When the weather is chilly, or you’re faced with having to shovel your way to the car, you’re likely not thinking about fruits and vegetables. Throughout the winter months, it’s harder to motivate yourself to stay healthy—trust me, I enjoy being surrounded by comfort foods too—but it’s important to choose your snow day treats wisely.
In preparation of six more weeks of winter, consider adding avocados and bananas to your grocery list this month. Both make great snack options, but more importantly, have a ton of nutritious value.
So, let’s chat and chew about the health benefits of avocados and bananas—recipes included.
- Bananas: Rather than go bananas this winter, eat one. Bananas are jam-packed with potassium, which protects your cardiovascular system; it also helps guard against high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and stroke.
- Avocados: Although bananas give this green, pear-shaped fruit a run for its money, it comes up short in the end. One avocado actually contains more than twice (975 mg) the amount of potassium in a banana.
- Bananas: No one would ever deny better digestion—one thing you won’t find with high-fat and sugary foods. Bananas suppress acid in the digestive track, which helps alleviate heartburn and prevent ulcers.
- Avocados: Both bananas and avocados contain soluble fiber, which can aid in weight loss, decrease blood sugar spikes, and is also linked to lower risk of various diseases. In addition, soluble fiber “is known to be able to feed the friendly gut bacteria in the intestine,” which are important for ideal body function.
HELP PREVENT CANCER
- Both bananas and avocados may help prevent cancer. Bananas are good sources of Vitamin C, which can help fight the formation of free radicals known to cause cancer. Research also states, “consuming bananas… in the first two years of life may reduce the risk of developing childhood leukemia.” (more) Avocados on the other hand, are rich in phytochemicals. These chemical compounds have been shown to help prevent the development of certain cancers.
The list continues…
Both fruits have a laundry list of health benefits—many of which overlap one another. While the reasons above prove why bananas and avocados are valuable to any diet, there are other benefits worth noting.
- Reduce the risk of diabetes, stroke, and coronary heart disease
- Promote a healthy body weight
- Help overcome depression and improve mood (bananas)
- Protect our eyes and vision / Vitamin A (bananas)
- Lower cholesterol (avocados)
Now knowing just how beneficial bananas and avocados are for your health, if you find yourself stuck inside on a cold day, try whipping up one of these recipes:
- Grilled Chicken Salad with Avocado and Mango
- Tuna Melts with Avocado
- Avocado and Tomato Grilled Cheese Sandwich
It’s amazing how something as simple as a banana or an avocado can make such a big impact. I encourage you to try them, or if you’re already a fan, get creative with a new recipe. If you missed our previous blog post featuring a yummy guacamole recipe, check it out here. As always, feel free to comment and share your secret to staying healthy!
- Huffington Post
- Nordqvist, Joseph. “What are the health benefits of bananas?.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 30 Aug. 2014. Web. 9 Feb. 2015. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271157.php>
- Authority Nutrition
- National Cancer Institue