Who knew that this scrumptious, easy-to-find and multipurpose fruit was also a powerhouse of good health? Well, probably the Aztecs. It is believed that they began to grow this “fruit of kings” as early as 291 B.C.
Much is known about the health benefits of avocados. They are a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), the heart-healthy fat that lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol and increases the good kind (HDL). They increase insulin sensitivity, improve cardiac rhythms (heartbeats), lower blood pressure, help prevent migraines and stroke.
Avocados contain no cholesterol, sodium or trans fats but are loaded with 20 different phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals like vitamins B6, C, E and K, folate, potassium, magnesium, and lutein.
Now, thanks to research from Loma Linda University in California that was published in the November 2013 issue of Nutrition Journal, we can add appetite suppressant (reducing appetite) and diabetes management aid to avocado’s long list of virtues.
Researchers found that people in the study who added half of a fresh avocado to their standard lunch, cut their desire to eat again by almost half for the following 3 hours, and by almost a third after 5 hours. And even though the subjects in the test ate more calories and carbohydrates, their blood glucose levels did not increase from the levels recorded with the standard lunch.
So, if you want to reduce your appetite, lose some weight or control post-meal blood glucose levels, the avocado may be your new best friend!
by Johanna Burani, MS, RD, CDE