Avocados, botanically, are large berries with a single large seed in it. Delicious, full of fats and nutrients, the avocado offers many health benefits and, according to some studies, people who consume avocados regularly are healthier.
Below we give you 20 good reasons why you shouldn’t overlook the avocado as a means to getting healthier.
1. Regulates blood pressure
The American Heart Association has found that foods loaded with potassium play an important role in regulating blood pressure as potassium diminishes the effect of sodium in the body.
One avocado contains about 28% of the recommended daily dose of potassium intake, making them an excellent natural treatment for high blood pressure.
But always keep in mind that avocados are high in fats as well, and extra weight won’t do your blood pressure any good. When you include avocado in your diet, be sure you don’t consume additional fats from other foods to even things out.
2. Improves digestion
Fiber found in avocados help maintain an optimum and smooth function of the digestive system as in one avocado there are about 13 grams of fiber, about 54% of the recommended daily intake.
3. It is nourishing for expecting mothers
Since avocados are packed with potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and folate, they make an excellent food for pregnant women.
To be more specific, folate plays a key role for the healthy growth of the fetus in early pregnancy, whereas vitamin B6 prompts the baby’s tissue and brain growth and reduces the chances of morning sickness.
4. Prevents Diabetes
Even though adding avocado to the meal 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.
Although adding an avocado to your meal will increase the intake of calories and carbohydrates, there have been no signs that this fruit increases blood sugar levels, thus reducing the risk of diabetes.
5. It has anti-inflammatory properties
Chronic inflammation is believed to cause asthma, arthritis, allergies, Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease…However, avocadoes contain anti-inflammatory properties due to its oleic acid content, which has several studies have linked to lowering inflammation.
6. Enhances brain function
Copper, found in avocados, is a strong brain stimulant which is why avocados can be categorized as a brain food. Copper is often overlooked as a mineral and yet in can stimulate the thought process and improve creativity.
7. Alleviates pain and inflammation
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, extract from avocado has been confirmed to lower osteoarthritis symptoms and alleviate pain related to inflammation and other aches.
8. Lower Cholesterol Levels
It is estimated that one in three US adults have high cholesterol, which increases the risk of a heart disease. But there are a number of healthy ways to reduce cholesterol levels, eating an avocado is one of them.
According to some studies, consuming avocados frequently can significantly lower total cholesterol levels, reduce blood triglycerides, and reduce LDL(or bad) cholesterol, and increase HDL (or good) cholesterol.
9. Improves your mood
An avocado a day might cheer you up thanks to its vitamin and mineral content – especially potassium and folate.
Due to its high levels of vitamins and minerals such as potassium and folate, an avocado a day can improve your mood. Some studies have found a link between lack of potassium and depression.
One such study from 1993 found that depressed patients displayed lower levels of potassium than healthy patients. Just like potassium, folate, too, can prevent depression — something which has been established in the 1960s.
10. Helps combat cancer
A study has found that avocado extract can help combat cancer and slow the growth of prostate cancer cells, and it is even linked to lowering the symptoms of chemotherapy.
Although these studies are not yet corroborated or conclusive, you can still enjoy an avocado for its many other health benefits.
11. Promotes bone health
Avocados are packed with nutrients good for the bones such as vitamin K, copper, and folate. And while you may need more than an avocado to keep your bones healthy, eating one on a daily basis will definitely lend you a helping hand in retaining your bone health.
12. Fosters skin and hair health
The avocado’s healthy fats and anti-inflammatory properties can help smoothen your skin and give you glossy hair. Vitamin E shelters the body tissue from harm by free radicals, who are believed to affect ageing.
However, instead of purchasing costly vitamin E-enriched creams, eat an avocado or try avocado oil to improve your skin and hair health.
13. A source of healthy fats
While avocados are rich in fats, these are so-called ‘good fats’ like monounsaturated fat, which can lower the risk of heart attack or stroke by regulating bad cholesterol levels in the blood.
14. Controls your weight
According to a research published in the Nutrition Journal, eating just half an avocado during lunch has helped overweight people feel fuller and sated for longer after eating.
Participants in the study reported a 40% less desire to eat over a three-hour period, and a 28% less desire during a five hour period after they’ve had a meal.
15. Avocados are loaded with nutrients
Avocados are rich in nutrients and contain approximately 20 vitamins and minerals in each serving. Some of the nutritious compounds found in avocadoes include vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and copper.
16. It is tasty and has different uses
Along with an avocado’s numerous healing properties, it is highly refreshing and tasty and can be used in a number of ways. Of course, you can make it into guacamole, but you may also season your salads with it, add it in your sandwich…
17. Strengthens the immune system
Avocados are rich in vitamin B which prevents infections and illnesses. In addition to the B vitamins, avocados are rich sources of vitamins C and E – both of which stimulate the immune system.
18. Stimulates Nutrient Absorption
Vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients release their health-giving properties not when we eat them, but when our body absorbs them.
There are some nutrients, for instance, which must be combined with fat for our bodies to absorb them, and some of these fat-soluble nutrients include vitamin D, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K, and certain antioxidants.
According to research, participants who add an avocado to their meal absorb the antioxidants alpha-carotene 8.3 times, beta-carotene 13.6 times and lutein 4.3 times better than partakers who ate their meal without avocado.
19. Promotes eye health
If you are familiar with the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, you will know just how significant they are in combating macular degeneration, one of the main things that causes blindness in the US.
And the only way to consume lutein and zeaxanthin is through diet, which is why we should include more foods in our diet that contain these phytonutrients.
Fortunately for us, a study has found that avocados are an excellent source of lutein, and contain decent amounts of zeaxanthin.
20. It is energizing
Of all three macronutrients – carbs, proteins, and fats — fat is the most concentrated source of energy for the body as it provides a steady flow of energy, and there are plenty of fats in avocados.
Moreover, when eaten with a carbohydrate, they slow the digestion of the carbs, meaning you won’t have to endure the energy-stealing sugar crash that usually follows simple carbs such as white bread.