Avocado: a Superfood

by Lauren on January 25, 2012

I just finished reading a book for my course called “How to Give Nutritional Advice Legally” by David W. Rowland, PhD.

One of the topics he discusses is the difference between a nutritionist and a doctor. Other than the obvious differences, nutritionists are never to refer to their clients as “patients,” they’re not to diagnose their clients or “pin a label” onto them as a result of their symptoms.

What nutritionists can do is evaluate their clients’ nutritional weaknesses, and help them build & maintain overall well-being through diet & supplement recommendations. A nutritionist is also an educator, teaching their clients why certain foods are healthy & how to incorporate them into their diet by providing meal plans & recipes. Nutritionists provide the necessary support & knowledge their clients need to help them achieve their personal health & wellness goals, and live a healthy lifestyle.

I’m not a nutritionist yet, but I have been learning a lot about different foods and why they’re healthy. One that is close to my heart these days is avocado. It’s become a staple in my diet because it’s so readily available in Colombia (they sell it on the street here!). So, I’ll fulfill one of my nutritionist duties and educate you on this awesome super food.

In no particular order, here’s a list of why you should incorporate avocado into your diet:

-They taste great: they have a creamy texture, and unique flavour
-Versatile: can be used as a spread for hamburgers, fajitas & sandwiches, a great accompaniment to eggs & salmon, a yummy topping for chili, stew & tomato-based pastas, an ingredient in smoothies, salads & desserts, and when seasoned with a bit of salt and pepper; a simple side-dish for any meal of the day!
-Easy to prepare (best eaten raw – no cooking required)
-Because of their thick skin it’s not necessary to buy them organic
-They’re available year-round
-Inexpensive (bag of 5 is about $4)

Really good for you because they are a great source of:
-Monounsaturated fat: a healthy fat that helps lower bad LDL cholesterol
-Potassium: a mineral & electrolyte that is good for your heart, maintains body fluids and regulates kidney function (one of your body’s main filters)
-Magnesium: an essential mineral that helps with energy production, fat & protein synthesis, and muscle relaxation (a calcium-magnesium supplement before bed can help you sleep!)
-B vitamins, specifically B5: an anti-stress vitamin that is involved in the metabolism of carbs, fats & proteins
Folic acid: a B vitamin that plays a major role in cell division (good for when you’re pregnant!), healthy brain function, and metabolism of protein
Vitamin C: an antioxidant that helps support your immune system, and is vital for the health of most body functions
-Beta-carotene or Vitamin A: necessary for the health of your eyes, hair, skin & teeth (a healthy liver converts beta-carotene into Vitamin A)
-Vitamin E: a powerful antioxidant that is difficult to get from food sources. It’s necessary for the production of male & female sex hormones, helps the body better absorb Vitamin A & B12, and contributes to healthy skin & hair
-A good source of protein for a veggie

Now that you’re educated on why avocado is so good for you; try incorporating some into your next meal!

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