Holy Guacamole: Eat your Avocados

open avocado next to whole avocadoIn case you haven’t realized, avocados are quite trendy now. The Central-American fruit is extremely popular with millenials, and has even been coined “America’s favorite fruit.” And it’s for good reason. Avocados are creamy and delicious, and they pair well with nearly every other food.

But even more importantly, avocados are packed with vitamins and minerals that help keep us healthy. Here’s just some of what you can get from one avocado:

Fiber

Half a cup of avocado contains about 1/4 of your daily fiber needs. Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet; it helps you feel full so you don’t eat as much. Fiber also helps maintain bowel health and normalizes your bowel movements. Its unique properties help with achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

“Healthy” Fat

Avocados have a high fat content, but it’s mainly monounsaturated fat. This kind of fat is considered healthy, and is found in olive oil, avocados, and nuts. Swapping out trans and refined fats for monounsaturated fats provides amazing results. Among the health benefits of these healthy fats are lower cholesterol levels, reduced risk for heart disease and stroke, and weight loss.

Potassium

One average avocado contains 1000 mg of potassium. Potassium is a mineral that regulates your muscles and helps them contract normally. If you have muscle cramps, low potassium could be the culprit. Also, since your heart is a muscle, potassium is essential for maintaining a regular heartbeat.

Potassium also plays a part in your body’s maintenance. It helps control your blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Too little potassium can wreak havoc on both of these important numbers.

Vitamin B

Avocado is packed with a variety of B vitamins—the powerhouse vitamin that helps convert food into energy. It’s especially rich in folate and niacin, two B vitamins with important functions. Folate is responsible for healthy cell growth. It also has an effect on your mood; too little folate can cause depression and anxiety. Niacin fights inflammation and improves cholesterol levels.

Vitamin E

Another vitamin found in avocados is vitamin E. This vitamin helps reduce your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps fight cell damage, so it may also slow cognitive decline.

Lutein

Avocados are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. Both are antioxidants that absorb harmful light waves before they can damage your vision. Eating a diet rich in these nutrients can reduce your chance of developing age-related macular degeneration. The darker green flesh of the avocado is the most antioxidant-rich, so make sure to eat all the way to the rind.

 

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