The avocado (Persea americana) is classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae, along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel. Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. They have a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical. Avocados have 54% of your recommended daily value of fiber, which gives this fruit much of its fat burning abilities.
Sometimes called the alphabet fruit—because just one avocado provides your body with vitamins A, C, E, K and B6, you can be sure you’re getting plenty of nourishment with each bite. Other vitamins found in relatively large quantities in an avocado include riboflavin, niacin, folate, and pantothenic acid. One Avocado contains 975 milligrams of Potassium.
Health Benefits of Avocados
The folate contained in avocados is mostly responsible for reducing the risk of heart disease, especially for people who usually have diets low in folate. The vitamin E in an avocado has also been linked to a healthy heart, something needed to keep you successfully burning fat all day long.
Another health benefit of avocado is that it is extremely helpful in preventing both rheumatoid and osteo-arthritis. The many different antioxidants found in avocados help reduce inflammation, a major concern for sufferers of either type of arthritis. Avocado nutrients responsible for this health benefit include vitamins C and E, as well as manganese.
Perhaps the biggest health benefit of avocados is that by adding avocado to certain foods, you can improve your absorption of nutrients. This means that when you combine other fat burning foods with avocado, you can improve your nutrient absorption up to 400%!
Avocados provide many general health benefits due to its vitamin E and glutathione content, which protects you against tons of diseases including several forms of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and cholesterol.
Avocados also help reduce the signs of aging, regulate blood sugar, and promote eye health.
Reasons why you should eat avocados regularly
1. Prostate cancer prevention. Avocados have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.
2. Breast cancer protection. Avocado, like olive oil, is high in oleic acid, which has been shown to prevent breast cancer in numerous studies.
3. Eye Health. Avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit. Lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts, two disabling age-related eye diseases.
4. Lower Cholesterol. Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. In one study, 45 volunteers experienced an average of a 17% drop in cholesterol levels after eating avocados for only one week.
5. Heart Health. One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don’t. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.
6. Stroke Prevention. The high levels of folate in avocado are also protective against strokes. People who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower risk of stroke than those who don’t.
7. Glutathione Source. Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, an antioxidant that researchers say is important in preventing aging, cancer, and heart disease.
Exciting ways to serve your avocados
Store your avocados at room temperature until ripened and ready to use. Refrigerate ripe avocados. Store open avocados in an airtight container to prevent oxidation—the browning of the avocado after being cut open is due to oxygen.
1. Chop 1 avocado into thin slices or cubes and add it to your favorite salad.
2. Slice 1 avocado, ½ onion and 2 tomatoes for a quick salad.
3. Mash 1 avocado then whip for a healthy mayonnaise alternative. Also doubles as a delicious dip!
4. Chop 1 avocado and add to ½ cup each black beans, corn and chopped onion for a light non-traditional salsa.
5. Add sliced avocado to deli sandwiches for a creamy rich flavor that also provides you with health-boosting nutrients.
Use these recipes to jump start your fat burning process and to simply enjoy the delicate veggie, creamy taste of the avocado.
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