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.
Rich in Healthy Fats
Avocados have high amounts of fats. All these fats are good fats, having monounsaturated fats. These fats help in reducing risk of heart attack or stroke and bad cholesterol levels in your blood.
Helping with Weight Loss
Consuming avocados can help with weight loss. As per a study (published – Nutrition Journal), taking just 1/2 avocado with your lunch can be helpful for those who are overweight. It can make you feel satiated for longer.
The study’s participants said that they had 40% lesser desire for eating for over 3 hours and 28% lesser desire for eating over 5 hours after their meal.
Controlling Blood Pressure
According to the American Heart Association, a diet rich in natural sources of potassium is important for controlling blood pressure, thanks to potassium’s ability to reduce the effects of sodium in the body.
Avocados are a great natural source of potassium – with one fruit containing 28% of your recommended daily potassium intake.
However, don’t forget that avocados are a high fat food and excess weight does your blood pressure levels no favors. If you’re adding avocado to your diet, make sure you reduce your fat intake in other areas to balance things out.
Reducing Cholesterol Levels
High blood cholesterol levels, which double the risk of heart disease, affect 1 in 3 Americans. But, health experts advise that eating avocados on a regular basis can significantly reduce LDL cholesterol in your blood and improve heart health. Avocados act on many levels to improve cardiovascular health. This fruit:
– Reduces Blood Triglycerides
– Reduces Total Cholesterol Levels
– Reduces LDL Cholesterol (bad cholesterol)
– Increases HDL (good) cholesterol
Avocados contain high amounts of nutrients. Interestingly, there are more than 20 minerals and vitamins in each serving.
1 avocado gives you the following percentage of your Recommended Daily Values (RDV):
– Vitamin C – 33% – Vitamin E – 21% – Vitamin B6 – 26% – Vitamin K – 53% – Copper – 19% – Folate – 41% – Potassium – 28%
– Pantothenic Acid – 28%
Improved Nutrients 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.
Improving Eye Health with Avocados
Macular degeneration is amongst the biggest causes behind blindness among Americans. Zeaxanthin and lutein are two ingredients that have been found to be greatly effective fighting this condition. The foods having high levels of phytonutrients are rich in offering both zeaxanthin and lutein for our body.
According to research, avocado is considered the best source of lutein in over 20 fruits which we take regularly. Avocado also contains high levels of zeaxanthin.
Avocado is Essential for Expecting Moms
According to What to Expect, avocado is among the most crucial foods for pregnant women. The fruit has potassium, vitamin B6, folate and vitamin C.
Vitamin B6 is beneficial for the baby’s tissue and growth of brain. It also helps in easing morning sickness.
Folate is required for healthy fetus development during the early pregnancy stage.
A small piece of research points to avocado being 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.
However, these studies are limited so it may be best to just enjoy avocado for the wealth of other benefits it brings.
Avocados are abundant in vitamin K, folate, copper and various other bone-healthy nutrients. When consumed regularly, avocados make bones stronger.
Fiber is the essential part of any healthy, well-balanced diet because it improves digestive system function. A single fruit packs 13g fiber, which equals 54% of the recommended daily allowance.
The high levels of vitamins and minerals in avocados, particularly folate and potassium, are highly beneficial for improving mood and preventing mood changes. A number of studies have found a link between depression and low potassium levels. Folate is also important for reducing the symptoms of depression.