Fruits and vegetables can play a powerful role in fueling a happy, healthy and active lifestyle. Even more impressive, researchers continue to uncover benefits to eating these plant foods on the regular – and one of these foods is the beloved avocado.
An Avocado A Day – New Research
In the most extensive clinical trial of its kind, called the Habitual Diet and Avocado Trial, researchers at four clinical centers looked at the impact of consuming one fresh avocado a day for six months on weight-related measures, markers of cardiometabolic risk, and diet quality. The study examined the value of forming a habit of eating one fresh avocado a day, versus not, amongst 1,008 free-living adults who had elevated waist circumference.
Here’s what they found:
- Despite the additional calories, daily avocado consumption did not impact visceral fat, body weight and fat in the liver (a vital organ that helps metabolize nutrients), compared to the control group who didn’t consume avocado.
- Making a habit of eating fresh avocado daily led to modest reductions in total and LDL cholesterol, and improved diet quality compared to the control group.
The Avocado Nutrition Center supported this study, and although the findings from one study cannot be generalized to larger populations, this study supports a growing body of evidence that suggests consuming heart-healthy avocados is associated with better diet quality and provides another reason to make fresh avocado part of your daily routine.
Putting Science Into Practice With Easy “No Recipe” Recipes
There are so many ways to enjoy avocados in your every day. Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy fresh avocado that will get you on the pathway to a new healthy habit.
Guacamole In A Flash
Who doesn’t love a good guac? Fresh avocado can be easily mashed and mixed with other kitchen staples like red onion, cilantro, salt and lime to make a tasty guacamole in just 5 minutes. Pair with sliced veggies for an afternoon snack.
Quick tip: To store guacamole, place in an air-tight container and press plastic wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole before covering the container.
Grab & Go Smoothies
Frozen, ripe avocados cut in slices are a great staple to have in the freezer. You can toss them in the blender with your favorite fruits and veggies for a delicious smoothie you can take on the go. The best part? Frozen avocado adds extra creaminess to your smoothie. Check out these quick and easy recipes.
Quick tip: Learn how to freeze avocados with this step-by-step guide.
Bell Pepper Stacks
There are other uses for avocado that go beyond guacamole, too. For a simple snack, cut a bell pepper in half, remove the seeds, add some cream cheese spread, smashed avocado (or leftover guacamole), sliced cucumber, salt and pepper.
Quick tip: To speed up the ripening process of avocados, place unripe avocados in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana for 2-3 days until they are ripe.
Avocado Egg Salad
Avocado Egg Salad is a quick and easy lunch idea. Plus, the good fats and fiber in the avocado and protein from the eggs are a satisfying combo. Add some avocados, hard-boiled eggs, salt, pepper, and onion powder together in a bowl and mash.
Quick tip: This is a great recipe to include kids on. They can easily use the potato masher to mash the avocado and eggs!
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
Did you know that you can even use fresh avocado in desserts, like chocolate pudding, to add creaminess and help get in some good fats and fiber? Add avocado, cocoa powder, brown sugar, milk of your choice, vanilla extract, and some cinnamon to a blender and mix together for a yummy treat!
Quick tip: Avocado’s smooth and naturally creamy texture makes it a perfect ingredient for frozen desserts without dairy, if you’re looking for this option.
Avocado pesto can be used as a dip, sauce on pasta, spread on sandwiches and more. Add some avocados, basil leaves, walnuts, garlic cloves, olive oil, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to a food processor and blend well.
Quick tip: Make a batch at the start of your week and use for quick, easy meals.
Avocados can be used as a vessel to hold delicious ingredients that can be customizable for everyone in the family. Slice an avocado in half, remove the pit and scoop a little bit of the flesh out to make room for the filling. Then fill the avocado with your favorite filling option. Some of my favorites include chicken salad, black beans and pico de gallo, or a BLT-inspired mixture.
Quick tip: Always remove the avocado pit with a spoon.
The Bottom Line
Start working towards a new habit today by reaching for a fresh avocado. Start small by trying one of these quick recipes featuring avocados and eventually try them all!
Fresh Avocados – Love One Today®
Love One Today is a leading source of the healthiest reasons and tastiest ways to enjoy fresh avocados. Backed by science, Love One Today, and Saborea Uno Hoy®, designed for Hispanic audiences, are educational resources that are constantly current and culturally relevant to be useful to you and your clients and patients, if you’re a health professional. Learn more.