Everyone knows that avocados are an excellent source of healthy fat, but do you know the other unique health benefits avocados offer? Native to Mexico, avocados are available at most grocery stores in the United States. Unlike most fruits and veggies, an avocado is high in calories, at 240 calories per cup. However, it still makes a beneficial addition to your diet, because avocados are so rich in nutritional value. Here are some reasons to add avocado to your diet:
1. Prostate Cancer Prevention
Avocados have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.
2. Oral Cancer Defense
Research has shown that certain compounds in avocados are able to seek out pre-cancerous and cancerous oral cancer cells and destroy them without harming healthy cells.
3. Breast Cancer Protection
Avocado, like olive oil, is high in oleic acid, which has been shown to prevent breast cancer in numerous studies.
4. Eye Health
Avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other fruit. Lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts, two disabling age-related eye diseases.
5. Lower Cholesterol
Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. In one study, 45 volunteers experienced an average drop in cholesterol of 17% after eating avocados for only one week.
6. Heart Health
One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don’t. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocados are also great for your heart.
7. Stroke Prevention
The high levels of folate in avocado are also protective against strokes. People who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower risk of stroke than those who don’t.
8. Better Nutrient Absorption
Research has found that certain nutrients are absorbed better when eaten with avocado. In one study, when participants ate a salad containing avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes lycopene and beta carotene) than those who didn’t include avocados.
9. Glutathione Source
Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, an important antioxidant that researchers say is important in preventing aging, cancer, and heart disease.
10. Vitamin E Powerhouse
Avocados are the best fruit source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin that protects against many diseases and helps maintains overall health.
As long as you are mindful of the portion size, you can eat an avocado every day. Avocado is a powerhouse fruit filled with many nutrients and should be a part of any healthy diet. Avocados are extremely versatile: add creamy green cubes of avocado to meals or use them as a healthy substitute for other foods and condiments to enjoy some serious health benefits.