Avocados have been called the perfect food by some, and this title doesn’t come simply from its role as the primary ingredient in guacamole. No, the fruit is actually called this because of its range of health benefits—credited with everything from helping brain function, to encouraging weight loss, and preventing heart disease. Whether you’re already enjoying avocados on a regular basis or if you still need a bit of convincing, the avocado comes with a wealth of swaying perks.
Avocados: Countless Health Benefits
Firstly, people who eat avocados are healthier than people who don’t. No, really. As I reported just a few weeks ago, a recent study found that people who eat avocados on a regular basis have lower BMIs, lower waist circumference, lower intake of added sugar, higher nutrient intakes, and higher levels of “good” cholesterol.
Recently, studies on the benefits of avocados have been flooding nutritional journals, in part because the Hass Avocado Board has been funding more and more research to bolster their avocado campaign. And while we need to be cautious with studies funded by those with a financial interest in their outcome, some of their findings have merely echoed what’s been said before in past research.
One such study shows that eating a hamburger with one-half of an avocado led to a the inhibition of Interleukin-6 (IL-6) production. IL-6 is an inflammatory compound that is believed to play a role in increased risk of heart disease. In addition, when comparing study subjects who ate their burger with avocado with those who only ate the burger plain, researchers found a lesser effect on reduced blood flow. In other words, the avocado may work to lessen the potentially negative vascular effects of eating beef.
Another study, this one from Japan, indicated that in addition to anti-inflammatory benefits, avocados could help protect against liver damage. Avocado-eating rats were far less susceptible to chemically-induced liver damage when compared to those who didn’t eat avocados.
The beneficial nutrients in avocados are many, but a few of them are: monounsaturated fats, folate, lutein, oleic acid, potassium, and B-vitamins.
The easiest way to reap the many benefits of these perfect fruits is to simply eat them raw. Have a half for a midday snack or alongside some soup. Dice an avocado in your salad or slice it onto a sandwich. This is also a fruit that you don’t need to be concerned about too much due to pesticide exposure, as avocados have tough skin that protects the inner fruit from pesticide exposure. The fruit made the list of the Environmental Working Group’s ‘Clean Fifteen.’