In the US, avocados are one of our favorite foods. They are creamy and delicious, and easy to add to everything from salads to sandwiches. But avocados are also nutritional powerhouses that may prevent a variety of health problems when eaten regularly.
Here are 5 reasons the avocado is a Superfood:
- They provide powerful nutrition
Avocados are known for their high nutrient value, with lots of healthy fat and 20 different vitamins and minerals inside the rough, green skin. A single avocado contains:
- Vitamin K: 26% of the RDA
- Folate: 20% of the RDA
- Vitamin C: 17% of the RDA
- Potassium: 14% of the RDA
- Vitamin B5: 14% of the RDA
- Vitamin B6: 13% of the RDA
- Vitamin E: 10% of the RDA
Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium. They are filled with more Potassium than bananas, and studies show that a high potassium intake can lead to reduced blood pressure. This can help avoid heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure. Fiber is also found in relatively large amounts in avocados. Fiber can contribute to weight loss and reduce blood sugar spikes.
- People who eat avocados are healthier
Researchers looked at the dietary habits and health of people who eat avocados versus those who don’t, and found that people who consumed avocados regularly were healthier than those who did not.
Avocado eaters had a much higher nutrient intake and were half as likely to display major risk factors for heart disease and diabetes. People who ate avocados regularly also weighed less, had a lower BMI, and significantly less belly fat. They also had more HDL or “good” cholesterol.
- They make other foods more nutritious
When it comes to nutrients, it’s not how much we’re getting that matters, but whether our bodies can absorb them. Some nutrients, like vitamins A, D, E & K, need to be combined with fat in order to be fully utilized by our bodies. Since avocados contain a lot of fat, consuming them along with other foods can help your body absorb the nutrients from those foods.
Not only are avocados nutritious on their own, but they can also increase the nutrient value of the other plant foods you are eating.
- They may prevent illnesses
The properties in avocados can help prevent some of the most deadly diseases.
There is some scientific evidence that avocados may be beneficial in preventing cancer. Studies have shown that avocado extract has been able to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. And, consuming avocados may help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.
Many studies have also shown that avocado extract can reduce the symptoms of arthritis of the bones, or osteoarthritis. It is not known whether actual avocados could have the same effect.
Overall, researchers have found that eating avocados regularly reduces cholesterol levels, reduces blood triglycerides, lowers LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, and increases HDL (“good”) cholesterol. All of these changes point to a decreased risk of heart disease in avocado eaters.
- They help you lose weight
Despite their high-fat content, avocados are a weight loss friendly food. People who eat avocados with meals report feeling more satisfied and have a lower desire to eat within the 5 hours after the meal. That means that including avocados in your diet may help you eat fewer calories over time. Since avocados are also high in fiber, and very low in carbs, they can also help promote healthy weight loss.
Avocados are not only healthy but also delicious and easy to eat. A true Superfood!
Want more avocado facts? You can learn how avocados originated here.