Plenty of foods have earned the honored title of “superfood,” but there’s arguably none more deserving than the avocado. Containing more potassium than a banana, more folate than peas, and more vitamin B6 than spinach, this petite green fruit packs a powerful punch in the nutrition department. Avocados are loaded with vitamins, nutrients and healthy fats, and just one medium-sized avocado contains 10 grams of fiber – a whopping 40 percent of your daily recommended intake.
Because of their impressive fiber content, avocados make a great addition to any colon-healthy diet. Research has shown that a low-fat, high-fiber diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains is linked with a decreased risk of colon cancer. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, for every 10 grams of fiber consumed daily, the risk of colorectal cancer reduces by 10 percent.
Some research suggests that avocados may also contain powerful cancer-fighting ingredients. The outermost flesh of the avocado contains carotenoids, fat-soluble pigments that produce a wealth of health benefits. According to the California Avocado Commission, peeling your avocado the right way will preserve the most beneficial part of the avocado flesh.
"California-grown avocados contain 11 carotenoids. According to USDA's Agricultural Research Service, avocados contain a complex package of phytonutrients, including carotenoids that may provide numerous health benefits.
Carotenoids appear to protect humans against certain cancers, heart disease and age-related macular degeneration. The UCLA research showed that in California avocados, the greatest concentration of beneficial carotenoids is in the dark green fruit of the avocado closest to the peel."
To prepare your avocado:
- Cut it lengthwise around the pit
- Twist the halves of the avocado apart
- Embed a knife into the avocado pit and twist gently until the pit becomes dislodged
- Cut each avocado half lengthwise to create quarters
- Use your fingers to peel the skin off each slice
Whether you enjoy your avocado on salads, in sandwiches, in guacamole, or just on its own, you’re sure to enjoy a range of health benefits from eating this unique fruit. Its versatility and mild flavor makes it the perfect addition to any dish, and its nutrition content makes it a no-brainer for a healthy diet. Give it a try, and you just might find yourself saying, “An avocado a day keeps the doctor away.”