Why You Should Eat Avocados Every Day (If You Aren't Already!)

It’s no secret that I love to eat. My favorite food of all? Avocados. I’m bananas for them! Avocados are truly one of nature’s little miracle foods and I encourage you to enjoy them several times a week. These little green gems can do so much to help keep you well from head to toe, they’re simply too good to pass up. Here are a few thoughts on why you need to get to know them better — and eat them more often:

1. Relax. Avocados won’t make you fat!

The heyday of food-fat-phobia is over. If you’re still avoiding avocados because of some misguided, left-over-from-the-80’s belief that avocados will make you fat, you’re barking up the wrong tree. You’re also missing out on an excellent source of monounsaturated fat – the good fat also found in olive oil – that helps boost heart health.

What’s more, those good fat and fiber-rich avocados can also help curb hunger. Studies indicate that meals which include avocado tend to increase feelings of satiety for longer than those without, so consider adding a few avocado slices to your daily diet to help tame between-meal munchies.

2. An avocado is a creamy, delicious, nutrient-bomb.

As with many superfoods, it’s what’s inside that counts, and avocados are a nutritional goldmine. What’s inside? In addition to “good” monounsaturated fat, avocados pack plenty of health-boosting nutrients to help your body thrive. Underneath the tough green exterior lies over 14 minerals; protein, complete, with all 18 essential amino acids; soluble fiber, to trap excess cholesterol and send it out of the system; phytosterols; polyphenols; carotenoids; omega 3s; vitamins B-complex, C, E and K, to name a few.

3. They do amazing things for your long-term health.

OK, so avocados are packed with nutrition, but what does it all mean in practical terms? It means a belly that feels fuller longer; a brain that’s being well-supplied with the nutrients needed to function optimally now and down the road; and a body that’s receiving the nutrition it needs to help protect it from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, degenerative eye and brain diseases.

What’s more, all those nutrients, good fats and fiber in avocados can help naturally lower LDL and raise your good HDL cholesterol, help regulate blood sugar and tamp down inflammation throughout the body and brain. With benefits like these, it’s easy to see why it’s called a superfood.

4. Avocados play well with others.

With their distinct fresh green flavor and creamy (dairy-free!) texture, avocados play well with lots of the other foods on your plate. What’s truly remarkable though is that the research indicates that avocados can help with the absorption of carotinoids, the compounds found in orange and red fruits and veggies that can help protect against cancer. So while they may seem a bit indulgent, avocados could turn out to be lifesavers. Here few ways to dig in:

  • Add a quarter of an “avo” to your morning shake – or try my Chocolate Avocado smoothie.
  • Enjoy an avocado half as a nutritious side dish with your morning eggs instead of potatoes or toast.
  • Spread a few avo slices on toasted paleo bread for a quick pre-workout or mid-day snack.
  • Add a half an avo to your lunchtime salad to keep you full till dinner — and hold the mayo!
  • Add as a delicious “mix-in” for quinoa, beans or wild rice.
  • Top hot or cold soups with chunks of avo to add fiber and “super-size” the nutrients in your bowl.
  • Blend with lemon juice, water, vinegar, spices and whip into a nutritious creamy salad dressing or blend in a touch more liquid and drizzle the zesty sauce over chicken and fish dishes.
  • Top burgers, egg dishes, chicken or fish with avo slices, or mash into guacamole.
  • Blend up your own super-nutritious home-made baby food by combining avocado with fruits and veggies to get little ones off to a healthy start.

5. Treat them right and they'll return the favor.

At times it can be tricky to find an avocado that’s ready to eat with tonight’s dinner, so a little advance planning is necessary. True avo aficionados recommend buying a few firm ones at a time and then strategically staggering the ripening process so the avocados are ready when you are – and don’t all turn ripe at the same moment.

To expedite ripening, AvocadoCentral.com suggests sealing one or two avocados at a time into a brown paper bag, along with an apple or banana. Over the course of 2 to 3 days, the brown-bagged fruit will release gasses, which will aid the ripening process. Remove the ripe-and-ready-to-eat avo, replace with a firm unripe one, reseal the bag, and repeat!

Some tips:

  • Buying avocados? The good news is that conventionally grown avos make the Environmental Working Group’s Clean 15 List, meaning they’re relatively free of pesticides, and are OK to eat as an alternative to organic versions.
  • Cut into your avocado before it’s fully ripened? Spritz the exposed fruit with lemon juice, cover or wrap tightly and let it ripen in the fridge for a day or two. If that’s not enough, salvage the fruit, cut into chunks and add to your next smoothie.
  • How you cut and peel your avo matters more than you might think. To do it right, wash the outer skin and pat dry. Cut in half lengthwise. Pop out the seed with a spoon or tap a knife across the top of the seed to slightly imbed it and twist (but be careful not to hit your fingers). Instead of scooping out the fruit, peel skin off gently with your fingers to get the maximum nutritional bang for your buck. Turns out, the dark green fruit closest to the skin is the most nutritious.
  • Need more tips and how-to’s on just about everything avocado? Take a look at AvocadoCentral.com.

Frank Lipman, M.D.

Pioneer in Functional Medicine
For Dr. Frank Lipman, health is more than just the absence of disease: it is a total state of physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social wellbeing. Dr. Lipman is a widely recognized trailblazer and leader in functional and integrative medicine, and he is a New York Times best-selling author of five books, How to Be Well, The New Health Rules, Young and Slim for Life, Revive and Total Renewal.After his initial medical training in his native South Africa, Dr. Lipman spent 18 months working at clinics in the bush. He became familiar with the local traditional healers, called sangomas, which kindled his interest in non-Western healing modalitiesIn 1984, Dr. Lipman immigrated to the United States, where he became the chief medical resident at Lincoln Hospital in Bronx, NY. While there, he became fascinated by the hospital’s addiction clinic, which used acupuncture and Chinese medicine to treat people suffering from heroin and crack addiction. Seeing the way these patients responded so positively to acupuncture made him even more aware of the potential of implementing non-Western medicine to promote holistic wellbeing. As a medical student, he was taught to focus on the disease rather than the patient, and now as a doctor he found himself treating symptoms rather than the root causes of illness. Frustrated by the constraints of his training, and the limitations in helping his patients regain true health, he began a journey of discovery to search for the path to meaningful long-term health and wellness. He began studying nutrition, acupuncture, Chinese medicine, herbal medicine, functional medicine, biofeedback, meditation, and yoga. Dr. Lipman founded the Eleven Eleven Wellness Center in 1992, where he combines the best of Western medicine and cutting edge nutritional science with age-old healing techniques from the East. As his patient chef Seamus Mullen told The New York Times, “If antibiotics are right, he’ll try it. If it’s an anti-inflammatory diet, he’ll do that. He’s looking at the body as a system rather than looking at isolated things.”In addition to his practice, Dr. Lipman is the creator of Be Well, an expanding lifestyle wellness brand he founded in 2010 to help people create, sustain and lead healthier lives. He is also the instructor of the mbg Video Course, 14-Day Detox.
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Frank Lipman, M.D.

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