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Avocado, the inside outside superfood

The word ‘superfood’ is thrown around a lot these days, but experts say avocado is one that truly makes the grade.

While we all love the buttery texture and delicate flavour, it’s not just our taste buds that are benefiting from our love of avocado on toast.

Scientific studies have linked avocado to a range of health benefits including warding off heart disease, helping with weight control, and providing a boost of antioxidants.

Why are avocados so good for us?

Beneath the inedible skin is a fruit which is largely made up of monounsaturated fat, one of the healthiest form of fats which is also found in rapeseed and olive oils.

Loaded with nutrients, including potassium and vitamin E, avocados also contain healthy monounsaturated fat, with the added benefit of being low in salt.

Another key benefit is the powerful antioxidant punch the fruit provides. There are over 200 types of plant steroids, phytosterols.  Sterols reduce the growth of cells which could mean they have an action against inflammation and cancer, although this is yet to be tested robustly in humans.

Heart health

With their high amounts of “heart healthy” monounsaturated fatty acids, avos may assist in lowering the levels of ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, while boosting the amount of ‘good’ HDL cholesterol in the body.

Avocados contain one third more potassium than bananas weight for weight,  essential for helping to regulate blood pressure.

Weight control

Fats help to make us feel full and satisfied, and avocados are no exception. But despite being high in healthy fats and nutrients, avocados are seldom responsible for weight gain. Eaten in moderation on a regular basis, they possess properties that have been shown to speed up metabolism.

Softens skin

When applied to the skin, nutrients from the fruit can penetrate the epidermis and temporarily soften the skin, and some studies even suggest avos can help to boost epidermis collagen. No wonder Victoria Beckham is so keen on avocado face masks.

Nutrient boost during pregnancy

Avocados are rich in the B vitamin, folic acid, which helps to protect against birth defects such as spina bifida and anencephaly. Other sources include green leafy vegetables, wholemeal bread and brown rice.

Protection against cancer

Research from Ohio State University has suggested avocados may help to prevent mouth cancer, as extracts from Hass avocados were found to kill some oral cancer cells and prevent pre-cancerous cells from developing.

Anti-inflamatory benefits

Research suggests avocado, as well as soybean oil, may help to reduce the pain of osteoarthritis.

Raw avocado is also rich in vitamin E, which is known as a powerful antioxidanrt, and is especially beneficial for the skin.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3718141/Why-avocado-really-superfood-glowing-skin-strong-heart-experts-reveal-boost-health.html