12 Surprising Health Benefits Of Avocado
Avocado benefits are celebrated for being true to health. Avocado, also known as butter fruit and alligator pear, is a powerhouse superfood. They are a heart-healthy food one must include in their diet and are free from cholesterol, sugar, and sodium.
This nutritional fruit is loaded with anti-aging and disease-fighting antioxidants and contains approximately twenty minerals and vitamins. Frequent consumption supplies advanced doses of fiber, vitamins E, C, and K, magnesium, potassium, and nutrients. By following these 12 surprising health benefits of avocado, you might want to include it in your diet:
1. Rich Source of Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory
Besides being a good source of vitamins, minerals, fibers, and healthy fats, butter fruits are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Bioactive compounds such as carotenoids, vitamins C and E, and phenolic compounds promote antioxidant, heart-protective, and brain-protective behaviors'. For instance, carotenoids such as lutein, carotene-alpha, and beta in avocados have been proven effective in fighting oxidative damage due to their robust antioxidant effects.
More importantly, high dietary intake and blood levels of antioxidants in the fruit have surprising healthy effects on the body, including better brain health, an improved heart, and others.
2. Controls Indigestion
The fiber content of avocado is 14 grams in a single fruit. That amounts to half of the daily value for fiber. Fiber is an important nutrient essential for developing a healthy digestive system as it helps encourage beneficial bacteria. A healthy gut leads to a strong immune system, defends against inflammation, and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.
Consistent consumption of avocado for a certain period has been proven to uplift the entire microbe quantity and diversity, eventually supporting gut health. Consuming food rich in Fiber helps with constipation, reduces the risk of colon cancer, and improves the digestive tract.
3. It Probably Boosts Cognitive Abilities
Phytochemicals such as lutein are available in avocados on a large scale. Lutein is one of the two important carotenoid bioactive compounds that are beneficial in many ways. Lutein is in some ways related to beta-carotene and vitamin A, well-known nutrients for eye health. The other role of Lutein is to assist in better brain function.
Besides that, folate, one of the B vitamins found in avocado, also plays a role in developing cognitive abilities. By controlling the development of homocysteine, the substance responsible for brain deterioration, folate helps boost cognitive skills. As per Science Direct, low folate amounts to depression.
4. Upgrades Satiety
Healthy fats in avocados help the stomach stay full for a long time, hence delaying hunger. The feeling of satisfaction can be termed satiety. Avocados derive healthy fats from monosaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). The positive effects of MUFAs on reducing cardiovascular disease risk and blood lipid profile have been broadly researched. Consuming half of the fruit helps you stay full for up to five hours.
The fullness of the fruit can also be attributed to the fiber present within. Although high in calories, they provide sufficient nutrients to keep the body healthy and promote better functioning. As a result, fullness leads to weight loss.
5. Assist in Healthy Body Weight
Avocados have become a popular breakfast option for maintaining a healthy body weight. It has been shown that people who consume more Fiber in their diet tend to maintain a healthier weight than those who follow a low-fiber diet. The metabolism will likely improve with fit Fiber, resulting in a healthy system.
Studies have shown that Fiber is one of the most important factors in deciding a healthy weight apart from calories and other sources. Moreover, as we already know, avocado provides Fiber, the one nutrient responsible for improving satiety and eventually promoting weight loss.
6. Good for Vision
Vitamin A, lutein, and zeaxanthin are some compounds found in avocados that are good for vision. These components deliver antioxidant safeguarding reduced damage to eyes, including the one caused by UV light. UV lights are as harmful to our eyes as to our skin. Old age leads to diminished eyesight. Consuming fiber- and carotene-rich foods helps to improve vision.
Besides that, the monosaturated fatty acid encourages the engagement of other valuable fat-soluble antioxidants, such as beta-carotene. As a result, avocados' nutrients support the body's whole function differently.
7. Potentially Prevents the Risk of Osteoporosis
Studies have found that oil extracted from avocado is useful in reducing the symptoms of Osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition when the bone in the body starts to lose its mass and the structure of the bone starts to change. The vitamin K found in avocado could alter this condition.
Vitamin K is one of the most ignored vitamins, which is essential for bone health. Adequate consumption of vitamin K is capable of supporting nourished bone by enhancing the absorption of calcium and decreasing the urinary emission of calcium. Half avocado contains nearly 18% of the daily value of Vitamin K.
8. Better Choice during Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Avocado is healthy and beneficial during pregnancy and breastfeeding. According to the Health Line, the demand for folate increases from 400 to 600 mg, potassium demands rise from 2,600 to 2,900 mg, and vitamin C needs to be upgraded from 75 to 85 mg during pregnancy.
Adequate consumption decreases the risk of miscarriage and other fetus underdevelopment. One avocado contains 160 mg or 27% of the daily value of folate. Moreover, avocado provides vitamin C, potassium, and B6 during breastfeeding and pregnancy. Fiber helps to release constipation, which is mostly common during pregnancy.
9. Great source of Potassium
Avocado is a great source of potassium. It supersedes the content of amount of potassium contained in bananas, while they were known as potassium-rich sources. Merely half avocado or 68 grams is enough to supply an astonishing amount of 345 mg of potassium which equals to 7% of the daily value. A whole avocado nearly provides 15% of the DV.
Potassium is a vital mineral, essential for sustaining normal blood pressure, supporting healthy nerves and muscle function, and facilitating the supply of nutrients in cells. Likewise, potassium-rich food stabilizes fluid in the body, regulates muscle contraction, and prevents stroke.
10. Beneficial for Heart Health
Including avocado frequently in the diet benefits heart health, probably reducing the risk of several heart diseases. All the excellent nutrients in avocado, such as vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, and fiber, play an important role in maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system.
Studies have concluded that avocado-rich food helps minimize the risk factor of heart disease. Moreover, avocado regulates healthy cholesterol levels, a factor responsible for a healthy heart. Avocados contain a natural plant sterol called beta-sitosterol that keeps the cholesterol level at par. One hundred grams of avocado provides 76 mcg of beta-sitosterol.
11. Averts Risk of Cancer
Although no concrete proof shows that avocado prevents cancer, it cannot be denied that some of its compounds help avert the risk. Several studies have linked ideal folate food consumption to reduced stomach, colon, pancreatic, and cervical cancers. However, this research still demands more sophisticated evidence.
The presence of phytochemicals and carotenoids might have some anticancer properties. Carotenoids are believed to prevent the risk of cancer progression. Much research has been conducted to link the connection between avocado consumption and the prevention of cancer.
12. Improves Immune System
With numerous health benefits, and uplifting almost all the essential body parts, avocado helps advance the immune system. From boosting cognitive function to regulating a healthy gut, avocado is a superfood everyone should include in their diet.
A single serving of avocado contains 6% of the daily value of vitamin E, a vital nutrient necessary for maintaining a strong immune system to fight viruses and bacteria. Similarly, avocadoes are nutritional and supply a decent dose of copper, another important mineral that keeps the immune system well.
Nutritional Breakdown of 100g Avocados
The nutritional value of avocados highly depends upon the size of the fruit. Most of us don't consider this fact to be important and treat them healthily. However, this fact might be useful for someone who is tracking their calorie intake. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, small sized half avocado, or 100 grams, has the following nutritional values:
- Fat: 14.7g
- Fiber: 6.7g
- Protein: 2g
- Sodium: 7mg
- Calcium: 12mg
- Carbohydrates: 8.5g
- Magnesium: 29 mg
- Potassium: 485mg
- Vitamin C: 10mg
- Vitamin E: 2.1mg
- Vitamin K: 21mcg
- Folate: 81mg
- Carotene, alpha: 28mg
- Carotene, beta: 28mg
- Vitamin E: 2.07mg
- Tryptophan: 25mg
Creative Ways to Eat an Avocado
Aside from being high in nutrients, avocados make a flexible and delicious ingredient suitable for sweet and savory recipes.
Here are some creative ways in which you can incorporate more avocados into your diet:
- Incorporate avocados in salads.
- Add avocado in burritos and tacos.
- Avocado soup with herbs and spices.
- Fry them as a substitute for French fries.
- Add chopped avocado to scrambled eggs.
- Enjoy seasoned avocado with salt and pepper.
- Use a grilled avocado as a side dish with roasted meat.
- Form a green smoothie with avocado and other leafy vegetables.
- Substitute regular butter and mayonnaise with a healthy avocado spread.
- Bake an egg-stuffed avocado with bacon, fresh herbs, and spice seasoning.
This is a limited list, so feel free to experiment.
Potential Risks of Avocado
Despite being highly nutritious, the fact that avocados could pose health risks might surprise some. Foods have the possibility of causing harm if considerate attention is not provided. A particular food might work wonders for some, while the same may be risky for others.
Here is a list of a few potential risks associated with avocados:
- It can cause skin issues such as hives, itching, redness, and eczema.
- Avocado can cause skin rash and nausea for people with hypersensitivity.
- Since avocado is high in fat, consuming too much might cause weight gain.
- Certain types of avocado oil that contain estragole and anethole might be harmful to liver health.
- Beta-sitosterol in avocados might drain good cholesterol from the body when consumed in large amounts.
- Due to the presence of Vitamin K, an overdose of avocado might lead to blood thinning, similar to warfarin, an oral medication used to treat blood clotting.
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