If you’ve never eaten avocado, boy are you missing out. Not only are they one of nature’s top superfoods, they are delicious and can be prepared in a variety of ways, or just eaten right out of the skin.
Let’s take a look at six things that make avocadoes an excellent daily addition to your diet:
Protein multipliers: Avocadoes provide all 18 essential amino acids for your body to form a complete protein, unlike proteins in other foods. Take steak, for example, which can be hard for people to digest – avocado protein is absorbed quickly and readily into the body because avocadoes also contain fiber. If you were considering cutting down on animal-based protein and were wondering what you could replace it with, your answer lies in the produce aisle of your organic market: Specifically, wherever the avocadoes are.
Not all fats are created equal: We’ve heard for years that “fat is bad,” but the fact is, as researchers have discovered, not all fats are bad fats and as humans, we just happen to require certain fats for optimum health. Avocadoes provide a healthy dose of those fats daily. Like olive oil, avocadoes boost HDL (the “good” cholesterol), which helps protect against damage caused by free radicals. It also helps regulate triglyceride levels and to prevent diabetes.
Carotenoids: Many people associate carotenoids with red and orange produce, but the fact is avocadoes are an excellent source as well. Also known as alligator pears, avocadoes offer a wide range of carotenoids including beta-carotene, alpha carotene, and lutein, as well as lesser-known varieties. “Every time you consume foods rich in carotenoids, you deliver high quality vitamin A to your body, thereby protecting eye health,” NaturalNews reports.
Inflammation reducer: The combined effect of the nutrients contained in avocadoes provides very powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. The fruit’s unique combination of vitamins C and E, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, phytosterols and omega-3 fatty acids bolsters this effect, meaning that avocadoes can help prevent or mitigate osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis.
Healthy heart: Remember that avocadoes contain “good” fat? Well, that is beneficial to your heart, as well. While uninformed “health experts” may tell you avocadoes are not good for your heart, they actually provide protection against heart disease. How? Studies have shown that oleic acid, a primary fat in avocadoes, improves overall cardiovascular health.
Get the most from your avocadoes: Generally speaking, this means know which ones to choose and when to eat them. You can identify them thusly: Overly ripe avocadoes may have dents in them and are extremely soft – avoid these. A ripe avocado should be pliable but firm, without dents. Buying unripe, very hard, avocadoes and letting them ripen at home is also an option.