The Health Benefits of Avocados
Avocados are exceptional in that they are highly nutritious, crammed with vitamins and minerals AND they taste delicious. They are very versatile and can be an excellent fat burner when combined with other foods.
Avocados are a Source of Healthy Fats
Avocados are high in fat, which makes them higher in calories than you might wish for, averaging 250 calories and 22.5g total fat per five ounce fruit. However, the type of fat found in avocados is monounsaturated oleic fat, which activates the brain and triggers the feeling of fullness, unlike the less healthy saturated fats and trans fats found in processed foods. One avocado can provide 160mg per cup of alpha-linolenic acid and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
High in folate and vitamin E, avocados are very heart-healthy as high folate levels help support a healthy cardiovascular system, reducing the risk of heart attacks and heart disease. In studies, oleic acid in avocados has been found to reduce cholesterol levels, lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke. An avocado-rich diet has been found to significantly decrease total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL (healthy) cholesterol.
Avocados contain carotenoids, which are excellent for supporting eye health. Being fat-soluble, these carotenoids also help you get more fat-soluble nutrients from other foods. High in soluble fiber, avocados keep the digestive system moving and when combined with other fat-burning foods, they help promote calorie burning.
More Vitamins and Potassium than Bananas!
Avocados have so many vitamins and minerals that they are often nicknamed the “alphabet fruit”. Vitamins A, C, E, K and B6 are plentiful, along with riboflavin, niacin, phosphorous, iron, manganese, folate and pantothenic acid. As for potassium, one five-ounce avocado has 750mg, which is almost twice as much as in a medium banana.
Avocados are rich in protein and are packed with antioxidants which help reduce inflammation, offering relief to sufferers of rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis.
How to Enjoy Avocados
To prepare and eat an avocado, slice lengthways around the whole fruit and twist. Once the fruit has split in two, you can remove the hard smooth kernel and discard, along with the tough skin. Slice the light green fruit and add to salads or sandwiches – you can even spread it on bread in place of mayonnaise. If you want to store any cut avocado in the refrigerator, spritz it lightly with oil to avoid it oxidizing and turning brown.
Avocados can be mashed and whipped to make into guacamole or a dip with lime juice and herbs. When combined with black beans, chopped onion and sweet corn, whipped avocado makes an unusual salsa. When healthy food tastes this good, you will have no problem getting a daily supply of monounsaturated fat, vitamins and minerals, as part of your wholesome healthy diet.