Avocados are an incredibly healthy food and are so versatile in these times of self-quarantine. They are full of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats and are easy to prepare. You can mash them with tomatoes, lime juice, and cilantro to make guacamole, or add several slices to your salad to ramp up the nutritional value. Leslie Beck, a Toronto-based dietitian, suggests buying frozen avocado chunks to add to smoothies.
Here eight healthy reasons to enjoy avocados:
- They are very nutritious. According to Healthline, this green, pear shaped fruit is loaded with healthy fats and fiber and doesn't contain any cholesterol or sodium. Avocados also contain 20 different vitamins and minerals.
- They have more potassium than bananas. Potassium is a crucial mineral that helps regulate blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks.
- Avocados are rich in healthy fats. While an avocado does contain 160 calories and 15 grams of fat, the fats are heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, says Healthline. In fact, the oleic acid in avocados is the same monounsaturated fat found in olive oil and has been associated with reduced inflammation in the body.
- Eating avocados can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Because heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in this country, keeping your cholesterol and triglyceride levels in check is important. Studies have shown that eating avocados reduces total cholesterol significantly and lowers triglyceride levels by a full 20%.
- Avocados protect your eye health. These tasty fruits contain antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin that dramatically reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
- They may prevent cancer. Avocado extract has been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells in laboratory trials. Eating avocados can also lower the side effects of chemotherapy, according to Healthline.
- Avocados help those suffering from diabetes. According to Medical News Today, avocados are high in fiber, which can significantly lower your risk of diabetes and its complications. Because the fruit contains healthy fats, eating avocados increases feelings of fullness and slows the digestion of carbohydrates, which helps stabilize blood sugar.
- They help stave off osteoporosis. Half an avocado provides approximately 25% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K. According to Medical News Today, eating a diet with adequate vitamin K can help support bone health by increasing calcium absorption and reducing the urinary excretion of calcium.
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