10 Health Benefits of Avocados: The Super Food
Avocados, which originated in Mexico, are an extremely healthy fruit to eat. Although a little bland by itself, when made into guacamole, avocados become a very delicious healthy treat. They can also be used as a filler in sushi or a sandwich spread. Unlike most fruits that are high in carbohydrates but low in calories, this fruit is high in good healthy fat and 20 times higher in caloric value. It is, for this reason, it makes a great meat substitute.
Although there are many different kinds of avocados, the most commonly eaten are the Hass Avocados, which have a green bumpy skin reminiscent of the skin of an alligator. They have a lot of vitamins. According to HealthLine.com, half of an avocado, which they considered one serving contains:
- 26% of the RDA of Vitamin K
- 20% of the RDA of Folate
- 17% of the RDA of Vitamin C
- 14% of the RDA of Potassium
- 14 % of the RDA of Vitamin B5
- 13 % of the RDA of Vitamin B6
- 10% of the RDA of Vitamin E
- Smaller amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin).
Due to so many vitamins, there are many health benefits including these ten!
1. Promotes Eye Health
Eyes are very sensitive organs and need certain nutrients in order to function well. Fortunately, avocados contain two such nutrients. First, they contain more carotenoid lutein than any other fruit. Lutein reduces the risk of macular degeneration as well as cataracts and promotes overall eye health. It also contains zeaxanthin, which along with lutein helps protect the eye from harmful light waves. By making sure your food is rich in these two nutrients, you are assuring your eyes and your vision will age well along with you.
2. Great Heart and Brain Health
This tasty fruit is full of monounsaturated fat, which is a healthy fat. Monounsaturated fats help balance your cholesterol levels. They not only increase your good cholesterol levels but keep your bad cholesterol levels within the normal range. Eating one avocado will provide you with 30 percent of your daily need for this healthy fat. By keeping your cholesterol down, it will prevent your arteries from being clogged and help prevent strokes, heart attacks, and pulmonary embolisms.
Another way this green fruit helps cholesterol levels is by providing 25 milligrams of a beta-sitosterol, which is a natural plant sterol that helps balance cholesterol levels.
Avocados are rich in Vitamin E and folate, which protect your heart from disease, clots, and blockages. With heart disease being one of the world's worst killers, we need to make sure we are taking good care of our heart.
3. Reduces Blood Pressure
Due to the high levels of potassium found in avocados, blood pressure will be reduced if this fruit is eaten regularly. An avocado actually has more potassium than a banana does and provides you with 14 percent of your daily need. By lowering blood pressure, you are less likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or pulmonary embolism. Lower blood pressure also helps protect your kidneys from damage.
4. Better Digestion
Researchers have found that your body absorbs nutrients better when the nutrients are eaten with avocados. The reason for this is because many nutrients are fat-soluble vitamins, which means they need fat in order to be properly absorbed. Since this fruit is such a high source of healthy fats, it makes an ideal food to eat for better absorption of vitamins!
Don't be fooled by its creamy texture, but avocados have nearly 12-14 grams of fiber per fruit, which is 50 percent of the recommended daily amount needed. Fiber is essential for digestion because it helps slow digestion down, which not only assists in nutrient absorption but also helps prevent diarrhea and constipation. Fiber also helps prevent spikes in blood pressure, because of how slow your body metabolizes it. Due to helping your food move along, toxins are more easily excreted out of your body through the bile and stool. This keeps the colon healthy, promotes good gut bacteria, and eliminates the likelihood of colon cancer.
5. Prevents Cancer
Due to the high levels of Vitamin E, many believe that avocados help prevent cancer as well as destroys cancerous cells in the mouth. The effects are best if it is eaten with a selenium rich food. Folate also protects the body from stomach, pancreatic, colon, and cervical cancers, which this fruit has an abundance of.
|Serving size: 1|
|Calories from Fat||135|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 15 g||23%|
|Carbohydrates 9 g||3%|
|Fiber 7 g||28%|
|Protein 2 g||4%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|Sodium 0 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
6. Helps Brain and Decreases Risk of Depression and Anxiety
The brain needs high levels of vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids in order to be able to function at its best. Fortunately, avocados contain both! These nutrients help proper blood flow especially to the pre-frontal cortex of the brain, which is the part of the brain that controls critical thinking and decision making.
Folate also reduces the risk of depression. The reason for this is because it prevents homocysteine from building up in the brain, which interferes with the production of serotonin (regulates mood), dopamine (regulates sleep), and norepinephrine (regulates appetite).
7. Reduces Risk of Diabetes
Although it is a high-fat food, the fat is a healthy fat. When your body consumes fat, your brain will receive signals that you can slow down your appetite. Although bad fat can clog arteries, good fat will actually breakdown carbohydrates, which ultimately helps to keep sugar levels stable. By keeping sugar levels stable, this could reduce the risk of diabetes and make already existing diabetes easier to control.
8. Reduces Inflammation
Avocados also contain polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols. This is a very powerful and natural anti-inflammatory agent. By eating plenty of guacamole, you will reduce inflammation throughout your body. By reducing inflammation, such inflammatory diseases as arthritis, ulcerative colitis, asthma, Crohn's are more apt to go into remission. Vitamin E and Vitamin C are also anti-inflammatory agents These antioxidants fight against damage that chronic inflammation causes.
Oleic acid, which is a monosaturated fatty acid, is found in both avocados and olive oil. As stated before it is a good fat that reduces inflammation and essential for the heart to beat
9. Helps Prevent Osteoporosis
Vitamin K is essential for overall bone health. If you eat half of an avocado, you get 25 percent of the daily recommended value. Vitamin K also helps increase the absorption of calcium, which only further adds to the aid it does towards the bones, which prevents such bone diseases as osteoporosis.
10. Great for Pregnant Women and the Unborn Baby
This food is excellent for pregnant women and their unborn baby. Not only does it contain all the nutrients listed above and has those added benefits on the baby, but it is also rich in the coveted folate, which any doctor will say is essential for proper brain development in the unborn baby. When you eat half of an avocado, you receive a quarter of the amount of folate your body needs in a day. Folate also helps prevent miscarriage as well.
Although there is not a superfood that will serve all of a person's needs, some people will refer to the avocado as a superfood because of the numerous health benefits. It is key though that your body gets a variety of natural colors in its diet, as strawberries contain different nutrients than green beans, and green beans contain different nutrients than rice, etc. A diet rich in color (of the natural kind) will be rich in many of the needed nutrients.
- "12 Proven Health Benefits of Avocado." Healthline. Accessed March 03, 2018. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado.
- LD, Megan Ware RDN. "12 health benefits of avocado." Medical News Today. September 12, 2017. Accessed March 03, 2018. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270406.php.
- Writer, Staff. "10 Health Benefits of Avocado." Daily Natural Remedies. Accessed March 03, 2018. http://dailynaturalremedies.com/10-health-benefits-of-avocado/?utm_source=health benefits of avocado&utm_medium=avocado&utm_campaign=bing.
© 2018 Angela Michelle Schultz