The Benefits Of Avocados
If you think guacamole when you hear avocados, you wouldn’t be alone. After all, avocados are known for their creamy, hearty taste and they are certainly delicious. Avocados are a powerful food and there are some things you should know about them. You might be surprised to learn the benefits of avocados.
- Vitamin E Powerhouse – Avocados provide are the best fruit for vitamin E, which protects against a number of diseases and helps maintain your overall health
- Prevent birth defects – Avocados are rich in folate acid, from the B vitamin family. One cup of avocado provides 23% of your daily recommended folate. The high amount of folate in avocado is necessary to prevent birth defects like neural tube defect and spina bifida.
- Oral Cancer Defense – Research shows certain compounds in avocados are able to seek out both pre-cancerous and cancerous oral cancer cells and destroy them while not damaging healthy cells.
- Eye Health – Avocados have more carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit. Lutein protects against cataracts or macular degeneration.
- Lower Cholesterol – Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that lowers cholesterol levels. In one study, 45 volunteers had an 17% drop in cholesterol after eating avocados for just one week.
- Regulate the blood sugar levels – The monounsaturated fats (good fats) found in avocados can reverse insulin resistance which in turn helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Avocados also have lots of soluble fiber, which also helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
- Better Nutrient Absorption – Research has found that certain nutrients are absorbed better when you eat avocados. One study found when participants ate salad containing avocados, they absorbed five times the level of carotenoids than those who didn’t include avocados.
- Heart Health – One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don’t. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.
- Glutathione Source – Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, which is an important antioxidant that researchers say is key in reducing cancer, and heart disease.
- Anti-Inflammatory properties – Phytonutrient compounds are found in avocados, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which are also found in anti-inflammatory properties, which in turn reduce the risk of inflammatory and degenerative disorders.
- Stroke Prevention – The high levels of folate in avocado protect against strokes. People whose diets are high in folate have a much lower risk of stroke than those who do not.
- Breast Cancer Protection – Avocados are high in oleic acid, which is linked to preventing breast cancer in numerous studies.
- Inhibit Prostate Cancer – Avocados have also been shown to prevent prostate cancer.
You can see that avocados are very good for you and provide many health benefits. Savvy eaters understand that avocados contain good fat and that their creaminess helps to stop dairy cravings. An avocado has 4 grams of protein, which is more than any other fruit.
The best way to tell if your avocado is ripe is to hold it in the palm of your hand and then gently squeeze. If it gives a little, it’s perfectly ripe. If it doesn’t give to gentle pressure, it will ripen in a few days. You can store unripe avocados at room temperature. Once they are cut store them in the refrigerator.
There are several main types of avocados grown and available in the United States:
- Fuerte avocados have a smooth green skin and mild yet rich flesh.
- Hass avocados have an almost black fruit with pebbly skin. The fruit inside has a deeper flavor than that of Fuerte avocados.
- Florida avocados include a range of cultivars. They are larger and have less fat and more moisture than Fuerte and Hass avocados do.