(NaturalHealth365) You love avocados as a sandwich garnish or mashed in guacamole at your favorite Mexican restaurant, but this little green superfood is so much more than just a dip or a garnish. Avocados are loaded with nutrients – which offer profound health benefits.
In fact, a study published by the Journal of the American Heart Association has shown that eating avocado daily can help keep “bad” cholesterol levels under control. Although, if you want to avoid confusion over the ‘real’ risk posed by cholesterol – read “Cholesterol: An unjustified bad rap”, which was published (here) on NaturalHealth365.
A delicious way to reduce your risk of disease
Consuming just one avocado per day, with other healthy fats like coconut oil, can help regulate LDL cholesterol in overweight people. A recent study put persons ranging in age from 21 to 70 on various ‘cholesterol-lowering’ diets: two groups did not eat avocado, while one ate one avocado per day along with a moderate-fat diet.
After five weeks, those who consumed the daily avocado had lower LDL cholesterol levels as well as improvements in overall cholesterol and triglycerides. The study clearly showed that replacing unhealthy (overly-processed) fats with the healthy fats found in avocados reduced cardiovascular disease and other risk factors.
Note: Conventional medicine would have you believe that cholesterol is a ‘major’ factor toward heart disease. But, in reality, one should NOT get carried away with the ‘cholesterol hype’. If you want to learn more – read the article published on NaturalHealth365 entitled, “Cardiologist speaks out about cholesterol and statins’.
How do avocados help to support immune function and lower the risk of disease?
The phytochemicals in avocados are believed to fight pre-cancerous cells and prevent some cancers such as oral cancer. Avocados strengthen the immune system due to being loaded with glutathione, a powerful antioxidant that detoxifies the blood and blocks cancer-causing free radicals.
Are you looking to improve heart function and the quality of your blood?
The avocado fruit is rich in monounsaturated (healthy) fats – which will help reduce your risk of heart disease. Eating avocado also helps people to feel full and satisfied longer, staving off the hunger pangs that often lead to overeating and unhealthy snacking.
Another 2013 study, published in the journal Nutrition, found that overweight individuals who consumed half an avocado for lunch experienced a 40 percent decrease in the urge to eat in the following three to five hours.
In addition, surprising to many people, just one avocado has more potassium than a banana – which can naturally help to lower blood pressure. Avocados are also an excellent brain food; high blood pressure can lead to cognitive decline, but avocados lower both blood pressure and cholesterol – which reduces your risk of a stroke, while promoting better blood flow.
Eating avocados will help support healthier skin and eyes
Avocados assist in key nutrient absorption such as beta-carotene and provitamin A, according to a recent study. These antioxidants help to support skin, vision and immune system health. Avocados are also rich in the carotenoids zeaxanthin and lutein – which are powerful antioxidants crucial to vision and healthy eyes.
With so many benefits, we should all keep avocados on hand to enjoy daily. Make your own guacamole and spread it on sandwiches or eat it with your favorite vegetable snack. For other people, avocados sliced in salads; put inside wraps or blended in your favorite smoothie are delicious options. Enjoy!