If you aren’t on the avocado trolley already, better line up, bub. The pear-shaped, green-fleshed fruit, which is classified as a very large berry, is a true superfood that’s packed full of essential nutrients, powerful antioxidants, and healthy fats—regular consumption has been shown to give people more vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, potassium, fiber, and monounsaturated fat (the good kind) in their diet.
Most people are familiar with avocado from its delicious form as guacamole, but the super-versatile fruit can be made and integrated into all kinds of things, from making your own avocado fries to a base for milkshakes to a high-heat tolerant cooking oil.
Some scientists on the avocado-loving tip recently published a comprehensive review of studies in the journal Phytotherapy Research that dug into the multitude of health benefits of the avocado. Their extensive survey of research showed that no matter what part of the avocado studied—peel, flesh, seed, even leaves—all have some type of beneficial effect on lowering the risk of metabolic syndrome.
The syndrome, which is what docs call the host of shit that goes wrong with your body—high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high blood sugar, and a lot of body fat—when you eat crap and don’t exercise, is mostly caused by a screwed up lipid, or cholesterol and triglycerides, profile and, if unchecked, it usually leads to developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
But lovely avocados, researchers found, can help the pancreas and liver better metabolize lipids, leading to a better profile and less risk of developing those horrible diseases. In the study, authors simply stated that: “Avocado is a well-known source of carotenoids, minerals, phenolics, vitamins, and fatty acids. The lipid-lowering, antihypertensive, antidiabetic, anti-obesity, antithrombotic, antiatherosclerotic, and cardioprotective effects of avocado have been demonstrated in several studies.”
So if you don’t already have a fridge stocked with avocados, go to the store now and load up on some of those green beauties. Look for ones that yield slightly to pressure when gently squeezed, as those are at peak ripeness for a trip home for a few days chilling in the veggie box.