Avocados are incredibly delicious, versatile and nutrient dense.
They are rich in potassium (higher than bananas)
High in Vitamin K- (allows your blood to clot normally, and helps to protect your bones)
Fairly high in the B-Complex Vitamins,
Contains Vitamin A, C, E, and,
Are rich in magnesium, iron, calcium and other trace minerals
Fat! Good fat!
Avocados are extremely rich in fat- (Roughly 20-25 grams per fruit). This is the good fat, folks. It is pure, raw, plant-based, nutrient dense, fat. It is mainly composed of Monounsaturated fat (MUFA), and tied for second at its levels of Polyunsaturated, and Saturated fat. The body needs some fat to function. Growing children especially need fat. However, there is a difference between the fat we find in an avocado, and the fat we find in a cookie. Even if one were to compare a low-fat cookie, to an avocado, the plant-based fat in the avocado, will be more readily digested and assimilated by the body than the cookie.
Calories and fat aren’t the focus here. Do you remember that twenty-page, research-paper you B.S.’d, and got a C+ on? Yet, that two page, well thought out, answer to an essay question, awarded you an A…
It is all about content, content, content. (Or in the case of your avocado, and cookie, ingredients, ingredients, ingredients).
I recently received this excellent question concerning avocados:
“I eat half an avocado a day or more. I wake up craving them…I crave them after I eat them. My body wants avocado! Though I like guacamole, I’m mostly just talking, any form of solid avocado… avocado roll, or on a salad, whatever…I’m not picky! Tell me…is this really bad for me? I know they are good fat but is there a reason my body could be craving them? Could eating them daily be hurting me?” -- Melissa
Great question! And one that would require a better understanding of what other types of fat you eat, and your exercise regimen/activity level.
Fat performs many life-supporting functions in every cell of the body. It is required to transport nutrients (specifically the fat soluble vitamins A,D,E, and K). It is also important in the absorption of calcium, ensuring the optimal function of the nervous system, and the manufacture of sex hormones. Additionally, it acts a source of fuel for the body, and a protective blanket for our vital organs, shielding them from trauma, and cold temperatures.
Over the years however, we have confused our body’s yearning for nutrient dense fat, and have responded by consuming processed, or cooked fats, whether it be a burger, fried food, cookies, or chips, etc.
So… Why do we crave avocado?
Questions for the Avocado Craver:
1. What type of diet do you enjoy? Are you a vegetarian, or vegan, that does not receive a lot of fat from animal sources, fish, dairy, eggs, fried, or processed foods? If we are not living the mainstream American diet, our bodies are going to look for a source of fat that meets its needs. Do not get me wrong, our body does NOT want mainstream America’s main sources of fat. However, we are often too prone to reaching for the fat in a granola bar, than we are to actually listening to what our body really wants, and needs.
The best sources of fat we can nourish our bodies with, come from our plants—nuts, seeds, avocados, young thai coconuts, and first-cold pressed oils (like flax and olive).
* For a vegetarian, or vegan, that does not consume a lot of fat, the oils in avocado can be an ideal source of nourishment.
2. What is your “external” body temperature? Do you find that you are cold during the cooler months, or frequently chilly? The body tends to crave “fatty” and denser foods when we are cold. Fat helps to regulate body temperature.
3. What is your workout regimen, and/or, activity level? Rigorous exercise places stress (good and bad) on the body, and increases the body’s demand for water and nutrients. Sweating causes a loss of nutrients, particularly the B vitamins, potassium and magnesium—all of which the avocado is rich in. Exercise also burns fat, and the body looks to replenish these losses. The avocado is, not only rich in vitamins, minerals and fat, but also protein (around 3-5 grams of digestible plant protein) and carbohydrates, making it, in my opinion, an awesome, pre, or post, workout meal.
4. Fat and emotions. We cannot overlook the role that our emotions hold in this evaluation, regardless of whether or not our body needs fat, in any given day. From our infancy, we are nourished and nurtured with mother’s milk, or infant formula. This “milk” is rich in fat. It is not uncommon, then, that we are psychologically prone to correlate something fatty with the need for comfort, during the stresses of everyday life.
5. Oh. And who doesn’t like the rich, satisfying creamy texture of the avocado? It is versatile, and delicious. Don’t underestimate the versatility of the avocado.
So, to answer your question, I do not think it is unhealthy to be enjoying a whole avocado daily, but I do think that it is important that it is combined correctly, to ensure that the nutrients are being adequately digest, absorbed and assimilated. :)
What is your take on avocados? What is your favorite avocado recipe?