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Health Benefits Of Avocados

Published 4/27/13

Avocado 101

Avocados were first used in South America, native to Central Mexico, and were introduced to the United States sometime during the early 1800’s. Avocados come from the avocado tree and are commonly referred to as an alligator pear, which comes from the rough, alligator-like external appearance of the avocado fruit.

Nutritional Benefits of Avocados

One-cup worth of avocado, roughly 146 grams, includes a good portion of the daily requirement of many necessary nutrients. This one-cup serving includes as much as 40% DV of fiber, 30% DV of folate, 25% DV of vitamin C, 20% DV of vitamin B, 20% DV of potassium, and 20% DV of vitamin B6. While most of us will not consume a cup of avocado every day, they are still packed full of nutrients and will be a great addition to any meal or diet.

Avocados Suffer from Misconception

A common opinion regarding avocados is that people should stay away from them due to the high fat content of avocados. While this may be true with one serving of avocado having as much as 25 grams of fat, the most prevalent type of fat in avocados is the “healthy” monounsaturated far (over 60% of the fat content). Monounsaturated fat is considered a heart friendly type of fat and should not be avoided. Recently, scientists have come to believe that the high fat content in avocados helps them absorb various types of antioxidants coming from the other foods that are consumed along with the avocado. For example, avocado in a salad can help the body better process and consume the phytochemicals and antioxidants found in the salad greens.

Avocados and Heart Health

The most common type of fat found in avocados is monounsaturated fat, such as oleic and linoleic acid. These types of fats help promote heart health because they play a key role in cholesterol regulation. Monounsaturated fats are great at lowering the “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels and increasing the “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. High HDL levels helps maintain low LDL levels and as a result of low LDL levels, the formation of plaque in vessels is slowed and this prevents arteries from being blocked and allows blood to flow easily.

Monounsaturated fats are also a vital element when speeding up basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your BMR is the rate at which your body burns calories when it is in a state of rest. The calories that the body burns while at rest is used to maintain basic body functions such as repairing cells, maintaining your internal body temp, and pumping blood throughout your body. Increased BMD  results in more calories being burned and can help produce better weight loss results.

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