Avocados have long been touted as a ‘super food’, and for good reason. They are a rich source of antioxidants and contain more than twenty essential nutrients, including vitamin E, B-vitamins, folic acid, and potassium to name but a few.
Incorporating avocado into your diet can help you lose weight, can help to stabilize your blood pressure and regulate your cholesterol, and even help to reduce your risk of developing certain cancers.
The health benefits are numerous.
They are also incredibly easy to incorporate into your diet. Cut them up and mix them into your salads, using them as a topping on sandwiches or burgers; you can even make salad dressings out of avocados. The options are limited only by your creativity.
It should be noted, however, that if you are allergic to latex, you should consult a physician before incorporating avocado into your diet.
Some people who experience symptoms when exposed to late will also experience symptoms if they ingest avocado.
The following is a breakdown of twelve different health benefits you can experience by incorporating avocados into your diet.
1. Lowers Cholesterol
Luckily, incorporating avocados into your diet can help. Avocados contain a variety of essential nutrients, one of the most beneficial of which is monounsaturated fat.
A conducted by Li Wang, PhD., et. Al for the Department of Nutritional Sciences at University Park sought to examine the effectiveness of three different cholesterol reducing diets: a moderate fat diet including avocados, a moderate fat diet excluding avocados, and a low-fat diet.
At the conclusion of the study, it was determined that the moderate fat diet that included avocados produced a more significant decrease in the subjects cholesterol levels, in comparison to the moderate fat diet without avocado, and the low-fat diet.
This result was attributed, in large part, to the high monounsaturated fat content present in a raw avocado.
The leading cause of death in the Unites States, even before cancer and indiscriminate of sex, is cardiovascular disease. One of the foremost reasons being a diet too high in saturated fats.
On the word of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, fats are an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet. The problem arises in making out which are the healthy, good fats.
In keeping with the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a conducted by Frank B. Hu for the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health established that a diet high in plant-based foods was associated with a pointedly lower risk of development of cardiovascular disease.
3. Weight Loss
When aiming to lose weight, it is important to not only exercise and be calorie deficient, but to correspondingly consume whole foods that are rich in essential nutrients.
Even when attempting to lose weight, good fats are essential; they are what help your body to function properly, and optimally.
Avocados, however, are not only rich in monounsaturated fatty acids but many other essential nutrients as well. There is more than ten grams of fiber in one serving of avocado.
For a comparison, there is only three grams of fiber per medium sized banana.
Fiber is particularly important for weight loss because it promotes a feeling of satiety, which will curb over eating and later food cravings. In addition, fiber also helps to improve the digestion of food ingested.
A conducted at the University of Minnesota for the Department of Food Science and Nutrition examined the relationship between dietary fiber and weight. According to Joanne L. Slavin, Ph.D., R.D., the conductor of the study, the amount of fiber intake is directly associated with body mass index (BMI).
4. Reduces Cancer Risk
Next to cardiovascular disease, cancer is a leading cause of death in many countries around the world. Approximately one in every four deaths in the United States in 2014 was attributed to cancer, according to the .
It was determined that eating raw fruits and vegetables, especially those high in fiber, have a preventative effect on the development of cancers such as stomach, pancreas, and colon cancers.
In addition, avocados aid in the absorption of carotenoids, which have been shown to have cancer protective properties.
As previously stated, avocados have a high dietary fiber content, which consequently leads to improved digestion.
It is fair to summarize that by eating avocados, and there-by increasing your fiber intake, you can lessen your risk of and perhaps even prevent, colon cancer.
In the same way that eating fruits and vegetables can increase your heart health, a proper and balanced diet can also help with your joint health.
Avocados, specifically, are rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, which have immense anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, a conducted by Artemis P. Simopoulos, M.D., states that omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids have an extremely potent anti-inflammatory effect.
6. Increases Absorption of Other Nutrients
Not only is the quantity of nutrients that you consume important to your health, but how your body is able to absorb them is imperative.
One conducted by Nuray Z. Unlu et. Al for the Department of Food Science and Technology and Internal Medicine at Ohio State University demonstrated that, just by adding avocado to your salads daily, you can help your body absorb up to five times more .
Furthermore, a done by Mark L. Dreher and Adrienne J. Davenport for Nutrition Science Solutions, LLC, concluded that among avocados innumerable health benefits, when consumed in combination with salsa avocados exponentially increase the availability of carotenoids.
Both studies established that the addition of avocado to your diet can significantly improve the rate, and amount, of which your body absorbs essential nutrients.
7. Eye Health
Avocados may contribute to eye health because of their unique combination of lutein, vitamin E and monounsaturated fatty acids.
Lutein is a carotenoid that absorbs any excess light that can be found in vibrantly coloured vegetables and leafy green plants. According to the previously mentioned by Mark L. Dreher and Adrienne J. Davenport, avocados contain 185 μg for each half of the fruit.
This is significant, because that means that the levels of lutein in avocados are vastly more bioavailable than in any other fruit or vegetable.
A conducted by Julie A. Mares-Perlam et. Al in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical School, the University of California-Berkley, and the Centers for Disease Control evaluated the role of lutein in preventing chronic diseases such as macular degeneration.
It discovered that, while the levels of lutein needed differed for different age groups, that those with higher levels of lutein in their system were at a lower risk for developing pigment abnormalities.
Avocados contain high levels of vitamin C, with approximately six milligrams of the vitamin per half a fruit. Avocados can also help to reduce insulin secretion, and consequently help to stabilize your blood sugar.
In a further done on diabetic mice, performed at the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo by Omar Ortiz-Avila et. Al it was determined that avocado oil supplementation can improve the electron transport chain (ETC).
Avocados are a rich source of folic acid, which has long been proven to be important in pregnancy. Folic acid helps to prevent preeclampsia, as well as lessen the chance of pregnancy complications, or decreased birth weight.
In fact, a conducted for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, demonstrated that a folate deficiency during pregnancy can be extremely dangerous.
It has been associated with placental abruption and spontaneous abortion of the pregnancy.
In addition, being folic deficient during pregnancy has been linked to neural tube defects.
A conducted at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine by Hannah Blencowe et. Al demonstrated that taking folic acid supplements during pregnancy can help to reduce the mortality occurrence for neural tube defects.
10. Blood pressure
As previously stated, avocados are a rich source of potassium. There is more potassium in an avocado, than there is in a medium sized banana.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is particularly dangerous because it can be damaging to your arteries, causing narrowing, or in some cases even an aneurysm, resulting in death.
In addition, high blood pressure can lead to coronary artery disease, stroke, and dementia.
Reducing your daily salt intake, and increasing your daily potassium intake, can help to stabilize your blood pressure, and therefore reduce your risk of developing fatal complications from hypertension.
11. Fight Infection
In addition to all their other nutrients, avocados are also a rich source of potassium. Avocados contain twice the potassium than a medium sized banana.
One , conducted by Nuray Z. Unlu et. Al for the Department of Food Science and Technology and Internal Medicine at Ohio State University demonstrated that adding avocado to your salads, daily, can help your body absorb up to five times more carotenoids.
In the case of infection, this is extremely important, because carotenoids help to protect your body against any free radical damage.
12. Lowered Depression Risk
Many people may not consider that eating avocados can help to manage depression. Avocados, however, are rich in B vitamins (B-6, B-12, etc.) and folate, which can all help to naturally lower your stress levels.
Avocados also contain monounsaturated fatty acids; healthy fats are important, because they provide your brain with the ability to function properly.
Avocados are long been touted by nutritionists and proponents of natural healing as a super food. Turns out, their claims are completely correct.
From depression to pregnancy, hypertension to high cholesterol, avocados contain the antioxidants and nutrients needed for your body to function optimally.
Do you eat avocados regularly? Will you now incorporate avocados into your diet, after learning about what a nutrient-rich fruit they are?
Let us know what you are thinking in the comments section below. We love to hear from you!