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8 reasons to go for avocado

They're rich in healthy fats and can help boost your eye health but there's even more to this glorious green fruit.

Packed full of nutrients and delicious with just about anything, avocados are one fruit that should have a permanent spot on your shopping list. Roast them, mash them, spread them or even stuff them – these green lovelies are incredibly versatile. In fact, they:

1. ...Are rich in healthy fats

While most fruits are high in carbohydrate, avocados are high in heart-friendly monounsaturated fats. Just half an avocado contains 10 grams of monounsaturated fatty acids, which halt blood sugar spikes and prevent your body storing fat around your belly.

2 ...Make a great substitute for butter

A 100g serving of butter has a whopping 81 grams of fat compared to 14 grams in the same serving of cholesterol-lowering avocado. Try spreading on your toast or substitute in equal ratios of avocado for butter to bake better bites.

3. ...Can boost your eye health

The nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin are vital for maintaining good eye health and fighting macular degeneration, but we can only get them through our diets. Research from University of California found that avocados are the highest fruit source of lutein among the top 20 most consumed fruits. They’re also rich in zeaxanthin too.

4. ...Are good for pain relief

You might not immediately associate avocados with pain relief, but avocado extract has been shown to reduce the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis.

5. ...Make great beauty products

Whether you choose to slather it on your face, body or hair, using avocado as a DIY beauty product has been shown to be effective in treating sunburn, reducing wrinkles and soothing dry and split ends.

6. ...Can help fight pollution

A study from Kings College London and Nottingham University found that the high levels of Vitamin E in avocados could help protect your lungs from air pollution.

7. ...Are a powerful nutrient booster

Not only are avocados packed with nutrients, but monounsaturated fats in them also help the body to absorb other fat-soluble nutrients better too. In one study, when avocado was added to a salad, the absorption of beta-carotene from carrots increased 13.6 times, and the absorption of alpha-carotene from lettuce increased 4.3 times compared to the same salad eaten without avocado.

8. ...Have pips that pack a punch

The avocado pip contains more antioxidants than most fruit and veg and is incredibly high in vitamin C. Dry it out, bash it to bits and then grind it in a heavy-duty blender for a nutrient rich powder that you can add to your smoothies.

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