This fruit has been making the lists of the world’s healthiest foods; avocados are a great source for vitamins and fiber. This super food makes a great addition to salads or sandwiches and can provide many health benefits. Guacamole, which is made from avocados, also makes a great and healthy dip—about 50 million pounds of avocados are consumed on Super Bowl Sunday.
Avocado Health Benefits #1: Nutrition
Avocados have a bad reputation for having too much fat for a vegetable. However the fat contained in avocados are “good fats”, containing stigmasterol, campesterol, and beta-sitosterol, that helps control the inflammatory system. Most of the fat is made from a fatty acid called oleic acid, which is similar to the fat of olives and olive oil. Oleic acid helps boost the digestive tract and for a monounsaturated fatty acid, the fat can help lower risk of heart disease. One raw avocado that’s cubed has 240 calories and filled with fiber and vitamins K, B6, E, and C. An avocado also contains 35% more potassium than a banana. Even half an avocado has 160 calories and 15 grams of heart healthy fat!
Avocado Health Benefits #2: High Fiber and Protein Content
Most Americans are only eating 15 grams of fiber per day and that’s not enough. Women need 25 grams of fiber per day and men need 38 grams per day. Avocados have high fiber content and one cup has 10 grams of fiber already. High fiber foods aid digestion and help regulate blood sugar since the vegetable contains less than 2 grams of sugar per cup. One avocado can also pack four grams of protein, which is the highest, amount coming from a fruit.
Avocado Health Benefits #3: Antioxidant booster
Avocados contain an antioxidant called “Glutathione”, which boosts the immune system and helps keeps the nervous system functioning. Avocados also contain a high amount of Lutein that can help with eyesight.
Avocado Health Benefits #4: Skin
The way you peel an avocado can make a difference of how much vitamins you consume. Research has shown that the most concentrated carotenoids location in the avocado is the dark green portion under the flesh. The method “nick and peel”, is the best way to cut the avocado, by cutting it lengthwise in half and then taking out the seed. Proceed to peel off the skin and you will have a peeled avocado that is rich in carotenoid antioxidants.
Avocado Health Benefits #5: Store Avocado for the Next Day
This is more of a tip than a benefit, but avocados ripe faster than a bananas and in order to prevent an open avocado from browning, put a hint of lemon juice on the open avocado and refrigerate in a plastic bag. The avocado will be ready to eat the next day without being spoiled!