Whole Foods Wednesday – Avocado

I go nuts for avocado… I love it so much. 10 years ago I hated the stuff (I think due to texture), but now I can’t get enough of it – in fact, I’ll actually eat it plain! It helps that now I know how to open it and remove the pit, too 🙂

Do you know why Avocado is so good for you? There are tons of benefits, truly, so I have highlighted a few here:

  • Boosts Eye Health – Just one ounce of avocado contains 81 micrograms of lutein, along with zeaxanthin, two phytonutrients which are essential to eye health. They are carotenoids that help lower your risk of developing age-related eye conditions. The fat content in avocado is what helps the body absorb the carotenoid.
  • Promotes weight loss – Avocado’s smooth and creamy texture actually contains 6 to 7 grams of fiber for half of a medium-sized fruit. Its rich fiber content can help you feel full faster and longer, making it a great weight loss aid. 75 percent of the fat in an avocado is unsaturated, which makes it a great substitute for foods high in saturated fat plus the oleic acid, one of the unsaturated fatty acids, may help to activate the satiety center in your brain that helps you feel full.
  • Absorbs other nutrients – Avocado has a rich fat content that makes it easier to absorb fat solubles such as vitamins A, K, D, and E, which means adding this creamy fruit to any vegetable-dense meals will help you get all of the vitamins of your food. Without fat in your diet, the body would not be able to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins in that meal.
  • Lowers cholesterol – Avocado is filled with fats that are good for you, specifically monounsaturated fat, which helps to lower bad cholesterol. This is because avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, which is a compound that lowers blood cholesterol levels. If you worry about your body’s cholesterol levels, avocados are a great solution because they will actually lower your LDL and increase your HDL levels. Studies have found that avocado helped improve the cholesterol levels of people who already had good lipid levels.
  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory agent – Avocados contain phytosterols, carotenoid antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, and polyhydroxolated fatty alcohols, which make the fruit an anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Helps reduce risk of certain cancers – Avocados possess a combination of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics, which makes them able to combat certain cancers, including mouth, skin, and prostate.  And the consumption of avocado can also be beneficial during chemotherapy. Chemotherapy sessions often drain the body out of glutathione — a powerful antioxidant source — but avocado can help. Avocados contain rich sources of both vitamin E and glutathione, and if chemotherapy is reducing your glutathione storage supply, avocados are a great way to get that antioxidant back into your system!
  • Boosts heart health – The mono- and polyunsaturated fats in avocados not only help reduce blood cholesterol levels, but they help decrease the overall risk for heart disease. Avocado’s high vitamin B6 and folic acid content helps to regulate homocysteine levels, according to Cohen, which is what reduces the risk. Avocados are associated with a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, a group of symptoms shown to increase the risk of stroke, coronary artery disease, and Diabetes. Overall, avocado consumption is associated with improved diet quality, nutrient intake, and good heart health.

How do you feel about avocados? I have always loved guacamole but eating them standalone grossed me out… now I’m like, I cant have a turkey sandwich without avocado! I also like to blend a whole one in with my Shakeology – a superfoods superboost! 🙂

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