Tag: nutrition

HEALTH: The Five Amazing Powers of Avocados

Nutrition of Avocado

Avocados are one of the most rich, delicious, and satisfying foods on the planet. But as a nutritionist, I’m also happy to report that an avocado is a powerhouse superfood. These luscious gems—which are technically fruits, although I categorize them as “good” fat—are packed with anti-aging, disease fighting antioxidants, and nearly 20 different vitamins and minerals.

One study out this year found that regular avocado eaters have higher intakes of fiber, vitamins E and K, magnesium and potassium—pretty darn impressive! I eat avocado in at least one meal each day, and I love how versatile they are for cooking (more on that below), but there’s also more health-related news to share.

Check out these five amazing avocado benefits.

They boost satiety

Eating good fats helps to slow stomach emptying, which keeps you fuller longer and delays the return of hunger. Avocados, which provide about 22 grams of fat each (mostly as heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs), certainly fit the bill. In one recent study, volunteers rated feelings of satisfaction and appetite after dining on meals with or without avocado. The addition of half of an avocado to meals resulted in a significant boost in self-reported satiety and a reduced desire to eat for up to five hours. This is one of the reasons I often reach for guacamole as my salad dressing.

They’re waist whittlers

According to a recent survey, Americans are still fat-phobic, probably due to the notion that eating fat makes you fat. But the truth is eating the right types of fat is actually a savvy weight-loss strategy. In addition to upping satiety, plant-based fats like avocado provide antioxidants and fight inflammation, which have both been linked to weight management. That may be why recent research revealed that regular avocado eaters weigh less and have smaller waists, even without eating fewer calories.

They protect your heart

The MUFAs in avocados have been shown to slash “bad” LDL cholesterol, and up “good” HDL levels—a double whammy effect that helps to lower the risk of heart disease, the #1 killer of both men and women. A recent UCLA study also uncovered some remarkable heart protective effects of avocado consumption: Compared to eating a burger without avocado, the addition of half of a Hass curbed the production of compounds that contribute to inflammation, improved blood flow, and didn’t increase triglycerides (blood fats) beyond the amounts raised by the burger alone. Avocados are also a source of potassium, a nutrient that helps reduce blood pressure by acting as a natural diuretic to sweep excess sodium and fluid out of the body, which relieves pressure on the heart and arteries (bonus: that also means avocado is a natural de-bloater!).

They’re nutrient boosters

Enjoying avocado at mealtime can help your body absorb more antioxidants from other healthy foods. In one Ohio State study, when men and women ate salads and salsa topped with 2.5 tablespoons of avocado, they absorbed over 8 times more alpha-carotene and 13 times more beta-carotene—phytonutrients known to fight cancer and heart disease. Another recent study found that pairing avocado with tomato sauce and carrots boosts absorption of the veggies’ vitamin A, a key nutrient needed for healthy skin, vision, and immunity.

They’re not just for savory dishes

I adore guacamole, but one of my favorite things about avocado is that there are so many other ways to enjoy it, including in sweet dishes. I often whip avocado into fruit smoothies, whip it into chocolaty pudding, and substitute it for butter when baking. Just trade each tablespoon of butter in recipes like brownies and cupcakes for half a tablespoon of avocado. This swap slashes calories, upgrades the nutritional quality of your goodies, and still provides the creamy texture that will leave you feeling satisfied. Try it, and send us a picture of your healthy creation!

article by Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD via time.com

How Fiber Can Help You Lose Weight

A woman lying on her bed eating a bowl of cerealWant to make your weight loss regime a lot less strenuous? Eating high-fiber foods just may be the key to shedding pounds fast and efficiently.

Fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and hearty beans are not only low in fat and calories, but they also cause a drop in appetite that’ll keep you from grabbing those naughty in-between snacks.

Fiber Helps Weight Loss

Studies show that most people eat about the same weight of food each day. If you choose high-fiber, water-rich foods — such as broth-based vegetable soups, salads, fruits, and vegetables — instead of foods without fiber and water, you can eat the same weight of food but feel full on fewer calories.

Beyond the fiber content, crunching and chewing dietary fiber stimulates your senses and takes longer to eat. So psychologically, it may also be more satisfying than beverages or soft foods. Chewing also promotes saliva and the production of stomach juices that help fill the stomach.

Fiber at Breakfast Is a Healthy Weight Loss Habit

In its tracking of the eating habits of successful dieters — those big losers who have kept weight off for years — the National Weight Control Registry has found that most eat breakfast regularly. And cereal is one of their morning rituals.

In general, eating cereal — especially high-fiber cereals — is beneficial for weight loss. Studies that look at what people eat show those who eat more carbs, more fiber, and cereal in general weigh less than those who eat less fiber, carbs, and cereal.

Continue reading “How Fiber Can Help You Lose Weight”

Snoop Dogg Launches Food Initiative in Jamaica

Snoop Dogg
Snoop Dogg is connecting with Jamaica. The music star has announced a partnership with Reed’s Ginger Brew to aid the Mind Gardens Project, his latest non-profit initiative to create sustainable, organic community gardens. The gardens will provide fresh fruits and vegetables to children in Jamaica.

“When I went to Jamaica, we took time to visit these communities in Kingston, and I was deeply affected by the poverty and lack of good food available to the children,” revealed Snoop in a written statement. “No child should go hungry. After all the inspiration Jamaica had provided me, I felt compelled to create a program to give back to the community.”

The project has already begun work in Kingston affecting two major communities, Trench Town and Tivoli Gardens. To find out more about the initiative, visit MindGardens.org or Causes.com/MindGardens.

article by Arielle Loren via bet.com