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Avocados: You Cannot Afford Not To Eat Them
Avocados have been a popular food in Latin America since Pre-Columbian times, and over the past century this nutrient-packed superfood has become more and more popular in other regions of the world as well. In this article, we’ll explain why avocado health benefits are so huge that you almost can’t afford to not eat them.
Avocados are indigenous to Mexico and Central America. There are two commonly available varieties of avocados. Hass avocados are what most people would recognize as an avocado. They have a dark and slightly bumpy skin, and are named after the Californian farmer Rudolph Hoss. The result of grafting experiments from the naturally occurring fuerte avocado, today this strain accounts for around 95 percent of the avocados sold in the United States. Florida avocados are more difficult to find. They typically grow larger than the Hass variety, and have a bright green, smooth skin. Despite what the name implies, they are sold and eaten in more places than just Florida.
The interior of an avocado has a rich and creamy consistency and offers an unusual combination of flavors. A combination of a rich buttery taste with vegetable-like overtones makes it unique. Avocados are not sweet, and for this reason some people mistake them for a vegetable, but their fleshy bodies and large pits mean they are actually a fruit.
Avocados are typically served as part of a main course, but they can also make an excellent snack on their own. Here, we’ll give the best proof as to why avocados should be included in your meal plan regularly!
1. Avocados are a great source of potassium
This essential nutrient is one of the most important minerals we need to take in order to stay healthy. But unfortunately, an enormous amount of the world’s population, particularly in developed countries, is deficient. Potassium deficiency is linked to many serious health problems, including muscle weakness, low energy, paralysis, poor concentration, and kidney disease. There is also a greatly increased risk of stroke in potassium deficient individuals.
Potassium supplements can be useful, but these often contain synthesized forms which are not as beneficial as naturally occurring potassium. The best way to get more potassium is through diet and avocados. Avocados have more potassium than almost any other food, even bananas. A single avocado contains 975mg, which puts you well on your way to reaching the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 3150mg per day.
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2. Avocados are filled with fat
No, not all fat is bad. That is just plain junk science which has been accepted as nutritional gospel for the last 50 years. (It is actually sugar that makes you fat, but that’s a different story for a different day). Many types of naturally occurring fats are actually exceptionally good for you, and are an essential part of a healthy diet.
Avocados are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. In fact, 77 percent of the calories in an avocado come from fat. This is the same type of fats found in extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil, which are very good for keeping your heart healthy. One particular variety found in avocados is oleic acid, a compound which has powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Eating avocados can also improve your cardio vascular health by reducing your levels of harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and lowering blood pressure. Consuming these good fats also increases your levels of beneficial HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. A diet rich in foods with these attributes can significantly lower your risk for heart attack or stroke.
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3. Avocado oil is great for your skin
There are many oils derived from fruits and vegetables which are beneficial for topical use, but avocado oil is among the best. Applying avocado oil to the skin can provide relief for skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. It can also help moisturize the skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Obviously, some of these are serious skin conditions so speak to a dermatologist about incorporating avocado oil into your treatment regimen.
4. Avocados are one of the all-around healthiest foods you can eat
Avocados also offer vitamin E, B vitamins, zinc, phosphorous, and a modest amount of protein (2 grams per 100 gram serving). Finally, avocados are one of the best sources of fiber in the world, offering a whopping 6.7 grams per 100 gram serving, the highest level of any fruit.
You can’t go wrong by incorporating more avocados into your diet, especially if you select perfect avocado at your store. Of all of the “superfoods” being touted these days, avocados are one of the few that knock it out of the park in most nutritional categories. Next time you see some guacamole at a party, go ahead and scoop yourself a nice big portion- it might be the healthiest thing you’ll eat all day.