Avocados are not only amazingly tasty, but are packed with vitamins and nutrients, which makes them healthy to eat! Some of these nutrients are vitamin C, folate, beta-carotene, vitamin E, fiber, iron, potassium and folate. Did you know that on a 100 g basis, avocados have 35% more potassium than bananas? Also, the term “anti-inflammatory” is a term that truly applies to this delicious food. Let’s learn a bit more about avocados…
Is avocado healthy? Does it contain healthy fats?
Some people avoid avocados because of their high fat content (about 85% of its calories come from fat), but most of it is healthy, monounsaturated fat and provides research-based health benefits. Whereas other fats, especially saturated fats, are detrimental to your health, monounsaturated fats are the exact opposite.
Eating avocado has positive effects on cholesterol levels
Research indicates that diets containing moderate to high amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids from avocados seem to result in better cholesterol levels. It has been shown that eating avocados can help drop LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and increase HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol), which also benefits the heart.
Avocados are also rich in phytosterol (especially beta-sitosterol), a natural substance that lowers cholesterol. Beta-sitosterol helps block cholesterol absorption in the intestine and has effectively been shown to inhibit growth of prostate cancer cells.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of avocados
Research has shown that absorption of two key carotenoid antioxidants (lycopene and beta-carotene) increases significantly when fresh avocado or avocado oil is added to an otherwise avocado-free salad (like romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots). Researchers believe that avocado’s amazing carotenoid diversity is a key factor in the anti-inflammatory properties.
Avocado is an alkaline forming food
Aside from the nutrients avocado contains, its alkalizing properties are also one excellent reason for you to include avocados in your diet as much as you can! Having it once a day can help to offset the toxic acids in your body. Another alkalizing property of avocado is caused by its fiber content. Fiber helps in digestion and in making sure that an acidic stomach is cleansed of its toxic substances.
Avocado is a healthy protein especially for vegetarians
Avocados provide all essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. A high protein content makes avocados a good meat substitute, and unlike animal fat, the fat is not saturated. As a matter of fact, the amount of protein found in avocados is richer than that found in cow’s milk.
Also, avocado protein is easy to digest and readily absorbed by the body because they contain fiber (they have one of the highest fiber contents of any fruit or vegetable).