Avocados have a bad reputation. Maybe that’s why less than half of American households keep them stocked in their kitchens.1 And that’s too bad. This fatty fruit is a protective superfood you should always have on your grocery list. Here are five reasons you should eat avocado every day.
1. They lower inflammation: Adding them to your diet keeps disease-causing inflammation in check. That’s true even if you eat it with something that usually causes your inflammation to spike—like a hamburger for instance.
|Yes, guacamole is delicious. But avocados are good for more than that. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can use avocados to make some tasty, creative meals. Try blending an avocado into your protein shake or smoothie for added fat and a rich, creamy texture.8|
Eating a plain hamburger leads to a whopping 70 percent rise in interleukin-6 (IL6). That’s a cytokine that causes inflammation. The spike can last up to four hours after eating. But adding avocado to that same burger only raises IL6 levels by 40 percent.2 That’s a 30 percent decrease in inflammation just by eating avocado in the same meal. This shows that even in the presence of dangerous foods, avocado is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
2. They fight cancer: Every time you eat an avocado, you’re helping your body prevent cancer.
Avocados stop the formation of cancerous and precancerous cells.3 The potent combination of phytochemicals in an avocado prevents adenosine triphosphate (ATP) from reaching cancer cells. ATP is a substance that gives cells the energy they need to grow and spread. Avocados help kill cancer cells while shielding your normal cells from damage.4
3. They protect your heart: Avocados are one of the best sources of healthful fats that you can find. They’re rich in vitamin E, which reduces your risk of heart attack. But they’re also about 70 percent monounsaturated fatty acids (MFA).5
Eating a diet rich in MFA is a safe and natural way to lower your cholesterol. It doesn’t take long to see results, either. Eating a high-MFA diet lowers your LDL (bad) cholesterol by over 20 percent in the first week. Even more impressive? It raises your HDL (good) cholesterol by 11 percent in that same week.6
4. They help you lose weight: We now know that the idea that eating fat makes you fat just isn’t true. In fact, the latest research shows that a diet rich in healthful fats does the opposite. It actually helps you lose weight.
Avocados help keep you feeling full. Their high MFA allows you to eat less food while still feeling satisfied. Adding even half an avocado to your lunch makes you 40 percent less likely to be hungry in between meals.7 Obviously, this keeps you from overeating.
5. They’re safe to eat: It’s a sad reality: Most foods at your grocery store can put your health at risk. Harsh chemicals used to increase factory farming profits can disrupt your hormones, help cancer develop, and even cause Parkinson’s disease. You may be getting traces of them in every mouthful of vegetables or fruits you eat if you’re not eating organic foods. But you don’t have to worry about avocados.
Even if you don’t buy them organic, avocados are one of the safest foods you can eat. Their thick outer skin keeps pesticides from contaminating the meat of the fruit. Their skin also prevents bugs and other critters from getting inside. This means fewer chemicals are used on them in the first place.
Avocados are a great addition to any meal. They help keep you feeling full while protecting you from disease. Plus, they’re safe to eat even if you don’t have access to an organic variety. Eating an avocado every day is a simple—and tasty—way to support your continued good health.