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It's the most important ingredient in Japanese and South American kitchens, vegans and vegetarians won't go anywhere without it, and no trendy café in the world doesn't have it on the menu – avocado, nice to make your acquaintance.

This unique fruit (yes, fruit - it has peel and a pit) doesn't contain any sugar but does contain dietary fats that are good for you. Everyone believes avocado is really fattening but it can actually help weight loss and was also just recently proven to prevent metabolic syndrome, regarded as the “silent killer” of the 21st century.

Still debating whether to add avocado to your daily diet? Here are 5 reasons that will make you run out and buy it:

Because it's healthy. But really. It has more potassium than bananas, which means it helps to lower blood pressure. It has lots of dietary fiber so it's great for balancing blood sugar, and it contains the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin that are clinically proven to protect the eyes from various diseases. And if that's not enough, research published by the World Health Organization found that people who ate avocado (compared to those who didn't) significantly lowered levels of bad cholesterol and lipids in the blood (by around 20%).

Because it can save lives. Just recently, research on avocado consumption was published in the Phytotherapy Research magazine. The research, based on 129 past studies, showed that avocado is truly deserving of the title “superfood”, because it combines all the properties that prevent the onset of metabolic syndrome – the name given to a cluster of risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and considered the silent killer of our time.

Because it's good for your mental health. The list of “instant mood lifters” includes shopping, vacations, massage and chocolate, and from now on, you can also add avocado, which has been proven to raise serotonin levels in the body, creating a sense of calm and a wonderful mood.

Because it's an important part of any weight loss diet. Now's the time to part ways with the common myth that “avocado is really fattening.” True, avocado does contain fats, but only those that are essential and healthy. Add to this the fact that avocado doesn't raise blood sugar levels (‘Glycemic Index friendly', in the professional parlance), and it has a high amount of dietary fiber that leaves you feeling full for longer – you can relax and enjoy avocado without any guilt on your conscience.

Because some believe it helps fight cancer. In and of itself, this is very important information. But now to the facts: research published in 2011 (conducted by the research department of the Jawaharlal Nehru Cancer Hospital & Research Centre in India) says that eating avocado while undergoing chemotherapy can help prevent damaging side effects to white blood cells, and another study conducted at the University of California proved that avocado helps to prevent prostate cancer.

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