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Kristine Xu is a journalism freshman and Mustang News food columnist.
Served in sushi, sandwiches or enjoyed alone, avocados are a delicious addition or finishing touch to many dishes. In addition to having more protein than any other fruit, almost 95 percent of avocados in the United States are grown exclusively in Southern California. This quintessential California cash crop is not only fun to eat, but also great for your body. Here are some reasons why.
1. Good fats
The majority of the calories in any avocado come from the monounsaturated fats that are actually very healthy. These healthy fats reduce the levels of harmful cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in your body while also making it easier to absorb vitamins through the increase of lipids in your bloodstream. Take advantage of this delicious and healthy source of fat by making some homemade guacamole with crushed sea salt, fresh onions and garlic.
(via Underground Health)
2. Butter substitute
There’s nothing quite like slicing open a ripe avocado and enjoying the creamy texture of this delicious fruit. Because of the similar consistency and healthy fats, avocados can be easily swapped with butter for healthier cookies, bread and even brownies. This healthy substitution makes guilt-free treats you can feel better about eating — and it actually won’t tint your baked goods green.
(via Huffington Post)
3. Reduce risk for disease
Making avocados a regular staple of your diet is a great way to fulfill your daily caloric intake in a healthier way. By consuming these creamy fruits, the risk for diabetes, stroke and coronary artery disease decreases dramatically. In addition to reducing the risk for these diseases, avocados have been linked to better nutrient intake and an improved diet. Stock up on some locally grown avocados and reap the health benefits.
(via Medical News Today)
4. High nutrients
Avocados are packed full of nutrients that are hard to find elsewhere in one convenient fruit. The vitamins and minerals found in avocados have positive health benefits that accomplish more for your body with fewer calories. They pack all the natural dietary fiber in one convenient pod with almost 20 vitamins and minerals. With none of the added sugar, refined starches or extra calories found in processed foods, avocados are a great choice for a healthy snack.
(via Avocado Central)
5. Heart healthy
Not only are avocados a great topping for tortilla chips, this delicious fruit is also great for your heart. Avocados are chock-full of omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your body and can even minimize the risk for heart disease. Instead of popping supplements to get a healthy dose of those fatty acids, sink your teeth into a slice of buttery avocado for the same health benefits.
(via Full Circle)
6. High vitamin E
Considered the best fruit source of vitamin E, the nutrients found in avocados protect against many diseases and contribute to a healthier body. The compounds found in avocados help improve eye health in addition to fighting against oral and breast cancer. This essential vitamin helps fight against disease by attacking cancerous cells without harming pre-existing healthy cells. In addition to vitamin E, the oleic acid and carotenoid lutein found in avocados protect against macular degeneration and cataracts later in life.
(via Health Diaries)
7. Brain food
While studying for your upcoming midterms or quizzes, consider snacking on half an avocado for a quick brain boost. The omega-3 fatty acids mentioned above are also healthy for your brain, and have been proven to stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Even if that is not at the top of your health concerns, avocados are still a great addition to your study breaks.
(via True Activist)
8. Weight control
Though the delicious, creamy texture is misleading, avocados are a great option for weight control and healthy dieting. The high rates of monounsaturated fats increase your metabolism, make you feel fuller and make meals taste better, leaving less room for binging on other snacks that are high in fat or sugar. Keep in mind, however, exercise and eating in moderation are also key factors in weight control.
(via Regenerative Nutrition)
9. All natural
Avocados have no genetically modified counterpart —meaning you won’t have to wonder when buying these delectable fruits at the local farmers’ market. In addition, the thick skin found on avocados provides the perfect protection from pesticides and other harmful substances used in farming. Eat your heart out with these all-natural fruits.
(via True Activist)
10. Beauty benefits
Besides being good for your body internally, avocados also play a major part in keeping your hair, skin and nails luxuriously smooth and well kept. More importantly, the antioxidants, vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids and essential oils found in any avocado can help with the maintenance of the largest organ on your body — your skin. The healthy fats in avocados contribute to good moisture levels, keeping your skin soft, healthy and wrinkle-free. Avocados also protect against sun exposure and promote elastin growth, a collagen responsible for the elasticity and firmness of the skin. This is great news for those of us who do not want to worry about skin protection while basking in the warm sun this summer.
(via Huffington Post)