Don’t be afraid of an avocado because you think it’s fattening! The often over-looked avocado is a delicious, creamy superfood that’s simply too health-boosting to skip. The myriad of healthy fats and nutrients found in avocados – oleic acid, lutein, folate, vitamin E, monounsaturated fats and glutathione among them – can help protect your body from heart disease, cancer, degenerative eye and brain diseases. Avocados also taste great and are easily integrated into any meal – or even a fruit smoothie.
Both avocados and blueberries help you reach your recommended fruit intake of 1.5 to 2 cups daily. Both fruits offer a number of distinct health benefits. Avocado, for example, contains a large amount of healthy unsaturated fat, a family of nutrients almost completely absent in blueberries. However, the two foods also share some nutritional similarities.
Times have changed. It used to be that an apple a day kept the doctor away. But three recent studies indicate this mantra could be changed to ‘a blueberry-avocado-cocoa-bean-smoothie a day' keeps the doctor away–if the doctor is a cardiologist.
The new heart benefits of blueberries were outlined in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics by Florida State University researchers led by Sarah Johnson, assistant director of the Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging.
Over a mere eight weeks, 48 postmenopausal women with pre- and stage-one hypertension were randomly given either 22 grams of freeze-dried blueberry powder– equal to one cup of fresh blueberries–or 22 grams of a placebo powder. They continued dieting and exercising as usual.
At the study's start, patients' blood pressure was taken and their arterial stiffness was measured. Certain blood biomarkers were also ascertained.
By the end of the study, patients who consumed …
Either food makes for a nutritious snack consumed on its own, but you can also up your blueberry and avocado intake by adding the fruits to a range of recipes. Try combining blueberries with slivered almonds, vinaigrette and spinach for a quick and nutritious salad, blend the berries into your smoothies or add a handful of berries to your hot or cold cereals. Avocado makes a healthy smoothie addition as well. Try combining chopped avocado, frozen fruit, organic cocoa powder and almond milk for an indulgent but nutrient-packed beverage. Alternatively, use avocado in your sandwiches in place of butter, margarine or mayonnaise to boost your fiber and vitamin intake while cutting out saturated fat.
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