Avocados are in a class by themselves when it comes to nutrition and it’s easy to see why as they offer a powerhouse of benefits as well as lending a rich, creamy, buttery flavor and texture to numerous recipes in which they are used. They can be incorporated into everything from salads to soups to smoothies, raw puddings and even face creams and hair conditioning. What makes this pear-shaped berry such a priceless fruit?
Avocados offer a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals. They contain high levels of potassium, which help support healthy blood pressure levels in reducing heart attack and stroke. One avocado offers more than twice the potassium of a banana.
They contain almost all of the amino acids and have a high amino acid score which indicates they are an excellent high-quality protein source. Proteins assist in building and preserving body muscle, tissue and bone, carrying vitamins and other nutrients from organs into the cells.
High in antioxidants, avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit. Lutein is incredibly important for eye health. This nutrient is linked to a drastically reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, two disabling age-related eye diseases.
Avocados are very high in omega 3 fatty acids, the “good” kind of fat, a monounsaturated fat, which helps to significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels as well as reduce blood triglycerides.
Loaded with fiber, they have the highest fiber content of any fruit. Fiber adds bulk which helps to feel full longer, contributing to weight loss and reduced blood sugar spikes. It also aids in excreting waste and cholesterol from the body more quickly. One avocado contains 40 percent of the daily value of fiber needed for optimum health.
Avocados make a wonderful first solid food for baby due to their smooth, velvety texture and “good” fat and high nutrient content, beneficial for the brain and physical development. Use alone or mash with a banana, pear or peach to provide a perfect food.
Avocados nourish and moisturize the skin when mashed and combined with honey for a mask, adding moisture and glow. Massage mashed avocado and coconut oil into hair for moisture, luster and shine.
Most often reveled in guacamole dip, these culinary wonders offer many more possibilities. They are the final word in sandwiches and wraps as well as salads and dressings. Enjoy on toast, baked potatoes with fresh salsa, steamed vegetables, soups, in bean, grain, pasta and vegetable dishes, hummus and smoothies. They are delectable in raw puddings.
|Raw Carob Avocado Mousse Pudding|
|2 large ripe avocados||½ cup coconut milk or milk of choice|
|10–12 medjool dates or 2 Tbsp. honey||pinch sea salt|
|1/4 cup raw carob powder, or to taste|
|Cut, peel and de-stone avocado; pit dates. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Pour into small serving dishes. Enjoy right away or refrigerate.|