Quick Nutrition Facts
Good source of: Vitamin K, dietary fiber, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, folate, copper, and valuable monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid.
More Health Benefits
Avocados contain several nutrients that protect the heart. They are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid, which lowers cholesterol. A study of people with high cholesterol revealed that after only 7 days of eating a diet including avocados, there was a significant decrease in total cholesterol and LDL(bad cholesterol). In addition, there was an 11% increase in the good HDL cholesterol.
Avocados are a good source of potassium, a mineral which helps regulate blood pressure. A sufficient amount of potassium will help prevent circulatory diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. It has proven so significant, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has made an official statement: "Diets containing foods that are good sources of potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke."
Another important nutrient for heart health, folate, is found in significant amounts in avocados. Studies have shown that those with a diet high in folate have a lower risk of heart attacks, cardiovascular disease or strokes, than those who do not have a folate-rich diet.
Carotenoids, one of the naturally occurring pigments in fruits and vegetables, are powerful antioxidants being studied as potential anti-cancer and anti-aging compounds.
Avocados contain several carotenoids (zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene) and are an especially concentrated source of the carotenoid lutein. In addition, they contain significant quantities of tocopherols (vitamin E).
This is important because a lab study recorded in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry showed that an extract of avocado with these carotenoids and tocopherols inhibited the growth of two types of prostate cancer cells!
However, when researchers isolated the carotenoid lutein and exposed the cancer cells to only lutein, it did not prevent cancer cell growth. The whole combination of nutrients God has put together in the avocado is significant. The carotenoids and tocopherols together are necessary to kill prostate cancer cells.
Additionally, the monounsaturated fat, which is part of the whole avocado package, ensures that the carotenoids will be absorbed by the body. You see, carotenoids are fat-soluble which means fat must be present for absorption. God packaged those nutrients together for a purpose!
Another benefit of avocado: studies have even shown that the body's ability to absorb carotenoid-rich food, such as carrots, tomatoes, and spinach, is greatly improved when they are eaten along with avocado.