A Toast to Our Favorite Superfood: 7 Health Benefits of Avocado

May 13, 2019

benefits of avocado

Despite our love of guacamole during the Super Bowl, Americans may not be eating as many avocados as they should. Mexico exports 1.5 billion pounds of the dimpled green fruit to the U.S. annually, yet the average Americans consume only five avocados each year.

Maybe if more people knew how good avocados are for them, they’d add this superfood to their diet a lot more often. Avocados contain healthy fats and nutrients that make them an important part of a balanced diet. Here are seven health benefits of avocados you should know about.

1. They’re like a Multivitamin

This small fruit packs a serious nutritional punch. Avocados contain nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.

Eating one-third of an avocado (considered one serving) will give you 10% of vitamin K, which builds strong bones and helps your blood clot. The same amount also contains 6% of vitamin E, which helps our immune system fight viruses and bacteria.

One-third of an avocado also delivers 14% of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid) which our body needs to create energy from food. Avocados are high in copper, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B5 (folate), and other nutrients.

Best of all, you get all of these for only 80 calories per serving, making avocados a nutrient-dense food.

2. They Contain Fiber

The same serving of avocado contains three grams of fiber or 11% of the recommended daily consumption for adults. Fiber assists our digestive system and may decrease the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.

It also helps us feel full longer, which is why avocado is a great addition to any meal, particularly if you’re trying to lose weight. Incorporating avocado into a breakfast meal or shake will help you feel satisfied and energized through the morning hours. Dishes made with avocado are often a top brunch menu item for this reason.

3. They’re Good for Your Eyes

Move over, carrots. It turns out that avocado is one of the foods that we should be eating more of to protect our eyes.

Avocados contain lutein and zeaxanthin. These are carotenoids, plant pigments that give fruits and vegetables their distinctive hues. Carotenoids, in general, are very good for the human body, but lutein and zeaxanthin have been found to be very beneficial for eye health.

Our eyes actually love to absorb these two pigments—they head straight for our retinas. Consuming foods that contain lutein and zeaxanthin may help reduce our risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Researchers don’t know yet exactly how much of these pigments we should eat daily to help our eyes. However, adding avocados to your diet along with other color-packed fruits and vegetables can contribute towards a healthy vision.

4. They’re Good for Your Heart

Let’s get one thing out of the way: avocados are a fatty food. There are a whopping 21 grams of fat in one cup of sliced avocado. If we saw that number associated with other foods, we might avoid eating them.

But the good news is this fat is mostly the “good” kind—monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. These two types of fat help keep bad cholesterol levels down which helps prevent cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes. Only 15% of the fat found in avocados is the saturated kind.

Speaking of cholesterol, avocados are a cholesterol-free food. This means you can use them as a creamy substitute for mayonnaise and butter. You just need to watch your portion control, as the calories from avocado can quickly add up.

The vitamins and antioxidants found in avocado are also heart-healthy. Heart patients can eat avocados in moderation and know they’re doing something good for their health.

5. They’re Good for Expectant Moms

Avocados are rich in folate, a B-vitamin that is known to have benefits to expectant and new mothers. Folate can help prevent birth defects such as Spina Bifida and it helps a baby’s nervous system develop properly.

Folate is found in many foods but can be destroyed through cooking. Since avocados can be enjoyed raw, this makes them a great choice for getting enough folate. Half of one avocado contains 21% of the recommended daily intake of folate.

6. They Boost Sex Drive and Testosterone

It’s true: if you’re looking for foods to naturally boost your sex drive, add avocado to your diet. The vitamins and minerals found in avocados—particularly zinc and copper—help support our endocrine system. These are the glands that release hormones into our blood, helping to boost our desire for sex.

Avocados are especially beneficial to men, as they can increase testosterone levels. If you lift weights and are looking for more energy to power you through workouts, adding avocados to your diet can help.

7. They Can Help Keep Blood Pressure Normal

Potassium is very important for our bodies. It helps equalize fluid in our cells, maintains our nervous system, and regulates heart and muscle contractions. People with high blood pressure need enough potassium to keep their pressure within a normal range.

Half of an avocado gives you 10% of your recommended daily value of potassium, just edging out the 9% found in a medium-sized banana. As a bonus, they contain very little sodium, something that people with high blood pressure need to watch out for.

The Benefits of Avocado Can’t Be Beat

As you can see, there’s a lot to love about avocados. They deserve their label as a superfood because the number of nutrients they provide can’t be beat.

Here at Cupitol, we love the health benefits of avocado as well. That’s why you can find avocados as the main ingredient in several of our menu offerings, including our avocado wrap sandwich avocado dream smoothie.

The next time you’re near our Streeterville location, come in and experience for yourself how good avocado is for you. Or check out our menu and try one of our healthy offerings for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

9 Reasons Why You Should Never Skip Breakfast

April 29, 2019

benefits of eating breakfast

Oversleeping, traffic, kids, work meeting, etc. The list of reasons people give for not eating breakfast is endless. One in four Americans reports skipping breakfast nearly every day. Are you part of this 25?

While one of the more easily skipped meals, breakfast is actually very important if you want to have a good day. There’s a reason the saying “breakfast is the most important meal” is still pervasive to this day.

Still unconvinced about the importance of having some early morning food? Keep reading below for 9 benefits of eating breakfast that should definitely change your mind!

1. Burn More Calories Throughout the Day

It sounds wrong, but eating breakfast in the morning can actually help you burn more calories throughout the day. This is a crucial fact for people to know, especially if they are trying to diet and lose some weight.

The science behind why this is so isn’t complicated. By eating first thing in the morning, we boost our metabolism. Eating a large breakfast sets us up with energy and keeps us full for longer.

2. Memory Improvement

Many of us roll out of bed, groggy and perhaps a little bit cranky. Often we head straight to work even when we don’t feel the best.

Even when in a hurry, taking a few minutes to eat breakfast can help us be more successful at work because it has been shown to improve memory.

Getting healthy nutrients in the morning helps with short-term and spatial memory for kids and adults.

Eating breakfast regularly can also improve overall concentration. This is why you and your kids should focus on balanced meals before school and work.

Tight on time? Try one of these morning hacks for on-the-go meals.

3. Benefits of Eating Breakfast: Better Moods

Everyone knows that food makes people happy. Eating a well-rounded breakfast especially puts people in better moods. Studies have shown that eating food early in the day leads people to be calmer and more level-headed.

If you find yourself struggling with your mood throughout the day, consider making the small addition of breakfast. The impact may just surprise you!

4. Get an Energy Boost

Similar to a boost in mood, having a meal in the morning will increase your overall energy during the day. People often don’t realize how slow their body can become when they forgo meals.

To make the most of your breakfast, shoot for something high in fiber and low in carbohydrates.

Are you a coffee lover? The good news is that drinking coffee can be good for you. Just limit excess sugary add-ons, as this can equal an unhealthy calorie bomb. Also, try to have your coffee with an item with protein.

Protein helps your caffeine bind and be absorbed in your body.

5. Ensures You Ingest More Nutrients

It’s not difficult to eat a lot of food, yet be malnourished. Many Americans simply don’t get their daily dose of vitamins and nutrients. The Western diet (often highly processed) and on-the-go lifestyle are the main contributors to this.

Eating breakfast every day helps you reach nutritional goals. Be sure to focus on calcium, fiber, and protein.

6. Decrease Inflammation in the Body

Skipping a meal in the morning after sleeping all night puts stress on the body. Doing this every day can lead to chronic stress and inflammation in the body.

Inflammation is a normal reaction when your body is fighting an illness, but chronic inflammation can lead to unwanted symptoms. These can include swollen joints, stiffness, and even flu-like things like fever and chills.

Try to focus on foods like eggs, apples, tomatoes, and spinach which all are good anti-inflammatories. A lighter option includes yogurt.

7. Lower Risk for Heart Disease

Eating breakfast regularly can actually lower your chances of heart disease. Consistently skipping breakfast has also been linked to higher rates of obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

As mentioned above, having a meal in the morning increases the nutrients you ingest each day. As long as you aren’t eating sugary pastries, having a bite to eat in the morning will protect your health for years to come.

8. Get Your Stomach Moving

When you’re sleeping at night, your body is technically in a fasting state. Everything is happening more slowly within your body.

Once awake, you should aim to get your body up and moving like normal, including your digestion. Eating a meal first thing can help kickstart this system.

Having a big glass of water right when you wake up is also important. Try to make water the first thing your body ingests each day.

9. Sets You Up for Other Balanced and Healthy Meals

One final reason you should definitely be eating breakfast is that it sets you up to have a more successful day. When you eat a well-balanced breakfast, you are much more likely to have a healthy lunch and dinner too.

Getting on the right track right away helps you continue to make smart choices all day about food and even exercise.

If you struggle knowing what you are eating throughout the day, consider downloading a meal tracker on your phone. This can help you keep tabs on any nutrient or calorie goals you are working towards.

Have More Good Days By Remembering Breakfast

As you can see, the benefits of eating breakfast are vast. Regardless of whether you are a sweet or savory person, with a little time and creativity, you will never look at breakfast the same way again.

Looking to take your friends out for a fun brunch, but need some ideas? Take a look at this guide to our top brunch items we guarantee you will love!