To be surely included in the TOP 5 healthiest foods on the planet, Avocados are a truly amazing fruit with a very unique nutritional profile and multiple benefits.
They have the distinction of being the fruit with the highest fat content, between 71 to 88% of their total calories; which may sound unhealthy, but is actually the opposite. The kind of fat contained in avocados indeed, is good for your body. Considering fat make – up, avocados consist of 71% monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), 13% polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and 16% saturated fatty acids (SFA).
A diet rich in healthy fats, as the Mediterranean diet, in particular MUFAs, can provide benefits for both your hearth and your brain. Monounsaturated fatty acids are actually known to protect your body against cardiovascular disease (CDV) by improving your risk factors: the decrease of LDL levels (bad cholesterol) and the rise of the good one (HDL) means a lowered risk of hearth disease and stroke.
Not only Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats content, but also are loaded with fibers, vitamins (Vitamin K, B group Vitamins, Vitamin E and C) and minerals (very high in potassium content - more than twice the potassium of a banana - phosphorus and magnesium).
Furthermore, Avocados are the richest known fruit source of phytosterols with about 26 mg and 57 mg per 30 g and one half fruit, respectively (USDA, 2011). (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/).
These fat-like substances have the power to decrease inflammation and block cholesterol activity in the intestines. One study showed that the natural phytosterols in avocado may help promote a stronger intestinal cholesterol blocking activity better than popular sterol-fortified foods and supplements. (Source https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov).
What Is It good for?
This nutrient dense fruit have multiple benefits:
HEART HEALTH & BLOWERING BLOOD PRESSURE. As I wrote before, the high content of healthy fats and antioxidants makes avocado a superfood against heart diseases and stroke.
Furthermore, as a result of being a good source of potassium and naturally very low in sodium, with just 2 mg sodium per 30 g of fruit, avocados may promote blood pressure control.
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY. Avocados are good to keep inflammation under control, thanks to the high phytosterols content, and plant hormones such as campesterol and beta-sitosterol. It also contains PFAs ( Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols), which are anti-inflammatory.
LOWER THE RISK OF METABOLIC SYNDROME. Dubbed “the new silent killer,” Metabolic syndrome is a term used to describe a cluster of conditions that increases your risk of developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Recent studies, that investigate the effects of avocados on the different components of this syndrome, have proven that adding avocados to your daily diet may help reduce risk of metabolic syndrome by tackling a number of risk factors for the condition, such as high cholesterol.
BOOST YOUR FERTILITY. Avocados are one of the TOP 5 Fertility Booster Foods thanks to the fact they are packed with folic acid, a type of B vitamin that helps boost fertility in both men and women, and high in healthy fats.
EYE AND SKIN HEALTH. Being a good source of carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, Avocados may help to promote eye health and preserves healthy, youthful looking skin and hair, protecting it from the damage of UV and visible radiations.
CANCER. Avocados contain a number of bioactive phytochemicals including carotenoids, terpenoids, D-mannoheptulose, persenone A and B, phenols, and glutathione that have been reported to have anti-carcinogenic properties (Ding et al., 2009; Jones et al., 1992; Ames, 1983).
How do I use it?
GUACAMOLE. This classic Mexican dip is quick and easy to make and usually satisfy everybody. Try to make it from scratch using organic or farmer’s fresh ingredients.
AVOCADO TOAST. There’s nothing more simply delicious than an avocado toast. Just slice or smash your avocado on top of a piece of toast. Add a drizzle of olive oil and a little bit of sea salt and pepper to season. Enjoy!
A HEALTHY SALAD. Add avocado to a salad to increase the absorption of fat soluble antioxidants contained in the other vegetables.