t just help you with your weight loss. They keep your overall health in check. Yes, there are fats in them, but these are healthy fats that do your heart some good. You’ll not just fight against heart disease, but you’ll keep your cholesterol and blood pressure levels in check. Those silent killers don’t need to be anything to worry about.
And while you’re doing all that, you’re protecting your body from many of the diseases and ailments that happen with old age. The fibre within the vegetables helps to reduce the inflammatory response and you’ll be able to soak up far more nutrients that you ever could before thanks to the fat. Your bones get all the calcium and phosphorus they need, while your kidneys get the potassium to keep toxins at bay. Your organs get all the oxygenated blood they need, so you look and feel great.
There’s really no excuse for not adding avocados to your meals. Some people complain they are bland in salads, but you can make light dressings that will help to offer a slight bite to your meals. You can also use avocados to make smoothies or replace meat in certain dishes, like bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwich. They’re extremely easy to use, you just have to check the recipes above for proof of that!
Now is your chance to put your overall health first. When you do that, you’ll feel better, and your mental health will remain in check. What’s your excuse for not opting for avocados?