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7 Reasons You Should Start Eating Avocados Today

posted on 8/1/2016 Facebook Facebook

A go-to ingredient for your favorite party dip—guacamole, avocados are increasingly becoming the “new super fruit”. Rich, creamy, flavorful these pear-shaped berries (yes, that’s right!) are in fact a powerhouse of health. 

Prized for its high nutritive value, avocados are full of healthy fats and about 20 vitamins and minerals. It also contains good amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber. Being rich in monosaturated fats, this nutrient dense fruit aids in the absorption of other nutrients especially fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. An added bonus—they are extremely low in sugar. Here are seven reasons to make this fruit a daily staple. 

1.Eye Health
Avocados are a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoid phytochemicals which help in maintaining eye health. These are known for their antioxidant property and can thus minimize eye damage and protect against several eye diseases. But these wonder fruits not only contain eye healthy components but also help in absorbing more from other foods. Being lipophilic in nature, carotenoids increase the uptake of vitamin A, an eye essential vitamin. 

2.Heart Health
High in mono and unsaturated fats, avocados keep your cholesterol levels low and can thus protect you from heart diseases. According to a 2013 study published in the Nutrition Journal, avocados reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms shown to increase the risk of stroke, coronary artery disease, and diabetes. 

3.Weight Loss
One medium sized avocado contains about 7 grams of fiber which is excellent for a healthy digestive system. This also works in favor of your weight loss regime, as all the fiber makes you feel full faster and for long periods of time. 

4.Cancer Prevention
The unusual mix of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the avocado fruit has been found to be effective in reducing the risk of mouth, skin and prostate cancer. A 2007 study highlighted the chemoprotective properties of this fruit by inhibiting growth of cancer cells and inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) in precancerous cells

5.Bone Health
Packed with an anti-inflammatory punch, avocados are particularly effective in treating symptoms related to arthritis and osteoporosis. Avocados are also rich in vitamin K which plays an important role in bone health along with calcium and vitamin D. Vitamin K improves the absorption of calcium as well as reducing its excretion through urine. 

6.Birth Defects
One cup of avocados gives you about a quarter of your daily folate intake. Folate or folic acid is usually recommended during pregnancy as it can cut any risk of birth defects in the unborn baby.

7.Skin Health
The monounsaturated fats in avocados are beneficial in improving your overall skin tone. It not only helps to maintain good moisture levels but also make your skin soft and look healthy. Omega-3 fats further enhance the skin soothing benefits by repairing damaged cells and preventing aging. 

References: 
1.Dreher ML, Davenport AJ. Hass avocado composition and potential health effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(7):738-50. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2011.556759. Review. PubMed PMID: 23638933; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3664913.
2.Fulgoni VL 3rd, Dreher M, Davenport AJ. Avocado consumption is associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, and lower metabolic syndrome risk in US adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2008. Nutr J. 2013 Jan 2;12:1. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-12-1. PubMed  PMID: 23282226; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3545982.
3.Pieterse Z, Jerling JC, Oosthuizen W, Kruger HS, Hanekom SM, Smuts CM, Schutte AE. Substitution of high monounsaturated fatty acid avocado for mixed dietary fats during an energy-restricted diet: effects on weight loss, serum lipids,fibrinogen, and vascular function. Nutrition. 2005 Jan;21(1):67-75. PubMed PMID:15661480.
4.Lu QY, Arteaga JR, Zhang Q, Huerta S, Go VL, Heber D. Inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth by an avocado extract: role of lipid-soluble bioactive substances. J Nutr Biochem. 2005 Jan;16(1):23-30. PubMed PMID: 15629237.
5.Ding H, Chin YW, Kinghorn AD, D''Ambrosio SM. Chemopreventive characteristics of avocado fruit. Semin Cancer Biol. 2007 Oct;17(5):386-94. Epub 2007 May 17. Review. PubMed PMID: 17582784.
6.Henrotin YE, Deberg MA, Crielaard JM, Piccardi N, Msika P, Sanchez C. Avocado/soybean unsaponifiables prevent the inhibitory effect of osteoarthritic subchondral osteoblasts on aggrecan and type II collagen synthesis by chondrocytes. J Rheumatol. 2006 Aug;33(8):1668-78. PubMed PMID: 16832844.
7.Green NS. Folic acid supplementation and prevention of birth defects. J Nutr. 2002 Aug;132(8 Suppl):2356S-2360S. PubMed PMID: 12163692.
8.Werman MJ, Mokady S, Nimni ME, Neeman I. The effect of various avocado oils on skin collagen metabolism. Connect Tissue Res. 1991;26(1-2):1-10. PubMed PMID: 1676360.

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