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You Will Never Guess Which is the Healthiest Fruit in the World
When trying to follow a healthy diet, many people make the mistake of skipping avocados due to their high fat content (approximately 14.1 grams in half an avocado.) What they don’t know, however, is that avocados are one of the healthiest fruits (yep, it’s a fruit) you can buy! These dark green gems are packed with nutrients and tons of compounds that protect you from everything from heart disease to cancer.
Don’t skip on the guacamole because you think it’s not a healthy food! The truth is avocados are overflowing with nutrients that are typically lacking in the Western diet of today, which makes them the perfect food for correcting deficiencies naturally and fighting diseases. Keep reading to find out why you should definitely be chopping up some avocado for your lunchtime salad, or making some guacamole for a dinner time treat.
1. Disease Fighting Friend
Yes, it’s true, avocados contain fat, but this is the type of healthy fat your body needs. With about 67 percent of this fat being monounsaturated, 16 percent polyunsaturated, and 15 percent saturated fat, you can see that the bad “saturated” fat is minimal.
The largest amount of fat is the monounsaturated type, also known as oleic acid. Oleic acid has been shown to prevent chronic and serious diseases. One study, published in Lipids in Health and Disease in 2009, showed that oleic acid could actually reverse the negative effects of inflammation in subjects with diabetes and person who are obese, which means it might even help prevent, or treat, type 2 diabetes. Another study published in 2004 found that oleic acid, could decrease the risk factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease. This study was published in the journal Nutrition. So eating avocados is one great tasting way to prevent disease! Read more about amazing things you never imagined about avocados.
2. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
The oleic acid we talked about earlier is some good stuff! Besides preventing disease, it can also help to reduce cholesterol levels. One study showed that those who ate a diet rich in avocados had large decreases in overall cholesterol levels, especially in LDL (bad) cholesterol, yet their HDL (good) cholesterol levels were up an average of 11 percent. High cholesterol levels are one of the main risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease.
3. Naturally Balances Hormones
Avocados contain beta-sitosterol, which is a plant sterol, which has anti-estrogenic compounds, which means that they naturally block the estrogen receptors in our bodies and reduce the rate at which estrogen is absorbed. This means that women have increased progesterone levels and men have increased testosterone levels. In today’s world that is filled with hormone blocking and disrupting chemicals, avocados can help restore the natural balance of hormones in both men and women.
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4. Protect Your Unborn Baby
Folate, a vitamin which is vital for the prevention of birth defects, is something every mother or mother to be should be consuming. Just one cup of avocado will give you 25 percent of your daily recommended intake. So if you are pregnant, or are planning on becoming pregnant, you should be adding avocados, instead of pickles, to that ice cream craving you get! Even if you aren’t at the craving stage just yet, eat an avocado anyway, it’s good for you and your baby!
5. Crazy at Cancer Fighting
Carotenoids are plant-based precursors to vitamin A and one of the carotenoids that are found in avocados, beta-carotene, is well known as a crazy cancer fighter. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications published a study in August of 2013 that found that consuming beta-carotene can inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors, especially those associated with neuroblastoma, a very aggressive cancer that tends to affect young children.
6. Supports Healthy Vision
Avocados contain two other carotenoids, zeaxanthin and lutein, which are naturally found in high concentrations of the macula of the eye. These two carotenoids are well known for supporting healthy eyes. The American Macular Degeneration Foundation found that zeaxanthin and lutein, when taken as supplements, can prevent age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of blindness and vision loss in people over the age of 50. You don’t have to take supplements, however; you can get all that goodness for your eyes by eating more avocados, and it’s that easy.
7. Helps You Lose Weight
Yeah, we hear that about a lot of things, but with avocados, it’s true! Just half of one avocado has almost 4 grams of fiber, both soluble and insoluble, which your body needs to keep your entire digestive system working smoothly. Soluble fiber slows up the process of breaking down carbs in your stomach, which means food stays in your stomach longer, making you feel full for a longer period of time. The oleic acid in avocados also activates a part of your brain that tells you that you are full and to stop eating. The unsaturated fats in oleic acid also give you feeling of satisfaction and satiety, unlike the trans-fats that are found in many processed foods and junk, or snack foods. So when you want a snack, think green! Think avocados!
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8. Super High in Nutrition
Just one avocado will give you more than 53 percent of our daily recommended intake of vitamin K, 28 percent of potassium, 33 percent of vitamin C, B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, and vitamin E.
9. Stops Inflammation
The phytosterols in avocados have powerful anti-inflammatory action, which means it can prevent diseases that begin with inflammation such as cardiovascular disease and arthritis. Some studies even show that phytosterols help improve the body’s immune system. Although all avocados have phytosterols, Hass avocados are a particularly good source, and unrefined avocado oil is even better. Switch from those highly processed GMO vegetable oils and switch to avocado oil for super health!
SEE ALSO: One Yellow Fruit can Fight Kidney Stones
10. Super Antioxidant Power
Antioxidants provide you with important protection from free radicals, which cause damage at a cellular level and lead to a variety of diseases, such as cancer, and are the main source of premature aging. The strongest concentrations of antioxidants are found just below the skin of the fruit itself, so be sure you really scrape that hard skin and get all the antioxidant power you can.
Although almost everyone loves the taste of avocados, very few people realize just how unbelievably healthy they are. Share this information with friends and family who value their good health and share in nature’s bounty!