The avocado is considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet, providing nearly 20 essential nutrients per serving. And according to materials released February 21, 2013, by the Haas Avocado Board, eating avocados is associated with eating better and improved health.
The nutrient-dense avocado is a good source of fiber, potassium, B vitamins and healthy fats. Research suggests that consuming this pear-shaped fruit with a leather-like exterior supports heart health, helps decrease inflammation, improves the absorption of carotenoids, supports healthy blood sugar levels and even combats cancer.
While native to Central and South America, over 95 percent of avocados grown in the U.S. are grown in California. There are dozens of varieties, but the Haas variety is the most popular type in the U.S. largely because it is very creamy and rich.
As part of the recent study published in Nutrition Journal, researchers analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a program designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the U.S.
Remarkably the analysis indicated that adults who consume avocados ate better, obtained more beneficial nutrients, consumed fewer added sugars and achieved improved physiological measurements of health. These findings can be somewhat misleading because data collected during the NHANES is from a single 24-hour dietary recall survey, which can be imprecise.
On average the 347 adults consumed about one half of a medium sized avocado daily.
The overall diet improved for avocado consumers and they obtained significantly higher quantities of essential nutrients. Specifically those who consumed avocados frequently obtained 48 percent more vitamin K, 36 percent more fiber, 23 percent more vitamin E, 18 percent more monounsaturated (healthy) fats, 16 percent more potassium and 13 percent more magnesium .
Physiological health measures were also better in the avocado consuming group, including a lower body weight—an average of 7.5 pounds less, lower BMI and smaller waist circumference, a 50 percent reduction in their risk of metabolic syndrome and improved cholesterol levels—an increase in HDL, or “good” cholesterol and a decrease in LDL or “bad” cholesterol.
These results add to the growing body of evidence that avocados are an integral part of a healthy diet. To enjoy this fruit more regularly eat it raw, add it to salads, make guacamole or put it on your sandwich.
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