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HEALTH BENEFITS OF AVOCADO

HEALTH BENEFITS OF AVOCADO

1. Avocado is Incredibly Nutritious

What we refer to as “avocado” is the fruit of the avocado tree, called Persea americana (1).

This fruit is prized for its high nutrient value and is added to all sorts of dishes due to its good flavor and rich texture. It is the main ingredient in guacamole.

These days, the avocado has become an incredibly popular food among health conscious individuals. It is often referred to as a superfood… which is not surprising given its health properties (2).

There are many kinds of avocados, and the shape (from pear-shaped to round) and color (from green to black) can vary between them. They can also weigh anywhere from 8 ounces (220 grams) to 3 pounds (1.4 kg).

 

2. They Contain More Potassium Than Bananas

Potassium is a nutrient that most people aren’t getting enough of (4).

This nutrient helps maintain electrical gradients in the body’s cells and serves various important functions.

Avocados are actually very high in potassium… with a 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving containing 14% of the RDA, compared to 10% in bananas, which are a typical high potassium food (5).

Several studies show that having a high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure (6).

 

3. Avocado is Loaded With Heart-Healthy Monounsaturated Fatty Acids

 

Again, avocado is a high fat food.

In fact, 77% of the calories in it are from fat, making it one of the fattiest plant foods in existence.

But they don’t just contain any fat… the majority of the fat in avocado is oleic acid.

This is a monounsaturated fatty acid that is also the major component in olive oil and believed to be responsible for some of its beneficial effects.

Oleic acid has been linked to reduced inflammation and been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer (7, 8, 9, 10).

The fats in avocado are also pretty resistant to heat-induced oxidation, makingavocado oil a healthy and safe choice for cooking.

Bottom Line: Avocados and avocado oil are high in monounsaturated oleic acid, a “heart healthy” fatty acid that is believed to be one of the main reasons for the health benefits of olive oil.

4. Avocados Are Loaded With Fiber

 

Fiber is another nutrient found in relatively large amounts in avocado.

Fiber is indigestible plant matter that can contribute to weight loss, reduce blood sugar spikes and is strongly linked to a lower risk of many diseases (11, 12, 13).

A distinction is often made between soluble and insoluble fiber.

Soluble fiber is known to be able to feed the friendly gut bacteria in the intestine, which are very important for the optimal function of our bodies (14).

A 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving of avocado contains 7 grams of fiber, which is 27% of the recommended daily amount.

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