Avocados are rife with essential, health-promoting nutrients, which aid our bodies to maintain maximum vitality and remain free from disease. Each Avocado oozes in excess of 25 essential nutrients including Iron, Magnesium, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Potassium and Vitamin E. This wholesome food has received a bad reputation with dieters for containing a high fat content. Let me reassure you. Avocados contain monounsaturated fat. This is good fat; the fat that reduces the amount of ‘bad’ cholesterol that could clog your system. Additionally, if you’re worried about calorie content, avocado is an ample substitute for meat. It contains more protein than most fruits (oh yes! It’s a fruit!), and it has a much lower sugar content. It is also bursting with fiber. One medium size Avocado contains nearly half the recommended daily amount.
Here are five reasons why an Avocado a day may keep the doctor away:
It’s Good For Your Heart
Coronary Heart Disease is the most common cause of death in many parts of the Western World. When the arteries leading to the heart become blocked or restricted, blood cannot flow properly to this vital organ or be pumped around the body. Arteries become blocked, in part, due to the amount of harmful cholesterol in our bodies. High triglyceride levels are also thought to be problematic. Avocados are rich with monounsaturated fats. These actively help to rid the body of the nasty cholesterol. One research study showed that after only one week of an Avocado rich diet there was a 22% reduction in unwanted cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The Vitamin E content in Avocados can help prevent cholesterol oxidation. When the unpleasant cholesterol is oxidized, it can cause inflammation in the arteries, hence precipitating blockages.
It Keeps You Looking Young
The monounsaturated fats, high in Avocados, enhance the moisture levels of your body. This will nourish your skin keeping it soft and healthy. Avocados also contain antioxidant Cartenoids. These help to reduce signs of aging such as wrinkles. The Vitamin E in the Avocado is great for limiting sun damage to the skin and Vitamin C is an active ingredient in the production of Elastin and Collagen, helping to keep your skin firm and free of lines.
It Can Balance Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels
This is great news for Diabetics but it’s not just those with Diabetes that need to be aware of their blood sugar and insulin levels. Diabetes is on the rise and this is partly due to the contents of our diets. Diabetes aside, unstable blood sugar levels will significantly affect energy levels and mood. The Avocado can help us achieve more balance. The large amount of fiber in Avocados is a major player in the regulation of blood sugar. Monounsaturated fats, and their corresponding reduction in triglyceride levels, can help both insulin and blood sugar levels. The ability of monounsaturated fats to reduce bad cholesterol in the body is essential for those with Diabetes as the risk of cardiovascular disease in this group is higher.
It Can Aid Weight Loss
Oh yes! Although you may have been led to believe that the Avocado is a no-no in a calorie counting diet, it actually has the ability to increase weight loss. The monounsaturated fatty acids in an Avocado are a slow burning energy. As well as reducing the sensation of hunger and suppressing appetite, it will be used as fuel and not stored as excess fat. Eating an Avocado, as part of a low-fat diet, will supply calorie intake without increasing protein or carbohydrate intake. Many people consume too much protein (particularly protein that is of poor quality due to the conditions of animal produce). It can help with the reduction of weight to replace some of this ‘not so good’ protein (and its corresponding calorie content) with healthy fats such as those supplied by the Avocado.
It is Anti-Inflammatory and So Helps to Prevent Disease
Finally, the Avocado contains a number of anti-inflammatory properties including Phytonutrient Compound (Polyphends and Flavonoids). Inflammation, and the damage caused by free radicals in the body, can be influential in the onset of a number of diseases and degenerative disorders. The anti-inflammatory nature of the Avocado is great for those with Arthritis and can protect against Cancer. Studies have shown that Avocados may be able to assist in the prevention, or repair, of Liver damage and may inhibit the growth of Prostrate Cancer. The Oleic Acid present in the Avocado may be beneficial in reducing the risk of Breast Cancer and the Carotenoid Lutein in this fruit is advantageous for your eyes. It reduces the risks of Macular Degeneration and Cataracts. Finally, the Folic Acid in Avocados is beneficial for pregnant women and the healthy, growth of their babies.