Smooth, creamy, and a little nutty, avocados are a very versatile fruit.
And if you love avocados, you’ll be happy to know that they love you right back. More specifically, your heart. Routinely eating avocados as part of a healthy diet has been shown to help protect your heart.
Get inspired to eat heart-healthy with our list of 24 heart healthy avocado recipes and desserts.
Avocado Nutrition Info
A source of key nutrients, avocados are an exceptional choice for fiber, heart-healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. One large avocado (about 7 ounces) contains:
Calories – 322
Carbs – 17 grams
Protein – 4 grams
Fats – 30 grams
Fiber – 14 grams
Riboflavin (B2) – 20% of the Daily Value (DV)
Niacin (B3) – 22% of the DV
Pantothenic Acid (B5) – 56% of the DV
Pyridoxine (B6) – 30% of the DV
Vitamin C – 22% of the DV
Vitamin E – 28% of the DV
Vitamin K – 35% of the DV
Potassium – 21% of the DV
Magnesium – 14% of the DV
Folate – 41% of the DV
Copper – 42% of the DV
Manganese – 12% of the DV
5 Health Benefits of Avocado
- May help reduce heart disease – Avocados are your heart’s best friend. They reduce the level of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, while raising the level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol, which helps to protect your heart and can prevent the accumulation of plaque along the artery walls.
- Good for your gut – Because of their high-fiber content, avocados are a wonderful way to keep your digestive system healthy. High amounts of fiber help to promote the growth of healthy bacteria. As a result, you’re reducing your chances of developing colorectal cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.
- Can help maintain body weight – If you’re trying to maintain your body weight, grab an avocado, with its high levels of fiber and healthy fats. Eating them will help to keep you full which can enhance weight loss and reduce your belly fat.
- High in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds – Avocados are rich in heart-healthy antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory compounds. When you regularly eat avocados, you’re helping your body increase its antioxidant defenses and strengthening your cognitive function.
- Great for moms – Avocados are a smart choice for pregnant and breastfeeding moms. During this time, the nutrient demand goes up significantly. Eating avocados provides extra potassium, folate, and vitamin C. They can even help prevent constipation.
5 Ways to Keep Avocado from Browning
When they come into contact with oxygen, the flesh of an avocado turns brown and a little slimy. That doesn’t mean they aren’t safe to eat, but it can be a little unappealing. To keep your avocado from browning, try one of these 5 simple tips.
- Cover it with plastic – To keep your avocado from being exposed to oxygen, wrap any unused portions in plastic wrap. The plastic will shield it and keep it green for an extra day or two.
- Squeeze on some lemon – A great way to keep it from browning is by squeezing some lemon juice onto the cut side of the avocado. Lime juice works as well. The acidity in the juice will help to slow the browning process.
- Brush with olive oil – Try brushing the flesh of the avocado with some olive oil to keep your avocado green. It will create an oily barrier between the fruit and the air.
- Give it a bath – A simple water bath will help prevent oxygen exposure. This method works best for when you’re preparing avocados in advance. Just place your slices into cold water for no more than 4 hours.
- Grab an onion – Create a bed for your avocado by chopping up a quarter of a red onion and putting it into the bottom of a sealable container. Then place the avocado flesh side up on top. The onion vapors will keep the avocado from browning without transferring any taste.
How to Cook and Bake with Avocado
Find a ripe one – You can tell if an avocado is ripe by gently pressing down on the outside. If it gives a bit but doesn’t feel mushy, it’s ready to eat. If it feels firm and doesn’t give at all, the avocado is not yet ripe. You can keep ripe avocados fresher, longer by storing them in the refrigerator. You can also help an avocado ripen faster by placing it into a brown paper bag.
Prep it right – Always use a sharp knife when cutting your avocado. Cut through the skin until you feel the knife meet the pit. Continue slicing around the avocado until you’ve cut in it half. Twist the halves and pull them apart, then use a spoon to remove the pit.
Swap it out – Try swapping out ingredients like eggs, butter, yogurt, cheese, margarine, or processed meats with avocado. By choosing plant-based foods over those that contain saturated fats, you can help to improve your diet quality and overall cardiovascular health.
Make some avocado mayo – Make this Heart Healthy Avocado Mayo as a delicious alternative to regular mayo. Spread it on toast, sandwiches, or wraps, eat it as a dip, or use it as the base for an egg or chicken salad.
Choose a ceramic or plastic knife – If you can, choose a ceramic or plastic knife when cutting up your avocado. Metal knives can turn your sliced avocado brown, faster, because the copper and iron in stainless steel knives oxidizes the enzymes in the avocado.
12 Healthy Avocado Recipes for Lunch and Dinner
- Mango Avocado Salad with Shrimp | Walder Wellness
- Avocado Black Bean Quesadillas | Gimme Delicious
- Stuffed Avocados | Heart Healthy Greek
- Avocado Egg Salad | Pinch of Yum
- Heart Healthy Avocado Toast | Health eCooks
- Springtime Cobb Salad | Love One Today
- Caprese Avocado Toast | Muy Bueno
- Crispy Chicken and Avocado Wraps | Gimme Delicious
- Healthy Taco Salmon Rice Bowl | Walder Wellness
- Tomato Avocado Salad | Simply Delicious
- Quick and Easy Avocado Pasta | Inspired Taste
- Easy Shrimp Stuffed Avocado | An Italian in My Kitchen
12 Healthy Avocado Recipes for Dessert
- Avocado Banana Ice Cream | Saborea Uno Hoy
- Avocado Mint Fudge Bars | iFoodReal
- Avocado Ice Cream | Feel Good Foodie
- Avocado Paletas | Caroline’s Cooking
- Avocado Brownies | Well Plated by Erin
- Avocado Pound Cake | Epicurious
- Chocolate Banana Avocado Smoothie | Walder Wellness
- Avocado Chocolate Mousse | Healthy Recipes
- Chocolate Avocado Cake | I Am Baker
- Chocolate Avocado Pudding | Plant Based on a Budget
- Avocado Cheesecake | Delish
- Avocado Truffles | Eating Bird Food
Not your typical fruit, avocados are highly nutritious and can be enjoyed in so many ways. Find your favorite with our list of 24 heart healthy avocado recipes and desserts.
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