There’s a reason that food enthusiasts have dubbed avocado a “SuperFood.” The fresh, buttery fruit is easily one of the most nutrient-rich foods. It’s also extremely high in fiber and has been shown to help fight cancer, boost heart health and guard against autoimmune diseases.
Avocado is also celebrate for its rich, nutty taste and is used in a variety of sauces, spreads, dressings, dips and more. But are avocados good for weight loss too?
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6 Health Benefits of Avocados
1) Avocados Are Packed With Essential Nutrients
If you want to lose weight, you have to make sure that your body is getting the proper nutrients. Essential vitamins and minerals help your body perform basic functions that are not only crucial to weight loss – they are vital for living a long and healthy life.
You’ll find up to 20 different vitamins and minerals in each avocado. Just one of these fruits provides up to 26 percent of your recommended daily allowances (RDA) for Vitamin K – the nutrient that is essential for healthy blood flow and maintaining bone strength – and 20% of your RDA for Folate – a complex B vitamin that helps your body fight disease.
Here are some other vital nutrients found in avocados:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin A
- B1 (Thiamine)
- B2 (Riboflavin)
- B3 (Niacin)
2) Avocados Are Stuffed With Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
This might be hard to believe… but even if you want to lose fat your diet should still contain a good amount of fat. It helps our bodies use and store energy, as well as transport essential nutrients and fat-soluble vitamins.
Avocado is a high fat food – but it’s filled with the good kind of fat. Avocados are full of oleic acid, which is a heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acid that helps protect against cancer, autoimmune diseases and inflammation.
3) They Are Full of Fiber Too!
Fiber-rich foods should be an important part of any nutrition plan. Eating fiber helps you feel fuller longer, supports weight loss, lowers blood sugar and may even help reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer and other diseases.
Avocados are extremely rich in fiber. Just one 3.5 ounce serving contains about 27% of the RDA for fiber!
4) Avocados Help Lower Cholesterol
The World Health Organization lists heart disease as the leading cause of death on the planet. High levels of blood markers like cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammation and pressure greatly increase the risk of developing heart disease. And while some of these conditions are genetic, a great deal of them can be improved or prevented simply by enhancing diet.
Several different studies have shown that regularly incorporating avocado into your diet can help lower cholesterol levels and blood triglycerides.
5) They Are Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are your body’s first defense against free radicals. A free radical is an unstable compound that attacks other molecules in order to steal their electron and gain stability. This can potentially cause a chain reaction which leads to cellular damage and disease.
Some free radicals occur naturally in the body, while others are due to environmental factors like pollution or cigarette smoke. Antioxidants help neutralize these free radicals by giving them electrons so they won’t try to steal them from bodily cells.
Avocados are rich in many types of antioxidants, but particularly Zeaxanthin and Lutein. These antioxidants are vital for eye health and have been shown to reduce the onset of macular degeneration as well as cataracts.
6) Avocado Supports Weight Loss
Eating avocado may help you lose more weight than with diet or exercise alone. A recent study by the School of Public Health found that people who ate avocado with their meals felt 23% more satisfied than those in the control group who did not eat avocado. The avocado eaters also had a 28% lower urge to eat again over the next several hours than the control group.
These findings indicate that adding avocados to your diet could help you consumer fewer calories and increase the likelihood that you’ll stick to your nutrition plan.
Not sure how to incorporate avocados? It’s easier than you think!
For breakfast, avocados can be mashed up and spread on bagels or cooked with eggs in an omelet. They can be sliced and easily added to lunch or dinner salads or used to make a creamy dressing. And for a healthy, hearty snack try baking a fresh variation of the most infamous form of avocado: guacamole!
Where to Buy Avocado
Ready to load up on some fresh avocados? You can find them at your local grocer, farmers’ market or health food store. Some avocados are seasonal, but Hass avocados can be found year-round. These are the most common variety and account for about 80 percent of the world’s total avocado supply.
In order to find the best avocados, it’s important to check the pressure before buying them. Gently squeeze the avocado in your palm and see if it responds to the pressure. If so, it’s ready to eat right away. If it’s still pretty firm, it will be ready to eat in a couple of days.
Disregard any avocado that feels too softy or mushy. This is a signed they are overly ripened and on their way to spoiling.
So…Are Avocados Good for Weight Loss?
In general, avocados are well-deserving of their “SuperFood” title. They are very good for weight loss and provide many other health benefits, including lowering cholesterol, fighting free radicals, as well as reducing your risk of cancer and other diseases.
Avocados are also an excellent source of healthy fat, full of fiber, low in carbs and packed with antioxidants. But even with all of these health benefits… avocados should still be consumed in moderation.
An average avocado has about 23 grams of fat and around 250 calories – and the delicious, creamy texture of the fruit can make it easy to go overboard and eat more than you should.
To feel the full health benefits of avocado and still keep your calorie count low, try making substitutions instead of additions. For example, swap out the cheese on your sandwich for avocado spread or the croutons in your salad for fresh avocado slices. Simple substitutions make it easy to enjoy avocado without adding a ton of extra calories!