Avocados

Avocados

Superpower your kids!

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Benefits of Avocados

Avocados are:

  • Packed with healthy good fats for sustained energy.
  • High in fiber for excellent gut health.
  • An ideal low carb option.
  • Maximize nutrient absorption of other foods which allows us to gain more of the health benefits that are otherwise “locked.”
  • Avocados are full of antioxidants that protect the eyes by absorbing harmful light waves and are possibly cancer-fighting.
  • Avocados contain folate. Great for pregnant women (reduce birth defects).
  • Avocados have a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • Avocados have plenty of  fiber – both soluble and insoluble. Fiber is critical to maintaining healthy weight and normal bowel movements.  Soluble fiber helps optimize gut health and feeds your microbiome. Insoluble fiber keeps your bowel movements regular and promotes weight loss. Important note: some fiber supplements may worsen your constipation. Seek the advice of your doctor if you have severe and persistent constipation.
  • Avocados may benefit cholesterol and blood lipid levels. Studies show that eating avocados can decrease the negative lipid markers such as LDL-C and triglycerides and increase the positive lipid marker, HDL. These changes in your lipid test all support a robust and healthy heart.
  • Avocados contain magnesium. Studies indicate that about 50% of the American population are deficient in this mineral, so incorporating avocados into your diet can help ensure that you are getting this nutrient.

Pro tip: Scrape the peel clean to make sure you get all the goodies! Most of the antioxidants are located in the darker green flesh found closest to the peel.

Avocados have more potassium than bananas!

Avocados are packed with almost 20 vitamins and minerals. They are powerhouse SuperHero foods because they promote wellness and prevent chronic disease.

Avocados are unique
fruits that contain MORE fats than carbohydrates. In comparison, most fruits contain mostly carbohydrates. But avocados have very few carbs – only 2 net carbs per serving (⅓ of an avocado) – and a high amount of fat (mostly monounsaturated fats plus small amounts of polyunsaturated and saturated fat).

avocados over bananas
Avocado Oil

Eat something fatty (olive oil, butter, avocados, etc) with your veggies

If you don’t, you will lose many of the beneficial nutrients.
Fat in avocados and avocado oil helps your body absorb fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and antioxidants like carotenoids. Without the assistance of fatty foods like avocados, these vitamins are unavailable – our bodies can’t use them. In other words, avocados and avocado oil significantly increase the absorption of other plant nutrients you are eating (think fertilizer for all the vegetables you eat).

Avocados have more potassium than bananas!

avocados over bananas

Avocados are packed with almost 20 vitamins and minerals. They are powerhouse SuperHero foods because they promote wellness and prevent chronic disease.

Avocados are unique
fruits that contain MORE fats than carbohydrates. In comparison, most fruits contain mostly carbohydrates. But avocados have very few carbs – only 2 net carbs per serving (⅓ of an avocado) – and a high amount of fat (mostly monounsaturated fats plus small amounts of polyunsaturated and saturated fat).

Eat something fatty (olive oil, butter, avocados, etc) with your veggies

Avocado Oil

If you don’t, you will lose many of the beneficial nutrients.
Fat in avocados and avocado oil helps your body absorb fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and antioxidants like carotenoids. Without the assistance of fatty foods like avocados, these vitamins are unavailable – our bodies can’t use them. In other words, avocados and avocado oil significantly increase the absorption of other plant nutrients you are eating (think fertilizer for all the vegetables you eat).

Minerals

*Must come from food, the body can’t make it.

– Regulates the body’s fluid balance
– Supports nervous system health
– Regulates heart and muscle contractions
– Lowers blood pressure
– Protects against strokes
– Prevents kidney stone
– Protects against osteoporosis

– Supports bone and teeth health
– Necessary for muscle contraction and relaxation
– Supports heart health
– Co-factor (has to be present) for many cellular reactions to take place
– Supports healthy blood pressure
– Supports normal blood clotting

– Prevents anemia (deficiency of red blood cells)
– Improves muscle endurance
– Boosts energy
– Boosts immune system
– Improves sleep 
– Reduces bruising
– Supports normal blood clotting

– Boosts immune system
– Speeds up wound healing
– Reduces acne
– Decreases age-related illnesses
– Decreases inflammation
– Part of many enzymes for building protein and genetic material (DNA)
– Critical for normal taste
– Supports fetal development
– Assists in sperm production
– Necessary for normal growth and sexual maturation

– Supports bone and muscle health
– Improves energy
– Aids in tissue and cell repair (found in every cell)
– Necessary for proper nerve conduction
– Normalizes heart beat
– Helps body maintain a healthy pH (acid/base balance), allowing cells to perform optimally

– Supports over 600 reactions in the body
– Helps create energy
– Helps create proteins
– Supports muscle contraction and relaxation
– Helps create and repair DNA and RNA
– Helps regulate nervous system
– Improves exercise performance
– Helps improve mental health
– Helps regulate blood pressure
– Fights inflammation
– May prevent migraines
– Reduces insulin resistance
– May improve some PMS symptoms

– Supports bone health
– Antioxidant
– Reduces inflammation
– Regulates blood sugar
– Decrease seizure activity
– Supports brain health
– Supports thyroid health
– Assists in wound healing

– Assists in production of red blood cells (prevents anemia)
– Regulates blood pressure and heart rate
– Necessary for iron absorption
– Activates immune system
– Supports bone and brain health and maintenance

Vitamins

– Supports vision/eye health
– Boosts immune system
– Protects and revitalizes skin
– Improves fertility
– Critical for fetal development
– Anti-oxidant, cancer fighting

– Anti-oxidant (helps repair damaged cells)
– Anti-cancer

– Promotes healthy blood clotting (K1)
– Contributes to bone health (K2)
– Contributes to heart health (K2)
– Anti-cancer

B1 (Thiamin)
B2 (riboflavin)
B3 (Niacin)
B5 (Pantothenic acid)
B6(Pyridoxine)
B9 (folate, folic acid)
B12 (Cobalamin)

– Supports cellular health
– Increases energy
– Improves eyesight
– Improves cardiovascular health
– Increases muscle tone
– Improves nerve function
– Increases brain function
– Supports fetal development

– Boosts immune system
– Antioxidant (prevent chronic disease)
– Anti Inflammatory (reduces inflammation)
– May decrease blood pressure (relaxes artery walls)
– Helps to lower cholesterol and triglycerides
– May reduce anemia (helps absorption of iron)
– May slow down dementia and protect memory

Fat

(main type of fat)

– Anti-inflammatory
– Supports heart health
– Provides energy

(very small amount)

– Allow bones to better utilize calcium (meaning stronger bones)
– Protects liver
– Support brain and nerve health (the brain is composed more of saturated fat than polyunsaturated fat)
– Boost immune system

(small amount)

-Omega-3 Fatty acids (vegan source)
-Omega-6 Fatty acids

– Reduce mental decline
– Improve infant development (especially DHEA)
– Support heart health

Fiber & Antioxidants

1 cup avocado = 10 grams fiber

– Insoluble (75%)
– Soluble (25%)

*recommended daily fiber
– Children 1-3 years: 19 grams
– Children 4-8 years: 25 grams

– Girls 9-13 years: 26 grams
– Girls 14-19 years: 26 grams

– Boys 9-13 years: 31 grams
– Boys 14-19 years: 38 grams

– Can help with weight control due to reduction in appetite
– Reduces blood sugar spike
– Supports gut health and a healthy microbiome
– Contributes to a feeling of being full
– Regulates bowel movements and reduces constipation
– May reduce the chance of colon cancer
– May lower cholesterol levels

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

– Support eye health and reduces the risk of macular degeneration (leading cause of blindness as we age)
– Support skin health

Protein & Carbohydrates

Vegan source

– Reduces appetite/ can help with weight control
– Increases muscle mass and strength
– Lowers blood pressure
– Supports bone health
– Boosts metabolism
– Helps body repair after injury
– Helps maintain fitness as body ages

-very small amount
-Carbohydrates are important but NOT essential. 

– Provide energy

Avocado slices

How to get your kids to eat avocados

(It’s way easier than you think!)

Avocados are really easy to prepare, and it’s one that will make you feel great since your kids will be eating such quality, nutrition-packed SuperHero foods. 

The simplest way to prepare an avocado is to cut it up and serve with a little salt and pepper or any other seasoning, sauce, or dressing that you like! NO cooking required.

Cut the avocado in half, pit it, and use a knife to make a grid on the inside of a half an avocado (be careful!) Spoon out the little cubes onto a plate or just eat it right out of the peel!

I often share an avocado with my kids. Two or three of them eat a half and I eat the other half. By putting a small amount on their plate, it doesn’t feel overwhelming – this is especially true if avocados are new to your kids.  Remind your kids that avocados are a SuperHero food and when they eat them they can jump higher and higher!

Another great way to eat avocados is in smoothies.  Their taste is really subtle, but it makes your smoothies extra creamy!  Use a simple base like water, coconut water, or coconut milk as the base, then add in a banana, avocado, maybe a handful of spinach, and your kids’ favorite fruit (mango, strawberries, pear, etc.) It’s a really healthy, delicious and incredibly SIMPLE treat!

Avocados are also great in dips. My kids love guacamole. It’s fun to make it together, but if we don’t have time, we will buy fresh guacamole at the store and add another avocado to it.  We dip celery sticks in guac and also use it on our tacos.

Mashing avocados with a banana masher is fun for kids. Plus it’s another great way to eat them.  Spread mashed avocados on almond crackers with a little salt and cucumber for fun mini-sandwiches.  Use this spread instead of mayonnaise.

Avocados are nature’s mayonnaise!

How to buy avocados

When you’re buying avocados, consider when you’ll be eating them. That way you purchase avocados at the correct ripeness.

In my opinion, the perfect avocado is soft to the touch. The peel is usually a bit darker.  But an avocado that is too soft is probably too ripe and likely brown inside.  When you gently push your finger down on the peel of an avocado it should have some give, but you don’t want to be able to push it in too easily.

If you plan to eat the avocado that day or the next, look for one that is soft to the touch. If it is really soft and you won’t eat it until the next day, put it in the refrigerator.

When buying bulk, you will often get harder and greener avocados. Set these out on your counter for around three days (ish) until they are ready to eat. Likely they will all ripen at the same time, so once they are ready, put them in the refrigerator to stop the ripening process.

To sum it up: leave hard avocados out until they are pretty soft to touch and ready to eat. If you can’t eat them right away, move them to the refrigerator to stop ripening.

We eat avocados daily so the avocado shuffle is a regular thing at my house.

Where to buy avocados

Because the part of the avocado we eat is protected by the peel, it isn’t as important to buy organic avocados.

It’s great to buy them in bulk. With some careful, deliberate shopping, you can get a bag of 5 or 6 for around $4, but we know that the price of avocados varies quite a bit in different parts of the world. 

In our area (Ann Arbor, Michigan), Costco and Aldi usually have the best deals, and we have heard similar reports from others in different parts of the US. Look around and compare prices at whichever grocery stores you frequent.

Where to buy avocados

Because the part of the avocado we eat is protected by the peel, it isn’t as important to buy organic avocados.

It’s great to buy them in bulk. With some careful, deliberate shopping, you can get a bag of 5 or 6 for around $4, but we know that the price of avocados varies quite a bit in different parts of the world. 

In our area (Ann Arbor, Michigan), Costco and Aldi usually have the best deals, and we have heard similar reports from others in different parts of the US. Look around and compare prices at whichever grocery stores you frequent.

Things to remember

Click the image to enlarge and learn more about avocados!

Avocados are powerhouse SuperHero foods because they promote wellness and prevent chronic disease.

My Superhero Foods Avocado Friends

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