1. Avocados are hugely nutritious, they contain around 20 different minerals and vitamins including: Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Folate, Potassium, Vitamin B5 and B6, and Vitamin E, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium and potassium.
2. Avocados can help to lower cholesterol. They contain 25 milligrams per ounce of the natural plant sterol called beta-sitosterol. Regular consumption of beta-sitosterol (and other plant sterols) are recommended for their ability to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
3. Avocados are full of fat! But don’t fret; these are all healthy, beneficial fats that help to keep you fuller for longer. When you eat fat, your brain receives a signal to turn off your appetite. Also, eating fat slows the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar, which helps to keep sugar levels in your blood stable. Fat is essential for every single cell in your body. Eating healthy fats will make your skin glow, increase vitamin and mineral absorption and even help boost your immune system. Avocados are high in ALA (alpha-lenoleic acid), one of the essential fatty acids that our bodies need. They’re essential because our bodies can’t produce them so we have to get them from the diet. In fact, over 70% of the calories in the avocado are from good fats, making it the most fat-rich plant food out there.
4. Avocados are high in fibre too (6-7 grams per half a fruit) with a mix of soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre helps lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels whilst insoluble fibre is needed as roughage, which our bodies need to move food through the digestive system. This helps prevent constipation and reduces the risk of colon cancer. It also aids in the daily excretion of toxins, via the stools.
5. Avocados help with healthy vision. They contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that are essential to eye health. These two carotenoids act as antioxidants in the eye, can minimize damage and reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
6. Avocados actually contain more potassium per 100g than bananas – 400mg per 100g as opposed to 350mg in bananas. Potassium is a crucial electrolyte/macronutrient that our bodies need for many functions, but perhaps most importantly, balancing sodium within the body, and has been linked to reduced blood pressure.
7. Whilst the nutrient level of avocados is indeed impressive, what’s also interesting is the growing body of evidence that avocados also help the body absorb nutrients from other fruits and vegetables. One such study by Iowa State University discovered that adding avocados to various salad dishes considerably increased the absorption of certain nutrients including lycopene, alpha-carotene and lutein.
8. Due to avocados’ high folate levels, they are believed to help in the fight against certain cancers. Due to reasons currently unknown, but thought to be related to its role in DNA and RNA production, and the prevention of mutations, dietary folate from food has been showing promise in protecting against certain cancers, including stomach, colon and pancreatic cancers. Folate is also very important for pregnant mothers, both for their growing foetuses and for themselves. It also protects against miscarriage.
So there you have it - 8 great reasons to add avocados to your daily diet. It’s such a versatile food too; it takes no time at all to make a homemade guacamole, you can add them to your morning smoothie for a creamy texture, or simply half and de-stone one, add a dash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and grab a spoon!
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