A Dozen Reasons to Eat Avocados
Avocados are unique among fruit. While most fruits are composed primarily of carbohydrates, avocado is higher in healthy fats. Research has also proven they are an exceptionally healthy food.
Here are a dozen reasons to enjoy avocados:
1. Avocados are exceptionally nutritious.
Avocados are often referred to as a superfood, because they contain 20 different vitamins and minerals. Just a single 100-gram serving of avocado delivers a powerful nutritional punch in a package of only 160 calories, 2 grams of protein, and 15 grams of healthy fats. While it contains 9 grams of carbohydrates, 7 of those grams are fiber, leaving only 2 “net” carbs.
2. Avocados contain more potassium than bananas.
Many people are deficient in potassium, a mineral in which avocados are rich. One average-size avocado offers 14 percent of the recommended daily amount of potassium, compared to 10 percent in bananas.
3. Avocado contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids.
77 percent of the calories in avocados are derived from fat. The majority of that fat is oleic acid, known to have a positive effect on genes related to cancer, and to reduce inflammation.
4. Avocados are high in fiber.
Fiber contributes to weight loss. It reduces fluctuations in blood sugar and is linked to a lower risk of a number diseases. A 100-gram serving of avocado contains 7 grams of fiber.
5. Consumption of avocados can reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Imbalances in cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammatory markers and high blood pressure are all linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
6. People who eat avocados regularly are healthier.
A study of dietary habits and the health of people who include avocados in their diet proved those people were much healthier than people who did not eat the fruit. They had a higher nutrient intake and were 50 percent less likely to have metabolic syndrome.
7. The fat in avocados supports absorption of nutrients from plant foods.
While it is important to eat sufficient nutrients, it is equally important that those nutrients can be absorbed by the body. Fat soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as carotenoids, must be combined with fat to be utilized by the body.
8. Avocados can protect your eyes.
Avocados support absorption of antioxidants from other foods, and they are also themselves high in antioxidants. They provide vital lutein and zeaxanthin, which are linked to a reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
9. Avocado could help prevent cancer.
Although evidence is limited, several studies indicate avocado may help prevent malignancies. In one study, avocado extract prevented growth of prostate cancer cells. In another, it appeared to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy in human lymphocytes.
10. Avocado extract may reduce symptoms of arthritis.
Arthritis, including rheumatoid arthritis, a serious autoimmune disease, appears to be on the rise in Western countries. A number of studies have demonstrated that extracts of avocado and soybean oil can reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis. More research is needed in this area.
11. Avocado may help with weight loss.
One study showed people who had eaten avocado reported feeling 23 percent more satisfied, and had a 28 percent lower desire to eat over the next five hours. Avocados are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, both of which support weight loss.
12. Avocados are delicious and easy to use.
Avocados are tasty, and they can be added to many recipes. The flesh should feel slightly soft to the touch, If you buy avocados before they are ready, put them in a brown paper bag on your countertop and allow them to ripen. If they are already ripe, you can store them in the refrigerator.