Are avocados good for you?
People go crazy for lawyers. Blame it on the creaminess they add to dishes, the way they serve healthy fats, or just a good marketing campaign, but demand continues to soar for these green berries. In fact, avocado consumption tripled from 2001 to 2018, according to the USDA Economic Research Service.
That’s not a bad thing, considering avocados are the real deal when it comes to packing essential runner nutrients like potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and more.
But if you’re not sure what the hype is — or if you eat them but aren’t sure about avocado nutrition — we spoke with a dietitian and sorted the research for you. bring all the health benefits. Plus, how you can add this fruit to your diet.
What Nutrients Will You Get From Avocados?
The nutritional value of avocados will vary slightly depending on variation and size. Here’s the nutritional information for a whole, U.S.-grown avocado, according to the USDA.
- 322 calories
- 4g of protein
- 30g total fat
- 17g of carbohydrates
- 14g of fiber
- 24mg Calcium
- 58mg magnesium
- 105mg of phosphorus
- 975mg potassium
- 14mg sodium
- 20mg vitamin C
Plus, traces of other nutrients your body will need to replenish after a workout like iron, sodium, and zinc.
What are the health benefits of eating avocados?
Here’s how runners can benefit from eating avocados, according to Yasi AnsariMS, RDN, CSSD, National Media Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, plus recent research.
1. You get a great source of energy
Ansari says avocados are great for runners because they can help fuel your workouts. “Foods that contain fat, like avocado, provide an excellent source of energy. Fat can also help fuel long-duration, low-to-moderate intensity exercise. avocado in a runner’s diet to help meet their increased energy needs and promote good health and recovery,” she says.
2. They can help you maintain a healthy gut
Ansari says avocados can help improve your gut health because they contain nearly 14 grams of fiber, a nutrient that helps with gastrointestinal regularity, as well as keeping you full after meals. “Foods that increase satiety can help athletes feel fuller and more satisfied for longer periods of time,” she says. Plus, adding avocados to your diet can help you meet your daily fiber needs. 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.
But remember that too much fiber can cause discomfort in some people, especially when eaten too close to a run. Try eating avocados on workout days to gauge your body’s reaction, as everyone will react differently. And if you’re eating avocados before a run, Ansari suggests allowing plenty of time for digestion. Depending on how your body reacts, this may mean having them the day before you start, eating them a few hours before, or waiting to enjoy them as a post-race meal or snack.
3. They offer much-needed magnesium
Avocados are high in magnesium, which is an important mineral for runners because it helps regulate muscle and nerve function. “Not consuming enough magnesium can impair exercise performance and may increase the effects of oxidative stress from intense training,” Ansari says.
4. Avocados are an excellent source of potassium
Surprisingly, there is more potassium in an avocado than in a banana. Potassium is an essential nutrient that your body needs to perform important bodily functions, like regulating heart rate and blood pressure and keeping you hydrated, Ansari says. “Potassium, sodium and chloride also work together to help regulate fluid balance. An athlete with a higher sweat rate may need more potassium and sodium from food,” she says. avocado also offers sodium, so you get both electrolytes.
5. They contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties
Avocados contain nutrients like phytosterols, vitamin C, and vitamin E, which offer antioxidants that fight free radicals, helping you ward off disease and fight inflammation. “Vitamins C and E from food can help reduce cell damage, inflammation and increase overall antioxidant activity which provides health protective properties,” says Ansari.
6. They can help your body absorb vitamins
When mixed with other ingredients, such as kale salad with carrots, mushrooms, tomatoes, and seeds, avocados may also help your body increase the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin A. , D, E, K, said Ansari.
7. You Get Heart-Healthy Fats That Help Regulate Cholesterol
Avocados are a heart-healthy fat — mostly high in monounsaturated fatty acids — that can add flavor to any meal and snack, Ansari says. According to the American Heart Associationmonounsaturated fats may help lower bad cholesterol levels in the blood, which may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Are there any downsides to eating avocados?
As with any food, it is possible to overdo it with avocados. You probably don’t want to eat several of these every day. They’re also higher in calories and fat, so consider your goals when determining how much of each you need and how much you want from avocados alone. And be sure to switch up your sources of healthy fats and fiber too, by incorporating other ingredients like olive oil and a mix of fruits and vegetables into your diet.
Also, keep in mind that avocados are higher in FODMAPs, according to the Cleveland Clinic. These types of carbs can cause digestive discomfort in some people, so it’s worth keeping your intake low if you’re aiming to follow a low-FODMAP diet.
What’s the healthiest way to add avocados to your diet?
Bottom line, everyone can benefit from adding this fruit to their diet, especially runners. And adding more avocados to your diet is quite simple. Try these tips from Ansari to start incorporating more creamy fruit into your meals:
- Add it to a smoothie to give it a thicker texture
- Toss chopped avocados into a salad to get those fats that help you absorb vitamins
- Add avocado spread to a sandwich of your choice in place of mayonnaise
- Make Avocado Toast with Eggs and Tomatoes for a Balance of Carbs, Proteins and Fats
- Add avocados to your taco, burrito, or burrito bowl for a Mexican-inspired dish
- Make ice cream by freezing avocado pulp and adding honey for a delicious frozen treat
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