We love the health benefits of avocados. Avocados are one of the healthiest choices you can make on your plate. They offer a great alternative to slathering mayo on your sandwich and wraps, and with a velvety texture and delicious flavor, you’re going to be hooked on all of the versatile possibilities of this rich and hearty fruit.
Enjoy clean eating with low pesticide exposure.
The Clean Fifteen, EWG’s guide to produce shopping, lists 15 fruits and vegetables that you can feel confident about eating whether they are conventionally grown or not.
Avocados top the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Clean Fifteen list because they had relatively few detectable pesticides, and the pesticides that were detected were at a lower concentration than the average of produce they tested (1).
This is, in part, due to their thick skin — nature’s armor that helps protect the fruit from insects naturally. A concoction of pesticides are simple unnecessary, and the pesticides that are used don’t absorb through the fruit’s thick skin. So enjoy conventionally grown avocados without the worry!
Why avocado is so healthy
Good fats – Avocados are about 20 times fattier than your average fruit. But don’t get nervous, these are heart-healthy, mono-unsaturated fats — especially when used to replace trans-fat or saturated fat in the diet (2). Avocados pack a plethora of nutritional value, but as when anything, enjoy in moderation, as a part of a diet that includes a wide variety of fresh, colorful food.
According to the American Heart Association, monounsaturated fats can help reduce bad cholesterol in your blood — which is a great way to help prevent heart disease and stroke (3).
Omega-3 fatty acids – You’ve probably heard about the great benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in regards to helping reduce inflammation. Since inflammation is a core problem in many autoimmune diseases such as arthritis and even allergies, omega-3 fatty acids are a must-have in your diet (4).
A great source of vitamin E – Avocados are also high in Vitamin E — most Americans need more of this antioxidant (3). Vitamin E is most known for its effects on skin health but it is has a vital function for many organs in the body, in addition to being an antioxidant that fights free radicals(5). It is recommended that your vitamin E is obtained through diet, as supplements can potentially hold their own risks and largely depend on how trustworthy they are manufactured — avocados make the perfect delivery for this important vitamin.
A great source for B5 – Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5), which is a very important nutrient for brain health and is one of the most important of the B vitamins, comes in at a whopping 42% daily recommended intake in one cup of cubed, raw avocado (5).
Choosing the best avocado and enjoying it
When you’re choosing your avocado at the store, look for firm skin with some green still on it. You’ll have a few days more to enjoy it as it fully ripens on your counter.
4 great ways to eat avocados:
- As a simple guacamole dip
- Sliced over this delicious tortilla soup
- Spread or thinly sliced on your favorite sandwich
- Use in this mouth-watering brownie recipe instead of saturated fat
Growing an avocado plant
Interested in learning to grow your own avocado plant? An avocado plant can take anywhere from 3 to 15 years to product the first avocado fruit. You’re more likely to have avocado growth success sooner if you plant a few trees together to encourage pollination.
If you’d like to learn more about sprouting and growing your own avocado tree, check out this interesting article with a great tutorial at inhabitat.com.
The avocado really is a nutritional gem. Because it is a clean food with so many benefits, avocados can be enjoyed regularly — in addition to other healthy fruits and veggies.
When it comes to clean eating, it’s not only about how healthy the food is, we believe it’s also about how the food was grown and what methods were used to get that food from seed to harvest.
Next week’s blog: We delve into the recent controversy with glyphosate, a nonselective herbicide.
- Environmental Working Group. Executive Summary. EWG. [Online] 2015. [Cited: May 26, 2015.]
- The George Mateljan Foundation. Avocados. [Online] 2015. [Cited: May 26, 2015.]
- American Heart Association. Monounsaturated fats. American Heart Association. [Online] August 5, 2014. [Cited: May 26, 2015.]
- Maryland Medical Center. Omega-3 fatty acids. The University of Maryland Medical Center. [Online] 2015. [Cited: May 31, 2015.]
5. The George Mateljan Foundation. Pantothenic Acid. The World’s Healthiest Foods. [Online] 2015. [Cited: May 31, 2015.]