Move Over, Blueberries – There’s a New Super Fruit in Town

Avocados may seem to have taken over recently as the newest superfood fad. They will not, however, be fading from the nutrition list any time soon, so now's the time to familiarize yourself with them and reap the many benefits they have to offer.

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July 22, 2015
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Do you ever get tired of seeing the superfood lists that keep popping up on your social media newsfeed or on news websites? I admit that I am sometimes tempted to hide those posts because they seem to show the same foods over and over.

Take avocados for example. Those green nubby things are on almost every superfood list I see.

For a long time, I hated (or thought I hated) avocados. So when I saw them on a superfood list, I rolled my eyes with a silent, “Yuck,” to myself. Fortunately, I matured and decided it might be a good idea to actually finally try them and see what the fuss was all about. To my surprise, they were actually pretty good. I liked them in guacamole, on salads, and in smoothies, but not in brownies. That one was just a little too far out there for me.

But do they really deserve to be on almost every single superfood list? After all, other superfoods are good too. Like almonds, chia seeds, and blueberries.

Turns out, avocados really might be the new “super” superfood. They are more than just a green food to mush up and serve with Mexican food. They are actually extremely healthy for you, good for weight loss, and versatile to boot.

In doing some research, I found out that avocados are actually a berry and not a vegetable as you might assume. I would understand if you thought they were a vegetable because they are green. Not that it matters in terms of nutrition, but it is always good to have your facts straight.

Nutritional Superstar

When I was losing weight, I learned that eating foods packed with healthy nutrients made me feel better and were good for my weight loss. Avocados certainly fit that category. The World’s Best Foods website says, “There are very few Daily Recommended Intake (DRI) vitamins or minerals not found in avocados.”

Of particular interest to me as someone interested in weight loss is the low sugar and high fiber makeup of these healthy fruits. Half an avocado has almost 6 g of fiber and less than a gram of sugar. As someone who loves sugary foods, eating something with low sugar helps me control my cravings for brownies or other junky foods.

The nutrients in avocados help control your blood sugar and the fats have been shown to be beneficial for your heart’s health. When you eat avocados with lower fat, yet healthy foods such as salads, your body is better able to absorb important carotenoids. Carotenoids, in case you didn’t know, are plant pigments your body uses for immune function and disease prevention.

I know it is complicated, but it does help you see why avocados surely belong on the list of “super” superfoods.

The Calories and Fats Work for You

Calories are a concern when trying to lose weight.

The avocado has calories just like any other food, but the calories can work for weight loss.

·      A whole avocado without the seed has 322 calories and 29.5 g of fat.

·      A single cup of avocado slices has 234 calories and 21.4 g of fat.

·      Avocados have 13.5 g of fiber in a whole avocado and 9.8 g in a cup of slices.

If you are like me, you probably will not eat an entire avocado. Half an avocado has about 161 calories, which is a fraction of your overall calories for the day. The fat in the avocado is mostly healthy monounsaturated fat, which helps keep you full.  It’s a win-win all around.  

Thinking Beyond Guacamole

Guacamole is the most obvious use for avocados, but there are numerous options beyond guacamole. We like them in fruit smoothies, on a green salad, in homemade salad dressings, and as a way to add creaminess to soups. I tried grilling them once but that did not work out very well. I probably did something wrong that you wouldn’t do.

Avocados really do belong on the superfoods list. I promise not to roll my eyes the next time I see this familiar food on the inevitable superfoods posts that will surely scroll across my news feed today or tomorrow.

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