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Today we’ll be focusing on the many health benefits of avocados, perhaps one of the healthiest super foods out there.  Not only do they help with insulin resistance, diabetes, and heart disease, but they can also assist our bodies to more readily absorb other fat-soluble nutrients.  More good news is that avocados are one of those foods you don’t have to buy organic due to its thick skin that protects the inner fruit from pesticides.  They are actually one of the safest commercial crops in terms of pesticide application.

Avocado and its many health benefits:

Heart healthy – the monounsaturated fat boosts heart health and lowers blood pressure, LDL and triglyceride blood levels, as well as increases HDL levels.

Improves brain function – the healthy omega-3 essential fatty acids are vital for optimal brain function and to help prevent degenerative brain disorders like Alzheimer’s.

Helps with blood sugar regulation – the monounsaturated fats are low in fructose and also help to regulate blood sugars.  This is important since one in four Americans is either diabetic or insulin-resistant.

Regulate homocysteine levels in the blood – The folic acid and vitamin B6 found in avocados help to regulate homocysteine, an indicator of poor heart health.  Folate may also help to reduce the risk of stroke.

Anti-inflammatory – the abundance of plant phytonutrient polyphenols and flavonoids in avocados have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body.

Anti-aging – contains the powerful antioxidant, glutathione, which supports the liver, nervous system, and strengthens the immune system.

Improves digestion – specific nutrients and enzymes in avocado reduce inflammation in the stomach and intestinal lining.

Improves eye health – the leutein in avocado is an antioxidant that specializes in protecting the eyes from oxidative stress which can lead to cataracts, poor vision, and macular degeneration.

Cancer prevention – Avocados have been shown to offer significant protection against prostate and breast cancer because they contain a concentrated amount of carotenoids.

How to incorporate more avocados into your diet:

Due to its mild flavor and creamy texture, avocados pair up well with many foods.  Although they are typically eaten raw on a salad, in guacamole dip, or all by themselves, here are other ways to include more avocados in your diet:

  • Use as a fat replacement in baking (in lieu of oil, butter, or shortening)
  • Use in soups to thicken texture
  • Use as a baby food (instead of the usual processed kinds)
  • Use it as a substitute for bananas in your smoothies or protein shakes (contains a lot less sugar!)

 

 

Sources:

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/01/17/avocado-benefits.aspx

http://www.naturalnews.com/040067_avocado_cancer_prevention_superfood.html##ixzz3PxRJwGFf

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