AVOCADOS - THE WORLD'S PERFECT SUPER-FOOD?
Foods and flavors from Mexico have influenced American cuisine for centuries. But in the last half of the 20th century, Mexican-inspired foods found their way to every corner of the country, merging into the mainstream. Traditional foods like tortillas, tacos, tamales, enchiladas, salsas, and guacamole, became favorites for people all across North America.
The avocado is an evergreen, tropical tree with green, pear-shaped, nutrient-dense fruit. The term avocado refers to both the tree and the fruit. Avocados come in hundreds of different varieties. The avocado is a buttery green fruit that is the main ingredient in guacamole. As one of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world, avocado contains high amounts of fiber, Vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, and folate.
Avocado also contains copious amounts of monounsaturated fat, a healthy kind of fat. The amount of monounsaturated fat in avocado is similar to the amount found in olive oil. The monounsaturated fat found in avocado is oleic acid. Oleic acid helps lower your cholesterol level, particularly low-density lipoproteins (LDL), which are the bad cholesterol. It can also increase the amount of good high-density lipoproteins (HDL).
Avocados are super popular and loved by many. In fact, consumption in the U.S. has risen more than fourfold in the last 20 years. The growth in sales has outpaced that of any other fruit. And in 2015, The Washington Post dubbed avocados “America’s new favorite fruit.”
𝐀𝐕𝐎𝐂𝐀𝐃𝐎 𝐇𝐄𝐀𝐋𝐓𝐇 𝐁𝐄𝐍𝐄𝐅𝐈𝐓𝐒-
•Avocados can help you better absorb antioxidants. Some nutrients are fat-soluble. That means you should consume them with fats so your body can properly absorb them.
•Avocados may help prevent and treat cancer. A 2015 study published in Cancer Research found that avocatin B, a compound derived from avocado, can help kill leukemia cells. A 2015 research review published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that phytochemicals (plant compounds) in avocados make them potentially beneficial for preventing cancer.
•Avocados can reduce your risk of heart disease. A 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating one avocado per day as part of a moderate fat, cholesterol lowering diet, lowered LDL cholesterol.
•Avocados may boost brain health and memory. The fruit is rich in oleic acid (or OEA), an omega-9 fatty acid that’s linked to improved cognition.
•Avocados may help lower the risk of depression. Eating monounsaturated fats have been shown to reduce depression. The high amount of folate has been shown to help maintain your brain’s feel-good chemicals, dopamine, and serotonin.
•Avocados can help prevent neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. A 2016 study published in Advances in Neurobiology found that the “diverse array of bioactive nutrients” present in avocados play a key role in the prevention and cure of these types of diseases.
•Avocados can keep your eyes healthy as you age. The fruit is rich in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help protect and maintain healthy cells in your eyes.
•Avocados can help prevent gum disease. A 2006 study published in the Journal of Periodontology found that key ingredients in avocados may enhance protective effects against periodontal disease.
•Avocados can help ease osteoarthritis. A 2010 review published in the journal The Physician and Sportsmedicine found that key ingredients in avocados can help patients with arthritis of the hip or knee.
•Avocados can combat metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is an assortment of linked issues including high blood sugar, high serum cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high body mass index, which lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
•Avocados can help reduce liver damage. A 2000 study presented by the American Chemical Society found that avocados contain chemicals that can protect against liver toxins. Avocados may be able to lessen the liver damage caused by the hepatitis C virus.
•Avocados can be great for pregnant women. A 2016 study published in the journal Nutrients concluded that avocados are high in folate and potassium (typically under-consumed in maternal diets) as well as fiber, monounsaturated fats, and lipid-soluble antioxidants — all of which are tied to improvements in maternal health, birth outcomes, and quality of breast milk.
𝐀 𝐖𝐎𝐑𝐃 𝐎𝐅 𝐂𝐀𝐔𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍!- 𝐀𝐯𝐨𝐜𝐚𝐝𝐨𝐬 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐡𝐢𝐠𝐡 𝐢𝐧 𝐟𝐚𝐭 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐞𝐬-
It’s true — avocados are a high-fat food. In fact, 77% of the calories in it are from fat, making it one of the fattiest plant foods in existence. However, it’s monounsaturated fat, which is a “good” fat that helps lower bad cholesterol. Because they are high in fat, they are also high in calories. As with everything, moderation is key and the recommended serving size is a third of a medium-sized avocado so go easy on the guacamole.
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