Health Benefits of Avocado
The Avocado is a super food loaded with multi-vitamins, heart-healthy nutrients and disease-thwarting chemical compounds that make it one of the most nutritious vegetable on the planet. No wonder the famous avocado has numerous health benefits!
Avocados, also known as 'avocado pears' or 'alligator pears' because of their pear-shaped structure, were first cultivated in Central and South America. This healthy fruit has a thick green leathery skin and a single large seed.
Nutrients Found in Avocados
Avocados are bursting with a multi-load of nutrients including phyto-nutrients, flavonoids, anti-oxidants like carotenoids among others. Here are the main nutrients found in the nutritious avocado:
Dietary Fiber. This is important in bowel regulation and prevents constipation and in the long run, intestinal cancer. A cup of avocado, pureed finely or sliced, contains about 9.78 grams of fiber.
Potassium. A cup of avocado contains 708 mg of potassium which is more than your average banana. Potassium helps lower high blood pressure and helps in prevention of kidney stone and bone disease.
Calcium. An avocado contains 18mg of calcium. Calcium is important in the body for healthy bone and teeth formation.
Vitamin K. A cup of sliced avocado contains 30.66 mg of Vitamin K. Vitamin K is responsible for the formation of platelets which help in the clotting of blood.
Folic Acid For the formation of red blood cells and prevention of anemia. One cup of avocado contains 118.26mcg of folate/folic acid.
Vitamin C One cup of avocado contains 14.60 mg of vitamin C. Vitamin c is responsible for healing and is important for connective tissues, skin and bone.
Vitamin B5. Is essential for growth and production of hormones. One cup of avocado equals to 2.03mg.
Vitamin B6 Helps in formation of anti-bodies and for normal nerve functioning. A cup of sliced avocado contains 0.1 mg of vitamin B6.
Vitamin E Vitamin E is important in treating skin disorders, helps in cell regeneration and improves skin hydration. An avocado contains about 4.16mg of vitamin E.
Amount per cup
Creamy Avocado Poll!
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Is Avocado High in Fat? Is it Good for Me?
Yes, avocado is high in fat and yes, it is very good for you! Many people are put off by the well-known fact that avocados have fat in them. Well, avocado does indeed have fat, but did you know that this fat is 'mono-saturated fat'? Avocado contains mono-saturated fatty acids known ad oleic acid, which is the major fatty acid in avocado. Oleic acid improves heart health by treating inflammations on the walls and arteries of the heart. Also, studies carried out on avocado consumers have discovered that the average avocado consumer is actually lower in body weight and body mass index than the avocado non-consumer!
Interesting Facts about Avocados
Many people are concerned about the fat content in avocados and tend to stay away from consuming them yet the mono-saturated fatty acids in avocados help lower the bad cholesterol levels in the body!
Avocado has been called the most perfect food owing to its numerous phyto-nutrients, anti-oxidants and vitamins.
The primary avocado producers in the world today are the United States, Mexico, Dominican Republic, among others.
Avocados are very rich in potassium, exceeding the potassium levels in an average banana, which is widely known as a high potassium food.
Avocados contain lutein which are very essential for healthy eyes.
Avocados are climacteric, meaning they mature on the tree but ripen after harvest.
Avocados are one of the few rich creamy foods that can be freely fed to infants.
Ten Nutritious Avocado Health Benefits
1. Avocados for healthy heart. Avocados are a brilliant pack of chemical compounds, fiber and most importantly potassium. All these powerful nutrients are very good for maintaining a healthy functioning heart. Avocados also have natural anti-inflammatory properties that help heal inflammations in the walls and arteries of the heart caused by heart disease. Also, avocados help eliminate plaque that blocks arteries in the heart thereby causing dangerous heart problems like heart attacks and other cardiovascular conditions.
2. Avocados for cholesterol. One of the major avocado health benefits is that avocados have absolutely no cholesterol, besides being a low-carb food, and can be safely consumed as a snack. Moreover, research carried out on the link between avocados and cholesterol says that an avocado can help lower cholesterol levels within a week alone! The mono-saturated fat in avocados helps reduce cholesterol levels in the body as well as fight off the bad LHL cholesterol from the body, thereby preventing heart disease as well.
3. Avocados for blood-sugar regulation. A very potent in the many health benefits of avocados is that it is a low-sugar and low-carb food. A cup of sliced avocado contains less than 2 grams of sugar. Replace the saturated fat in your diet with mono-saturated fat. Mono-saturated fat actually helps lower cholesterol by fighting the bad LDL cholesterol. High carb foods are high in saturated fat and sugars that is harmful for diabetes patients and even people susceptible to diabetes . Avocados have high-carb fighting properties that help lower blood sugar significantly.
4. Avocados for cancer.Another potent avocado health benefit is that it contains phytonutrients that can fight against various types of cancers especially prostate cancer. A study carried out in 2005 discovered that avocados consumed in salads allowed enabled participants to absorb the important carotenoids which protect the body from harmful free radicals, which steal oxygen from healthy active cells, thus weakening them and causing them to become cancerous. Oleic acid which is the primary fatty acid found in avocados helps protect against ovarian cancer in women.
5. Avocados for stroke. One of the most important avocado health benefits is it helps prevent strokes. Owing to its high content of potassium, dietary fiber and magnesium, avocados are great foods for prevention of this deadly ailment. A study carried out on more than 40,000 men who had a high intake of potassium in their diet compared to those who had a low intake of potassium in their diet showed that the former set were 38 per cent free from suffering from the deadly stroke.
6. Avocados for beautiful skin. Have you ever heard of an avocado face mask? These avocado face mask are becoming incredibly popular in the natural beauty world. An average avocado contains 4.16mg of vitamin E, which is 21.9 per cent of the Recommended Daily Allowance. Vitamin E nourishes and feeds the skin making it glowing and healthy. In addition, avocados are a rich source of carotenoids, anti-oxidants and flavonoids that rejuvenate and replenish damaged and unhealthy skin. The dietary fiber in avocados is also very beneficial in maintaining proper bowel movement thereby flushing toxins that may have later been released in form of bulbous acne.
7. Anti-inflammatory properties in avocados. The numerous flavonoids, carotenoids, including beta carotene and lutein, and omega 3 fatty acids found in avocado give this amazing food natural anti-inflammatory properties. Including avocado to your regular diet can be very beneficial in terms of thwarting inflammatory diseases such as both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The well-known carotenoids such as alpha carotene, beta carotene and lutein, among others all play significant roles in treating inflammations caused by arthritis and heart disease.
8. Avocados for weight watchers. If you're looking for healthy nutritious foods you can eat while working out, choose avocado! Avocado had healthy fats that if used as substitute with other fats, can provide much more good-avocados are packed with a super load of vitamins, anti-oxidants and flavonoids. When baking, you can use avocado fat as a great substitute for the animal fat to reap the weight loss avocado health benefits more! In addition, since avocado contains few calories (about 50 calories per 1 0z. of avocado) it is easy to incorporate it in your weight loss diet plan without having to worry about calorie-intake.
9. Avocados for eye health. A well-known carotenoid found in avocados known as lutein, is important for good eye health, as well as preventing macular degenerative diseases that affect people in old ages, even causing blindness. Lutein also reduces the risks of cataracts, thereby securing clear eye vision even in old age.
10. Avocados for blood pressure.The main nutrient in avocados that helps regulate high blood pressure is potassium. A cup of freshly sliced avocados consists of 708mg of potassium! Potassium helps reverse negative effects of sodium in the body. High amounts of sodium are very harmful to the body and cause blood pressure to rise. Dietary fiber in avocados is also essential when combating high blood pressure. A lower diet in sodium also helps reduce high blood pressure. A cup of avocados contains only 10mg of sodium!
Nutritious Vietnamese Avocado Shake Recipe
Avocado Sandwiches with a Cuban Twist!
How to incorporate avocados to your daily diet
Here are some creative ways of making some exotic savoury dishes with avocados. You can now add avocados to your breakfast, lunch or dinner menus!
- Toss in a tropical salad. Throw in a couple of freshly sliced avocados into your veggie or even fruit salad the next time you have a raw food diet for extra added nutrition!
- Make a fruity salsa. Combine freshly cut mangos, paw paws, avocados and more for a zesty salsa. Add a dash or two of salt and sprinkle with black pepper for a nourishing meal.
- Yummy smoothie. In Indonesia, and some parts of India, a delicious smoothie or milkshake is made by blending pure avocado with bit of milk and sugar to taste. Blend avocado with a few bananas for breakfast and enjoy healthy energizing morning!
- Avocado sandwich. Use a generous amount of avocado puree as a spread for sandwich and munch away, knowing full well the amazing avocado health benefits!
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