Saturday, August 4, 2012
Nutso for Avocado!
Not only are they delicious and filling, they are packed with nutritional goodness! Avocados have a bit of a bad reputation because they tend to be high in fat (although it's the GOOD fat!) and loaded with calories, but their pros outweigh their cons. Here are some great reasons to include avocados in your healthy lifestyle:
1. Avocados are filling! There are over 3 grams of fiber in half of one avocado - fiber which, we all know, is good for keeping our digestive systems running in tip top shape.
2. They contain lutein, an antioxidant carotenoid that helps protect against eye disease.
3. Avocados are a rich source of carotenoids, yes - but they also help you get more of these nutrients from other foods. Carotenoids are lipophilic (soluble in fat, not water), so eating carotenoid-packed foods like fruits and vegetables along with monounsaturated-fat-rich avocados helps your body absorb the carotenoids.
4. Avocados also contain a healthy oleic acid, a fat that activates the part of your brain that makes you feel full. Eat more avocados, eat less junk foods!
5. Avocado slows digestion and helps keep blood sugar from spiking after a meal. A diet high in good fats may even help reverse insulin resistance, which translates to steadier blood sugar over long-term.
6. One cup of avocado provides almost a quarter of your recommended daily intake of folate, a vitamin which cuts the risk of birth defects. If you’re pregnant - or planning to be - avocados will help protect your unborn baby!
7. High cholesterol is one of the main risk factors for heart disease. The cholesterol-lowering properties of avocado, along with its folate content, help keep your heart healthy. Many studies have come to show that when those with high cholesterol start eating more avocados in their diet, their cholesterol levels tend to decrease.
Not bad for a delicious bite, huh!?