Avocados(opens in a new tab), also lovingly called “alligator pears,” are a magical green fruit considered to be one of the healthiest foods in the planet. Every avocado contains over 25 essential nutrients, including vitamin A, B, C, E, & K, copper, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

Avocados are also an excellent source of fiber, protein, and several beneficial phytochemicals, such as beta-sitosterol, glutathione, and lutein, which may protect against various disease and illness.Although avocado is high in fat content, it is mostly the monounsaturated fat, which is a healthy fat(opens in a new tab).

Looking for reasons to enjoy more avocados in your diet? Check out the 8ways your body benefits from this little green super-fruit:

 Maintain a healthy heart. Avocado contains vitamin B6 and folic acid, which help regulate homocysteine levels. High levels of homocysteine are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Avocado also contains vitamin E, glutathione, and monounsaturated fat—the essentials for maintaining your heart’s health.

Protect against cancer. Many studies have shown that avocado can inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. The oleic acid in avocado is also effective in naturally preventing breast cancer(opens in a new tab). Lower cholesterol levels. Avocados are rich in a compound called beta-sitosterol, which can help lower blood cholesterol levels. According to a study, patients with mild hypercholesterolemia who included avocados in their diet for 7 days had 17 percent decrease in total blood cholesterol levels, a 22 percent decrease in both LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels, and a 11 percent increase in HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Control blood pressure. Avocados are also a great source of potassium, which helps control blood pressure levels. Regulate the blood sugar levels. The good fats in avocados can reverse insulin resistance and help regulate blood sugar levels. Avocados also contain soluble fiber,which also contributes to steady blood sugar levels. Defy your age. Being rich in antioxidants, avocado helps prevent signs of aging(opens in a new tab). The glutathione in avocado boosts immune systems, slows the aging process, and encourages a healthy nervous system. Increase nutrient absorption. Avocado intake is linked with increased nutrient absorption. A study showed when participants ate salad that included avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes beta carotene and lycopene) than those who did not include avocados. Skin Care. Many cosmetic companiesadd a little avocado oil to their products because of its ability to nourish the skin and make your skin glow(opens in a new tab). It also aids in treating psoriasis, a skin disease that causes skin redness and irritation.

What is your favorite way to enjoy an avocado?