Avocados are absolutely one of my favorite nourishing foods. I like to have one with breakfast- spread some mashed avocado over sprouted bread and season with turmeric, cumin, and sea salt. It’s a heavenly and satisfying meal! Yes, avocado is high in fat and yes, it is very good for you! Avocado is a good source of a monounsaturated fat known as oleic acid. Oleic acid improves heart health by treating inflammations on the walls and arteries of the heart. Also, studies have shown that the average avocado consumer is actually lower in body weight and body mass index than the avocado non-consumer! (1)
Here are 5 good reasons why you should enjoy an amazing avocado today.
1. More potassium than a banana. The banana is known as a good source of potassium, however the avocado boosts even more of the important mineral! A cup of avocado contains 708 mg of potassium, while your average banana contains 422 mg. Potassium helps lower high blood pressure and also prevents kidney stones and bone diseases.
2. Eye protection. A well-known carotenoid found in avocados is lutein. Lutein is important for good eye health, preventing macular degenerative diseases that affect people in old ages, even causing blindness. Lutein also reduces the risks of cataracts, securing clear eye vision even in old age.
3. Heart healthy. Avocados are healthy fats. The oleic acid in avocados along with vitamin B6 and folic acid help control homocysteine levels in the body, which are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.
4. Dietary fiber. A cup of avocado, pureed finely or sliced, contains about 9 grams of fiber. You’ve probably heard that most Americans don’t get enough fiber in their diets. Fiber is important for bowel regulation, preventing constipation and intestinal cancer.
5. Antioxidant power. Avocados are one of the few foods that contain significant levels of both the antioxidants vitamin C and vitamin E. Avocados also contain glutathione, a chemical that functions as an antioxidant. The National Cancer Institute found that avocado’s glutathione levels of 19 mg per one-half fruit (2) is several fold higher than that of other fruits, making avocado a powerful antioxidant indeed!
1. Fulgoni V. L., Dreher M., Davenport A. J. Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001–2008. Nutrition Journal 2013, 12:1. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-12-1
2. Flagg E. W., Coates R. J., Jones D. P., Byers T. E., Greenberg R. S., Gridley G., McLaughlin J. K., Blot W. J., Haber M., Preston S. Dietary glutathione intake and risk of oral and pharyngeal cancer. Am. J. Epidemiol. 1994;139(5):453–465. [PubMed]