Whether they’re in a big bowl of guacamole or scooped on top of your salad, avocados enjoy a special place in our hearts and stomachs. On top of being tasty, avocados are a noted superfood with a number of fantastic health benefits. This week, Reactions has mashed up some fantastic avocado facts, as well as some cooking tips from the pros.
Guacamole is a dip first created by the Aztecs in what is now today Mexico. This food has gained popularity in the recent years and has become part of American cuisine as a dip, condiment, or salad ingredient. This treat is made with ripened Hass avocados, aromatic garlic, firm tomatoes, red onions, earthy cilantro, and freshly squeezed lime juice as the base of the product. Families and companies may add other ingredients and sauces to make their guacamole distinct, but the base typically remains the same. Nutrition fanatics should never feel guilty about this fatty food because it is beneficial to one’s health.
Here are seven health benefits of guacamole.
1. Guacamole is packed with potassium.
Potassium is an essential mineral that helps the body maintain a proper fluid balance. Proper fluid balance helps nerves to conduct efficiently, the muscles to contract well and the heart to beat consistently. Unfortunately, according to health.gov, few Americans, including all age-gender groups, consume potassium in amounts equal to or greater than the Adequate Intake. The Adequate Intake (AI) of potassium for adults is 4,700 milligrams per day. Guacamole is high in potassium with a 100-gram (3.5 ounces) serving of avocados containing 485 milligrams of potassium. Also, one hundred grams of tomatoes contain 237 milligrams of potassium.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Americans who eat a diet high in sodium and low in potassium have a 50 percent increased risk of death from any cause, and about twice the risk of death from heart attacks. Luckily, evidence suggests that African Americans and individuals with high blood pressure particularly benefit from increasing their intake of potassium.
2. Guacamole is loaded with fiber.
Avocados, tomatoes, and onions play a role in guacamole’s high fiber content. Dietary fiber is considered to be the indigestible portion of plants. The amount of total dietary fiber one should consume is between 25 to 35 grams depending on if you are a male or female. Each person should consume both soluble and insoluble fiber because both have equal importance in obtaining a well-balanced diet.
Those who get enough fiber and water can help induce regularity, and decrease their risk of conditions like high blood cholesterol, constipation, high blood sugar, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, diverticulitis, and various cancers.
3. Guacamole can help decrease bloating.
Some people may not like eating foods high in fiber because they hate the bloating and full feeling after consumption. Cilantro can help reduce the bloating and discomfort one may have after eating a high-fiber diet.
4. Guacamole is full of heart-healthy fats.
Many people are scared of the word “fat”; however, fat is essential to our existence. It just depends on the type of fat one consumes and how much fat is eaten that makes it healthy. Avocados are high in the fatty acid, oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid also found in olive oil. Oleic acid has been linked to reducing inflammation in the body and fight cancer.
5. Guacamole can help keep your skin vibrant.
Tomatoes, avocados, and lime juice have sufficient amounts of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an essential component for creating and maintaining collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in mammals, making up 25 percent to 35 percent of the whole-body protein content. Other vitamins in guacamole like vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin E can help alleviate conditions like acne and psoriasis.
6. Guacamole has potent antioxidants that can improve your health and quality of life.
Avocados contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which can decrease the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. Garlic is a rich source of selenium and germanium. These elements have proven anti-cancer properties. Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which is reported to be effective against prostate cancer, stomach cancer, rectum cancer, and cervical cancer.
7. Guacamole consumption is correlated with a healthier body weight.
In a study with 17,500 participants in the NHANES survey, individuals who consumed avocados were found to be healthier than individuals who did not eat avocados. The individuals who ate avocados had a high nutrient intake and were half as likely to have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that are a major risk factor for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Research still needs to be done to find if guacamole actually causes healthier body weight.
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