By Shannon Morehouse MA, CHHC
Avocados are high in oleic acid (also known as Omega-9), a mono-unsaturated fat that research indicates may help prevent heart disease and even cancer! As if that isn’t enough good news, avocados can actually help increase the absorption of nutrients from other vegetables! This is a concept known as nutrient fusion. For instance, a salad with lettuce, carrots, some spinach, and salsa is rich in carotenoids such as beta carotene, which are extremely health-promoting. Add an avocado in your salad, and you automatically increase your body’s ability to absorb those nutrients! Why? Because these carotenoids are lipophilic (which means they are soluble in fat, not water); if you eat them along with a healthy fat, like avocados, you enhance their bioavailability!
A 2005 study published in the Journal of Nutrition proves this point. Adding avocado to a salad increased absorption of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lutein 7.2, 15.3, and 5.1 times higher, respectively, than the average amount of these carotenoids absorbed when an avocado-free salad was eaten. Amazing, isn’t it!?
If you are not a big fan of the avocado texture, try avocado in other forms. Avocado oil is great to use in cooking. If you haven’t the time to cook, try some healthy snacks made with avocado oil. All of the following are available at Natur-Tyme. I love good health’s Avocado Oil kettle chips! And when I watch a movie at home, it is usually with a bowl of Lesser Evil’s Buddha Bowl Avocado Oil popcorn. Sandwiches are so delicious with a thin spread of Chosen Foods’ Avocado Oil Mayo.
If you are a dessert lover like me, you must try Avocadough cookies. You would never guess that avocado was hiding in these treats! Made locally in Central New York, the cookies are amazing. They are all-natural with a mixture of whole grains, sugar (or cane juice), egg, butter (or healthy oil)…and avocado, of course. In the mood for Oatmeal Raisin, try “Raisin the Bar.” Looking for a chocolate fix, try “Peanut Butter Me Up” or “Choc it Up.”
How will you incorporate avocados into your diet?