Next to the olive, the avocado is the second fruit with the highest monounsaturated fatty acids content at 20%. This amounts to almost twenty times that of any other fruit.
Weight-watchers or dieters often stay away from avocados specifically because of its fat content, but, that’s a myth. A majority of the fats content is the health-promoting monounsaturated fats, followed by smaller amounts of polyunsaturated and saturated fats. The monounsaturated fats and the wholesome nutrition help the basal metabolic rate, and can actually reduce overeating.
The potassium content and calories of an avocado is three times that of a banana. Other essential minerals are iron and copper for the blood, phosphorus and magnesium.
The sodium content in avocados and its low sugar content and absence of starch make it an ideal fruit for diabetics and hypoglycemics.
It is also one of the richest source of fiber among all fruits and vegetables. Packed with vitamins A, several B-complex, especially B3 (folic acid), powerful anti-oxidants like vitamins C and E, calcium, iron and potassium.
Avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit. Lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts, two disabling age-related eye diseases. They are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. The high levels of folate in avocado are also protective against strokes. One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don’t. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart. Research has shown that certain compounds in avocados are able to seek out pre-cancerous and cancerous oral cancer cells and destroy them without harming healthy cells.
Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, an important antioxidant that researchers say is important in preventing aging, cancer, and heart disease.
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