The avocado was originally found in Central Mexico. Unlike most fruits, the avocado ripens after its picked. There are more than 500 of varieties. It is also known as the alligator pear because of its scaly skin. Avocados are one of nature’s healthiest foods. They aid in weight management because their high fat content leaves you feeling full and satisfied. When you’re full from good fats, you no longer will find yourself getting cravings for junk.
The biggest health benefit of avocados is that by adding it to certain foods, you can improve your absorption of the carotenoid antioxidants; lycopene and beta-carotene. When adding one cup of fresh avocado to a salad, the absorption of these carotenoids increased between 200-400%. Avocados contain 10g of fiber and are low in carbohydrates and sugar, which can help regulate blood sugar levels. They provide anti-cancer benefits of the mouth, skin and prostate gland. Avocados also have great anti-inflammatory benefits and are an ideal food for those who suffer from any type of arthritis or digestive issues. Avocados can also reduce the signs of aging, regulate blood sugar and improve eye health.
An avocado contains vitamins A, C, E, K and B6 and potassium. One avocado has approximately 320 calories of which 85% of its calories come from monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood and lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. Monounsaturated fats are high in vitamin E and are easily burned for energy.
So how can you incorporate them in your diet besides eating guacamole all the time? Try them in your salad, on your sandwich, as a garnish in soup, chili or Mexican dishes. You can even put them in your smoothies or believe it or not, make pudding. (recipe below) Experiment with them and leave a comment below to let me know how you used them in your recipes.
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1/4 cup of organic, raw cacao powder (you can also use Hershey’s special dark)
- 1/4 cup organic, raw agave nectar (you can also use raw honey)
- 1/4 cup coconut or almond milk (or any nut milk of your choice)
Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until completely smooth. Depending on the size of the avocado, you may need to add a little more milk for a smoother consistency (If you notice my picture, I probably could’ve done that with this batch.) You can also add a bit of vanilla, mint, orange or strawberry extract if you like. You can eat it right then and there, but I like it best cold, so I refrigerate mine at least an hour.
Note: as with all my recipes, please adjust according to your taste buds. You may like one type of milk over another, or more or less sweetener. I give you guidelines but feel free to experiment. I try to offer a variety of gluten free, dairy free, raw options. You can always adjust according to your taste buds.