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Last Updated on October 12, 2017

Understand The Benefits Of Avocados And You Will Never Blame Millennials Again

Understand The Benefits Of Avocados And You Will Never Blame Millennials Again

You might have heard about the millionaire who claimed that millennials can’t afford houses because they buy avocado toast.

That’s not quite the reason why millennials have trouble purchasing homes. But it also unfairly maligns the avocado, which is experiencing unprecedented popularity for good reason. Avocados are a high-fat fruit as well as a superfood with an amazing nutritional profile. Any well-balanced diet will include this nutrient-dense food in some capacity. Read ahead about the benefits of the avocado and you’ll never blame millennials again!

How Healthy is Avocado?

The avocado, also know as the Persea americana, is native to the western hemisphere. If you haven’t cooked with avocados yet, if you like Mexican or Southwestern food you’ve probably tried it in guacamole (one of the simplest and tastiest ways to have this awesome, versatile, and nutrient-dense food).

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Avocados are high in monosaturated fat, which can help lower LDL cholesterol levels. They also contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals in each serving, including potassium, lutein, folate, and vitamins B, C, and E. In addition, avocados pack quite a lot of fiber, with 13 grams in the average avocado.

They’re also low in sugar. But one thing you should keep in mind is that it’s relatively high in calories. One-fifth of an avocado will contain about 50 calories – so if you have a whole avocado, that will set you back 250 calories. For a fruit or vegetable, that’s a lot. But keep in mind that an avocado is extremely filling and nutritious, so it’s worth making space for avocados instead of eating lots of low-nutrition and high-calorie foods.

Because of its high number of nutrients, the avocado offers a wide range of health benefits. Vitamins B, C, and E are necessary for a healthy active life. Potassium helps to regulate blood pressure (when consumed with sodium), lutein is good for eyesight, and folate is super-important to consume during pregnancy and for normal cell repair.

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Fiber obviously helps you stay regular, but high-fiber foods also have the added benefit of helping you stay fuller for longer. If you’re interested in losing weight, it’s probably worth finding ways to work avocados into your regular diet.

Finally, avocados have the ability to increase your absorption of certain nutrients, like carotenoids. Studies have shown that carotenoids, which are an orange or red pigment, can help protect against cell damage and diseases associated with cell damage including cancer and Parkinson’s disease. While avocados do contain some carotenoids, their real strength is helping you absorb carotenoids from other sources like sweet potatoes, leafy greens, and carrots.

How to Prepare and Eat Avocados?

So, as I mentioned above, avocados have a whole host of health benefits as well as the ability to help you lose weight (if that’s your goal!). But if you haven’t really cooked a lot or eaten a lot of avocados yet, you might be a bit hesitant to get started. Thankfully, the creamy texture and flavor is unparalleled and totally worth it!

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Avocados can take 4-5 days to ripen after you’ve purchased them from your local grocery store. Store them on the countertop if your aim is to ripen them…and if you want to ripen even faster than normal, you can stick your avocados in a paper bag. (Add in a banana or apple for faster ripening.)

Once the skin is dark purple or black, and it yields to gentle pressure, your avocado is ripe. Wash the avocado’s outside before cutting off the skin with a sharp knife. The avocado has a hard, woody, inedible core in the middle, so make sure to cut carefully.

Avocados are super popular (as you know) so go wild searching for recipes! Here are a few of my personal favorite ways to eat avocados:

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  1. Simple and delicious Avocado Toast.
  2. Guacamole to dip your tortilla chips in.
  3. In a salad! Here’s an example of a fabulous salad with avocado.
  4. As a topping for tortilla soup.
  5. All by itself!

Avocados are healthy, delicious, and easy to prepare. Add them to your diet to help you get nutrients you might be missing, as well as to lose weight if that’s what your goal is!

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Jolie Choi

Gone through a few heartbreaks and lost hundreds of friends but I am still happy with my life.

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12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

12 Best Brain Foods that Improve Memory

Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

1. Nuts

The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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2. Blueberries

Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

3. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

4. Broccoli

While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

6. Soy

Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

7. Dark chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

9. Foods Rich in Zinc

Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

10. Gingko biloba

This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

11. Green and black tea

Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

Find out more about green tea here:

11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

12. Sage and Rosemary

Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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