If there was one superfood that could help you lose weight, protect your heart and keep you full, would you include it in your diet? Good news! You probably ordered a side of it with your chips and salsa. Yes, it’s the one-of-a-kind fruit, the avocado. This has certainly been a health trend lately and for good reason. Avocados are one of the most nutritious and versatile foods you can imagine, adding both flavor and a dose of healthy fats to any meal. What makes this fruit so special? A combination of nutrients, soluble fiber and monounsaturated fats make avocados second to none when it comes to a complete health food. They fight stress, help you burn fat and even alleviate depression. They are a wonderful replacement for other fatty foods that can raise bad cholesterol levels, such as red meats and cheeses. You won’t miss that greasy cheeseburger so much when you have a slathering of avocado on your turkey burger.
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Here are some useful facts about the funny-looking, but oh-so-good Avocado…
Excellent Nutritional Profile
This nutrient-dense fruit is unique in its composition, making it an ideal addition to a healthy diet. Avocados offer a good source of vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber, protein and monounsaturated fats. They are great for weight loss due to high levels of B vitamins and potassium. These nutrients help to control stress by giving you more energy and reducing fluid retention. Avocados are an ideal fuel for building lean, toned muscle. Avocados also promote a healthy lifestyle by helping you to reduce your stress levels. The vitamins and healthy fats provide the elements needed to boost stress-reducing hormones, prevent overeating and lower depression.
Source of Quality Protein
Your body loves the protein found in avocados. Meat and dairy are much harder to digest, making the plant-based protein of an avocado, about 3 grams per serving, more readily available to your body than cooked meats. It is so easy to replace the undesirable fat sources in your diet with fresh, delicious avocado. Most people who switch to a plant-based diet who consume one or two avocados per week report that they do not miss animal proteins.
Fat is Good for You
When you think of fruit, you probably think of pure sugar and fiber. But avocados are almost entirely fat. However, the monounsaturated fat in an avocado can actually help you burn excess body fat! A serving of avocado, about 1/4 of one fruit, contains 25 grams of heart healthy fats. The fat is cholesterol-free, and when enjoyed in moderation, can be a wonderful replacement for more harmful fats.
How Avocados Burn Fat
Although avocados contain fat, research suggests that our bodies will burn this type of fat more quickly than saturated fats. Because the fats found in meat and dairy products are denser and harder to burn, they are more likely to be stored for later use. Your metabolism can also be boosted by the monounsaturated fats in avocados. When your metabolism speeds up, the amount of calories that you burn increases, even in between your trips to the gym. Avocados also contain an important amino acid, L-carnitine that helps the body metabolize fat naturally. It can increase energy production in addition to protecting the heart by keeping cholesterol levels in check.
Safe Appetite Suppressant
Yet another way that avocados can help you lose weight is because they help you feel full and stay full longer. The fat and nutrients in avocados signal the brain to stop looking for food because it is getting all it needs. They also contain excellent amounts of dietary fiber, which keeps you full longer and promotes good digestion. Because the fiber is harder for your body to break down than sugar, you’ll be satisfied for longer.
Supports Heart Health
Including avocados in your diet promotes cardiovascular health and reduces the risk of stroke. The plant-based fats contained in this unique fruit reduce cholesterol, stabilize blood pressure and regulate heartbeat. When your heart is pumping blood smoothly, the factors for stroke decrease as well. By reducing cholesterol, arteries remain free-flowing rather than clogged with fats. Avocados will keep your body functioning as a well-oiled machine.
A Beauty Secret
The protein content and levels of healthy fats make avocados one of the most delicious beauty secrets out there. They have been used topically for facial masks at the spa, but consuming them may be even more beneficial as a beauty treatment. People who eat avocados report shinier hair, healthier nails and more beautiful skin. And the benefits don’t stop on the outside. This super fruit can also enhance brain function, improve joint movement and increase your libido. It is easy to see why avocados should be a huge part of your diet. Eat fresh slices on a salad, or spread the creamy fruit on a sandwich instead of cheese or mayonnaise. Add a wedge to your morning smoothie, or make savory guacamole for a happy hour snack.
There is little doubt that your family will love this super fruit, but just in case you need a little inspiration to get you started, I want to share my favorite chocolate pudding recipe with you. After one bite, you will never buy the boxed stuff again – trust me!
* 1 ripe avocado
* 1/2 ripe banana
* 1/4 cup cocoa powder
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1 tsp. vanilla extract
* 6 Tbsp. milk (low-fat dairy, almond, coconut – any type is fine)
- Slice avocado in half lengthwise. Twist open and remove pit. Scoop out fruit, and add to blender with all ingredients.
- Blend until smooth. Serve with berries or, for a decadent dessert, with whipped cream.
If you love the idea of losing weight while enjoying a diet that is high in healthy fats and nutrient-dense foods – just like my Choco-Avocado Pudding – check out Eating for Energy.
You might also want to add some avocados to your grocery list.
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