10 Ways Avocados Just Might Help You Live Longer

10 Ways Avocados Just Might Help You Live Longer by: Tricia Drevets for Off The Grid News

Did you grow up avoiding eating avocados because they were “fatty” and loaded with calories? Many of us did. However, today’s nutritionists recognize the avocado as one of the healthiest fruits around.

Yes, avocado has a high content of fatty acids, but these fats offer many nutritional benefits. The “good” fats in avocado can help keep your cholesterol levels down and can decrease your risk for heart disease. On a sandwich, mashed avocado offers fewer calories and more nutrition than butter or mayo.

Sometimes called alligator pears, avocados are packed with fiber, vitamin K, folate, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and more than twice the potassium of a banana. The fruit also contains vitamin E, niacin, and riboflavin, and when you eat an avocado along with other foods, it can help your body absorb other important nutrients, such as lutein and alpha- and beta-carotene.

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Avocados are believed to have originated in Mexico. Historians report that Spanish explorers found the fruit there in the early 16th century, but drawings discovered in early Aztec settlements reveal that avocados grew wild in Central America and South America thousands of years before then.

Eventually, Mexican avocado trees found their way to California along with early settlers, and today California grows nearly 90 percent of the U.S. avocado crop. (And many homesteaders grow them indoors.)

Not only is it the basis for guacamole, but fresh avocado is a great addition to salads, and it can be tasty sliced as a snack or spread on a sandwich or crackers. Now let’s look at the 10 main health benefits of avocados.

1. Potassium. Avocados are high in potassium, which helps reduce high blood pressure, a risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.

2. Vitamins. Eating an avocado is almost like talking a natural daily vitamin supplement. It is especially high in vitamins K, B5 and C.

3. Healthy fats. Avocados are high in healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic acid. Oleic acid, which also is in olive oil, helps reduce inflammation in the body and is important to heart health.

4. Fiber. Fiber consumption contributes to weight loss, reduces blood sugar spikes and helps maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in the intestine.

5. Lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Avocados are linked with healthy cholesterol and blood markers and fewer heart disease risk factors.

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