Undoubtedly, avocado is one of the favorite fruits not only in the U.S. but also throughout the world. However, its taste is so delicious that you may think it is not too beneficial for you. In contrast, this fat-filled fruit is bursting with nutrients and offers a myriad of health benefits.
Moreover, people who eat avocados are generally healthier, with a much higher nutrient intake and lower Body Mass Index than those who don’t, as numerous studies have shown. Namely, this versatile fruit can offer a vast range of healthy benefits, and this article lists 20 of them.
A Source of Healthy Fats
Dos also contain high content of fats, but they contain ‘good fats’ including monounsaturated fat. Monounsaturated fat can lower the risk of stroke or heart attack along with the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.
The consumption of avocados can actually aid in the weight loss process. According to a study published in the Nutrition Journal, just half an avocado with lunch can help overweight people feel satisfied and full for longer after eating.
Namely, participants in the study reported a 40% less desire to eat over a three hour period, and a 28% less desire over a five hour period after the meal. Moreover, they had less desire to snack and were more satisfied after their meal.
Control Blood Pressure
The American Heart Association says that thanks to potassium’s ability to reduce the effects of sodium in the body, a diet rich in natural sources of potassium is important for controlling blood pressure.
Avocados are a great natural source of potassium – with one fruit containing 28% of your recommended daily potassium intake. Nevertheless, since avocados are a high fat food, make sure you reduce your fat intake in other areas to balance things out.
Lower Cholesterol Levels
Statistics say that one in three American adults has high cholesterol issues, doubling their risk of heart disease. Fortunately, there are many natural ways to lower cholesterol levels.
Studies show that regular consumption of avocados is another way to lower cholesterol levels. Avocados can reduce total cholesterol levels significantly, lower blood triglycerides, and lower LDL cholesterol (the bad) while increasing good (HDL) cholesterol.
High in Nutrients
Avocados are an incredibly rich source of nutrients and contain almost 20 vitamins and minerals in every serving.
Of your Recommended Daily Values (RDV), one avocado fruit generally has:
- 33% Vitamin C
- 26% Vitamin B6
- 21% Vitamin E
- 28% Pantothenic Acid
- 19% Copper
- 28% Potassium
- 53% Vitamin K
- 41% Folate
Improve Nutrient Absorption
When it comes to vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, it doesn’t matter how much we eat. It really doesn’t!
The way we absorb vitamins, minerals and nutrients is extremely important. Some nutrients are fat soluble, so they need to be combined with fat in order for our bodies to assimilate them. Examples of fat-soluble nutrients include Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K, along with certain antioxidants.
By adding half an avocado to a salad of spinach, lettuce and carrots you will absorb the antioxidants alpha-carotene 8.3 times, beta-carotene 13.6 times and lutein 4.3 times better.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that diabetes will affect 40% of Americans at some point during their lives. It is extremely important to keep blood sugar levels balanced in order to reduce your risk of diabetes.
Avocados help in regulating blood sugar levels. In a study, participants consumed half an avocado with lunch, and afterwards had their blood glucose and insulin levels measured at specific intervals.
Although they had avocado added to the meal, and it increased its calorie and carbohydrate content, participants showed no increase in blood sugar levels when compared with those who ate a standard lunch with no avocado.
Avocado extract reduces symptoms of arthritis of the bones (osteoarthritis). Due to its anti-inflammatory benefits, it may even soothe other sorts of inflammatory-related aches and pains too.
It is believed that chronic inflammation in the body leads to most of the modern diseases, including asthma, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer.
Due to its oleic acid content – the monounsaturated fat in olive oil that’s responsible for much of its healthful properties, avocado might just help fight inflammation. Several studies related oleic acid to reduced inflammation.
The nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin are extremely beneficial in fighting macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of blindness in the US. Foods rich in phytonutrients provide high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin into our bodies.
As you might just guessed, research found avocados to be the best source of lutein among the top 20 fruits most regularly consumed. They’re also a good source of zeaxanthin.
Important for Expecting Mothers
What to Expect claims that avocados are one of the most important foods for pregnant women. They’re loaded with folate, potassium, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6.
Cancer Fighting Properties
A few studies indicate that avocado can be beneficial in fighting cancer.
One study has shown that avocado extract may stop or slow the growth of prostate cancer cells. Another has shown that it may help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. Nevertheless, these studies are limited so you should primarily consume for its other benefits.
Avocados contain a good helping of bone-healthy nutrients including Vitamin K, copper and folate. The regular consumption of avocado can help to build and retain strong bones. Mix your avocado with a variety of other fruits and vegetables for best results.
Fiber is an important component of any balanced diet, since it keeps your digestive system running smoothly. Therefore, consume more avocados – one fruit contains 13 grams, around 54% of your recommended daily fiber intake!
Improve Your Mood
Due to their vitamin and mineral content – especially potassium and folate, avocados might cheer you up.
Certain studies have found a link between a lack of potassium and depression. A review of several scientific studies on the relationship between sodium, magnesium and potassium in depressed patients, found that depressed men and women all had low levels of potassium.
Another 1993 study made a similar conclusion, as depressed patients exhibited lower potassium levels than healthy people did. Researchers have recognized since the 1960s that folate is important to stave off low mood and signs of depression, something.