And fighting cancer is not the only benefit this mighty vegetable offers. The same flavonoids in spinach that help prevent cancer are potent antioxidants that slow the effects of aging, especially on your brain. Animal studies also show these antioxidants can even significantly improve learning capacity and motor skills (7).
A large cohort study, The Chicago Health and Aging Project (CHAP), published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), shows that eating 2.8 servings of green leafy, yellow, and cruciferous vegetables every day can slow cognitive decline by as much as 40 percent (8).
Spinach is also high in lutein, a carotenoid that is key in fighting eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts (9). Plus, this superfood helps to regulate blood glucose levels in diabetics, lower blood pressure, improve bone health, and lower the risk of developing asthma among other things (10).
While many conventional sources used to claim avocados contain too much fat, the reality is that there is no better or healthier fat than avocados.
While this fruit’s, reputation as a high-fat food is actually true, (1 cup has 22 grams of fat, which accounts for 82 percent of its total calories), studies show eating avocados can lower your risk of heart disease, improve your LDL cholesterol levels, and lower your levels of oxidative stress.
In general, avocados are a nutrient and phytochemical dense food rich in dietary fiber, potassium magnesium, vitamins A, C, E, and K-1, as well as folate, vitamin B 6, niacin, pantothenic acid (B₅), riboflavin (B-2), choline, lutein, zeaxanthin, and phytosterols. Avocado oil is essentially 71 percent monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), 13 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and 16 percent saturated fatty acids (SFA) (11).
This ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fat is not necessarily favorable (there is about ¼ gram of omega-3s in 1 serving of avocado and 2.5 grams of omega-6s, making it a 10:1 ration in favor of omega-6s) but studies repeatedly show the high levels of monounsaturated fat, (similar to that found in olives) in particular, oleic acid, are key to its heart-healthy benefits (12).
Avocados also contain high levels of phytosterols, including beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol, which provide important anti-inflammatory benefits, including the avocado’s renowned cardiovascular benefits, as well as a number of anti-cancer properties (13,14, 15, 16, 17). One study shows avocados are even effective against hard-to-treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML)(18).
Other proven health benefits derived from eating avocados include preventing atherosclerosis (19), regulating cholesterol levels (20, 21, 22), preventing and treating high blood pressure (23, 24), preventing and treating osteoarthritis (25, 26), treating psoriasis (27), significantly increasing soluble collagen content in skin (28), treating scleroderma (29), and even improving wound healing (30).