Why you should eat an avocado today!
Also called alligator pears due to their shape and hard, rough, green exterior, avocadoes are a nutritional powerhouse. Many people make the mistake of not eating this delicious fruit because of its high fat content, but they’re missing out on one of the healthiest foods on the planet.
Yes, a medium-sized avocado contains 14 grams of fat and 138 calories, but they are healthy fats and calories well spent.
Here are eight reasons to include avocado as a regular part of your diet.
Provides Vital Nutrients
The avocado is packed full of vitamins and minerals. Containing more potassium than bananas, this green fruit is also high in the B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, carotenoids, and folate.
Perhaps the most notable nutrients found in avocadoes are carotenoids. Also found in bright colored produce like carrots and tomatoes, this family of antioxidants (beta-carotene, lycopene, zeaxanthin, and lutein) is known to play a powerful role in the prevention of disease, cancer, and eye problems. In addition, carotenoids combined with the healthy fats in avocado help your body absorb other vital nutrients from food, making avocado a perfect addition to salads and soups.
Fills You Up
Eat an avocado and you’ll feel fuller for longer. One avocado has half of your recommended amount of daily fiber. Foods high in fiber take more time to move through your digestive system and slow the rate carbs are broken down. In addition, avocadoes contain a fat called oleic acid which tells the brain that your stomach is full. These two aspects of avocadoes curb your appetite and help you eat less overall, which is mighty helpful if you’re trying to lose weight.
Helps Lower Cholesterol
In addition to making you feel full, oleic acid helps to reduce your total cholesterol levels. A diet rich in avocadoes as been shown to decrease your LDL (bad) cholesterol by 22 percent and boost your HDL (good) cholesterol by up to 11 percent. So swallow some avocado today.
Research is ongoing in the interesting role avocadoes may play in the fight against certain types of cancer. The combination of antioxidants and other nutrients in the alligator pear work to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress (two risk factors for cancer) in healthy cells. But in cancer cells, avocado increases oxidative stress, ultimately leading to the death of dangerous cancer cells.
An undisputed health benefit of the avocado is its anti-inflammatory properties. Containing five different kinds of inflammation-fighting antioxidants, fatty acids, and phytosterols, the avocado may help prevent or relieve osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other health conditions related to inflammation.
The avocado not only provides a host of health benefits, but it tastes good, too. Avocadoes’ creamy texture, savory taste, low sugar content, and high protein content make them a perfect addition to many salads, soups, and sandwiches.
Or add a little salt and eat it plain or make some delicious guacamole to dip whole-grain chips. You can also mash avocado and use it as a spread in place of mayonnaise or butter. This is particularly yummy when you use it in the place of mayo in tuna or chicken salad.
Get the most nutrients from your avocado by first slicing it in half, then peeling the skin away from the soft inside as you would peel a banana. Cut out the large seed and enjoy. When you only eat part of an avocado and want to save the rest for later, prevent it from turning brown by sprinkling a little lemon juice on top or brushing on a thin layer of olive oil. Then tightly wrap the avocado in plastic wrap.