Many BYU students and faculty enjoy avocado in their bacon burgers at Scoreboard or in a turkey, bacon, avocado wrap from the L.T., but few know that the creamy and buttery fruit they enjoy is actually a super food.
For starters, avocados are rich in protein, fiber and antioxidants, according to Healthy Food Star, a website created by dieticians to inform the public about healthy food choices. They also have anti-inflammatory properties that prevent cancer and fatty acids that increase vascular health.
“For the longest time I would just put avocados on my salad instead of dressing because they’re so creamy,” said Jennie Owens, a junior at BYU from Phoenix, Ariz. “I would put it on spinach and arugula. I just love avocados!”
Avocados contain more folic acid than any other fruit. One avocado represents 23 percent of daily needs and plays a major role for pregnant women because it prevents the baby from getting any anomalies while growing. Avocados are a great addition to women’s diets if they have a chance of getting pregnant.
“Folic acid has been shown to decrease the rates of neural tube defects,” said Kristen Black, DO and practicing OBGYN. “This has been shown to be largely a preventable condition. Which is why it is so important to make sure you’re getting adequate folic acid at least one month before conception and throughout pregnancy.”
Another strong argument for eating avocados is the benefit received from their fatty acids. These fatty acids are the same as those in olive oil and are the healthiest fats known to science. Fatty acids help prevent breast cancer and heart disease. If one has a problem with high cholesterol, avocado is the answer.
Dr. Mercola, a New York Times bestselling author, explains on his website a study that was conducted by David Heber, MD, about avocado’s ability to benefit vascular function and heart health. The study compared triglyceride (fat) levels after eating a burger with avocado to eating a burger without one.
Findings proved that when fresh Hass avocado was eaten with the burger it did not increase triglyceride levels beyond what was observed after eating the burger alone, despite the extra calories and fat from the avocado.
The pilot study also reported that the difference in peripheral arterial blood flow significantly decreased only after the plain burger was eaten compared to a burger with fresh avocado.
The study proved that even though adding an avocado to your burger would add more fat and calories, it actually made the burger healthier for one’s heart.
“I liked getting avocados on my burgers before, but now that I know they make me healthier I will always order them,” said Keighley Richardson, an athletic trainer at BYU.