7.02.2014

Holy Guacamole : Gimme some Avocado Love!



Avocado open



I get a lot of questions on whether Avocados are really good for you so today's post will be just about that. 
Avocados may be FATTY, but that doesn't mean that they are bad for your health.
In fact, this fruit is a nutritional powerhouse providing numerous potential health benefits.
Its creamy texture and rich taste make it a common ingredient in many dishes. It is probably most well known for being a key ingredient in the Mexican dip "guacamole".
Because of its high fat content, avocado is also used as a meat substitute in sandwiches and salads.
But what makes this fruit so good for you?
This Medical News Today information article provides a nutritional breakdown of avocados and details on some of the potential health benefits associated with its consumption.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS

Healthy Fats and Protein - an average avocado contains around 4 grams of protein, which is much more than most other fruits.
Sugar - avocado's sugar content is low compared to other fruits. Half an avocado contains approximately 0.2 g of sugar.
Vitamins and minerals - avocados are an excellent source of potassium (containing more per weight than bananas). In addition, avocados are rich in vitamin K, Vitamin B9, vitamin B6, vitamin B5 vitamin C, and vitamin E.2
Dietary fiber - a medium avocado contains 11 grams of fiber, which is close to half of the daily recommended minimum intake.3

SOME HEALTH BENEFITS

Apart from being an excellent source of fiber and vitamins, research suggests that there may be a nuber of other benefits associated with the fruit, including: lowering cholesterol levels, reducing risks of diabetes, promoting lower body weight and even preventing cancer. 
Research suggests that eating avocados could help lower levels of bad cholesterol. A study published in the Archives of Medical Research found that an "avocado enriched diet can improve lipid profile in healthy and especially in mild hypercholesterolemic patients, even if hypertriglyceridemia (combined hyperlipidemia) is present."4
After a week of following the avocado enriched diet the patients experienced a 22% decrease in bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels and an 11% increase in good cholesterol.
Avocados may reduce the risk of diabetes, stroke, and coronary artery disease
Metabolic syndrome is name for a group of symptoms that increase the risk of diabetes, stroke, and coronary artery disease One study, published in the Nutrition Journal assessed the link between avocado consumption and metabolic syndrome.5
The scientists concluded that "avocado consumption is associated with improved overall diet quality, nutrient intake, and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome."
Avocados may promote a healthy body weight and BMI
The same study (as the one referenced above), titled "Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults", also found that people who ate avocados were more likely to have a lower body weight, BMI (body mass index), and waist circumference.5
Avocados may help prevent cancer
Avocados are rich in phytochemicals, which have been reported to help prevent the development of certain cancers. A team of scientists who examined the the chemopreventive characteristics of avocados concluded that "individual and combinations of phytochemicals from the avocado fruit may offer an advantageous dietary strategy in cancer prevention."6


BONUS TIP :

Here's the chart I found in a site which helps determine the ripeness of an avocado from the outside. Quite tricky because you really have to look closely! Try it the next time you find yourself in the grocery or market....



Gimme some avocado love,

Pattie

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