The closest most of us get to eating avocado is the guacamole dip at a Super Bowl party, and that's a shame.
It's true that avocados are relatively high in fat and calories (138 calories and 14.1g fat in half a medium-sized avocado), and maybe that's why you've steered clear from them. But they are also high in both the soluble and insoluble fiber that your body needs to keep the digestive system running smoothly – it's a natural detox. And that soluble fiber will slow the breakdown of carbs in your body and so help you feel fuller, longer. What's more, the oleic acid which abounds in avocados triggers a feeling of satiety in your brain.
The unsaturated fats from avocados slow your digestion and will help keep your blood sugar from spiking after a meal. They will also help lower your cholesterol levels.
Avocados are also loaded with carotenoids, and you should care because these Vitamin A-esque compounds are champs in the fight against eye disease and certain forms of cancer.
The high levels of folate in avocados will decrease your risk of depression. The folate helps to prevent the build-up of homocysteine, a substance that can impair circulation and delivery of nutrients to the brain.
Your unborn baby will appreciate all that folate, as well. The compound reduces the risk of miscarriage and neural tube defects. Research shows that the folate level of both mom and dad has an effect upon the risk of birth defects.
Avocados can even help you fend off osteoporosis. Half of an avocado provides approximately 25 percent of the daily-recommended intake forvitamin K which is essential for bone health. Vitamin K can support bone health by increasing calcium absorption and reducing urinary excretion of calcium.
Avocados contain a natural plant sterol called beta-sitosterol. Regular consumption of beta-sitosterol and other plant sterols has been seen to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Not only that, but beta-sitosterol is also used to reverse hair loss and treat prostate enlargement.
So re-acquaint yourself with the avocado, even though it's a long way from bowl game season. But be mindful of the guacamole – all the chips that accompany it can erase much of the avocado's benefits.