More Than Just Tasty - The Many Health Benefits of Avocados


By Shannon Keirnan

One of the many benefits of switching to living the Natural Life is how it entirely changes your taste for certain foods.

When I gave up processed foods and limited my gluten, I began to realize I wasn't craving my usual sugary or salty snacks. Better yet, healthy foods I had previously not enjoyed now tasted much better. In fact, that was usually more what I was in the mood for when the urge to nibble struck...

In particular, avocados became my new rage.

I never liked avocados (except maybe mixed into Lindsey's Avocado Spread), and that seemed like a superfood tragedy. Recently, in hopes that I could just choke some down for health benefits, I tasted one again. I was amazed by how much I liked it.

Well, "liking" avocados now is putting it mildly. I went on an avocado rampage. I chopped those babies up and put them in everything. I mixed them into pulled pork and mashed potatoes, I cut them up and threw them in salads, added them to any taco I might eat, or just wrapped up an avocado as the "meat" in a tortilla. If all else failed, I just drizzled a little olive oil and some salt and pepper over a sliced avocado and went the bare bones route for dinner.

I'm glad I can finally destroy these things as they deserve to be destroyed, because adding avocados to your diet has a huge range of health benefits.

- Avocados are a "healthy fat." Don't be continually fooled into thinking fats are bad. Your body needs fat to run and survive, and the monounsaturated fats in avocados can reduce the bad cholesterol in your blood, which lowers risk of stroke and heart disease.

- They're high in protein too. An avocado contains around 4 grams, so, especially if you're meat-free, they're a great option to fill up on.

- Avocados are rich in potassium, vitamin K, vitamin B9, vitamin B6, vitamin B5, vitamin C and vitamin E (which some might know as the "beautiful skin" vitamin). The potassium levels can help balance the sodium levels in your body.

- Avocados contain around 11 grams of fiber, which is nearly half the recommended daily amount.

- They're good for your figure. A study on avocado consumption in US adults found that people who eat avocados regularly were more likely to have a lower body weight, BMI, and waist circumference.

- Avocados are also rich in phytochemicals, which help prevent the development of certain cancers.

- Eating avocados along with other nutrient-rich foods can increase your absorption of antioxidants - specifically lycopene and beta-carotene.

- Avocados have anti-inflammatory properties, and can soothe the body.

So, thank goodness, that I can fully appreciate the many health benefits of the avocado. Hopefully you do too - feel free to leave your favorite way to prepare avocados in the comments and pass on the love!

Now, if I could only get myself to like tomatoes...

(P.S. If you're wondering how to make the avocado tacos pictured above, they're just my Shrimp Taco recipe made meat free, with an extra pinch of sea salt!)