April 26, 2019

Superfood of the month: Avocado

By Tom Jorgenson

The superfood for May is avocados! Avocados seem to be growing in popularity in the food and nutrition world. Do wonder what all the excitement is about?

Avocados contain 20 vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients making them nutrient dense. This superfood is a high fat food with over half of its fat content coming from monounsaturated fat. When making food choices, we sometimes hesitant to eat foods higher in fat and calories. However, fat can be a great nutrient to fuel our body when we get it from sources high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. A benefit of the high fat and fiber content in avocados is that fat helps us feel satisfied or full after eating. Additionally, fat aids in absorption of fat soluble vitamins - A, D, E, and K.

Avocados are a great food to pair with other low calories, low fat items. For example, if you’re having a meal with spinach, try adding avocado to aid the body in absorbing the vitamins A, E, and K from the spinach. You’ll likely be happily satisfied after this filling meal.   

Here are 5 fun facts about avocados:

1) They are a fruit, not a vegetable!
Yes, avocado is a fruit and is climacteric, meaning it matures on the tree but ripens off of the tree.

2) They upgrade your dips & spreads!
An avocado serving size is 50 calories, which works out to be 3 thin slices or 2 tablespoons mashed. There are fewer calories than the same amount of butter, mayonnaise, sour cream, peanut butter, almond butter, olive oil, and coconut oil — PLUS avocado has over 20 vitamins and minerals to upgrade your natural diet! Use avocado as a substitute today!

3) Avocados have more potassium than bananas.
In fact, the levels are almost double-a single avocado contains 975 milligrams of potassium, compared to 487 milligrams in a banana. Try throwing some avocado in your next smoothie!

4) There is a secret way to ripen them faster.
Place an avocado in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana. These fruits help release ethlyene gas, a natural plant hormone that aids in ripening fruit.

5) They make a great substitute for butter when baking.
Many vegan bakers use avocado to add moistness to cupcakes, breads, and other baked goods in place of butter. Try swapping it out in your next homemade recipe!

Tags: Avocado, Blog, Dietitian, Eat Well, Food, Nutrition, Uncategorized

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