A popular seasonal fruit, avocado is well loved by everyone who likes fruits and those who are interested in healthy food. It is most popular for being a good source of good fat. It is also brimming with other nutrients, helping you achieve a more balanced diet.
Originally from South Central Mexico, it is believed to have originated in the state of Puebla, Mexico. Today, it is already being commercially cultivated in various tropical and Mediterranean countries.
Deemed as the darling of the produce section, it have some of the most popular ingredients nowadays. It’s basically a top pick for most healthy eaters, as it will fill you up good without forcing yourself to eat something unlikable.
Then, there’s also the fact that this fruit is packed with health benefits that you should be taking advantage of. If you’re not fully familiar with what it can do for your health, here are some examples that you should keep in mind.
1. Nutritional Value of Avocado
Considered by many health experts as a super food, avocado are definitely deserving of the title because it is nutrition dense. It’s packed with vitamins and minerals with a relatively low calorie count, making it a top notch addition to any healthy meal.
If you want to get to know what it can bring to the table, here’s a short list of its nutritional content for every 100-gram serving.
- Calories 160
- Total Fat 15 g with Saturated fat 2.1 g, Polyunsaturated fat 1.8 g, and Monounsaturated fat 10 g
- Cholesterol 0 mg
- Sodium 7 mg
- Potassium 485 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 9 g
- Dietary fiber 7 g
- Sugar 0.7 g
- Protein 2 g
- Vitamin A 2%
- Vitamin C 16%
- Calcium 1%
- Iron 3%
- Vitamin B-6 15%
- Magnesium 7%
Avocado are noted for their low sodium content and zero cholesterol, as well as for being the only fruit to have monounsaturated fat (good fat). It can also function as a nutrient booster as it helps the body’s better absorption of Vitamins A, D, K and E which are fat soluble nutrients.
2. Better Cardiovascular Health
According to health researchers, “an avocado a day can keep the cardiologist away.” With this super food’s ability to lower your bad cholesterol, it can easily improve your heart health. According to a study, avocado has properties that can lower LDL or low density lipoproteins, also known as your bad cholesterol.
Some also theorize that since avocados are packed with good cholesterol, it is able to replace the bad cholesterol in one’s diet. They believe that this technique is much more effective than just lowering fat intake.
The key, however, is in consuming it the right way. A lot of people only know it as the main ingredient of guacamole, which is eaten with chips that are packed with sodium and are generally bad for your heart in the long run. Finding healthy ways to prepare it will help you enjoy more of its nutrients without any negative effects.
3. Healthy Eyesight
Those who are prone to having eyesight troubles should also get a good load of avocados right away. This superfood is brimming with the following nutrients that will help you keep and even improve your eyesight:
- Carotenoid are pigments like beta carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein that can prevent age related macular degeneration or ARM which affects central vision. By eating avocados, not only do you consume such nutrients but its fat contents also help you absorb such pigments from other colorful vegetables more easily.
- HDL or good cholesterol also help carry lutein and zeaxanthin to the eyes, so the avocados’ ability to up your good cholesterol helps your eyesight as well.
- Vitamins A, C, and E are also found in avocados and all of which can help improve vision.
4. Cancer Prevention
What makes a food item “super” is its cancer fighting ability. In this case, avocados are more than qualified to be called a superfood as it is packed with phytochemicals and antioxidants that are able to fight off cancer cells.
As it contains carotenoids, lutein, vitamin E, glutathione, and oleic acid, it can help cleanse and detoxify the body from free radicals that can cause cancer. Regular consumption of this superfood can lower your risks of prostate, breast, head, and oral cancers.
5. Help You Lose Weight
Avocado are also excellent food items that can help you shed some pounds. As it is not fattening with low “bad” fat content, it’s a great way to fill yourself up without worrying about the consequences. It’s also quite tasty and filling, so you don’t feel like you’re depriving yourself of something good.
As it still contains good fat, you’ll also be able to easily balance your diet by adding a few slices of avocado to your meals. It can also mimic sugar’s effect on your body by providing the energy you need for your workouts and other physical activities.
And since it is packed with so many nutrients, it can make you healthy. This, in turn, will ensure that your body functions at the top of its game, so you’re sure to get the most out of your weight loss efforts.
6. Improved Blood Pressure
Another way how avocados can keep the cardiologist away is by improving your blood pressure. With high blood pressure affecting millions of Americans today, it’s a must to find a healthy way to keep your blood pressure in check. Avocado help because they’re a good source of potassium, which can effectively balance sodium in your diet, lowering your blood pressure in a jiffy.
Avocado contain 549 mg of potassium, higher than banana’s 451 mg. One serving of avocado can already provide a good deal of your daily potassium requirement. So, if you’ve been relying on bananas for your blood pressure regulation, you now have a more potent alternative.
7. Reduce Liver Damage
The liver is one of the most abused body organs, especially if you love eating junk food. Balancing it out with regular supply of avocado can actually help keep your liver in good shape as this superfood is an effective liver cleanser.
Avocado are rich in glutathione, a potent antioxidant that helps filter and cleanse the liver from harmful substances. It can also help protect the liver cells from damage. Upping your avocado consumption will also increase the glutathione levels in your system, keeping your liver healthy.
The vitamins in avocado are also helpful in keeping your liver in top shape. Its vitamins E, C, and K help fight free radicals in the body that can damage liver cells. These vitamins are also capable of quelling cellular inflammation, making them effective liver protectants as well.
8. Diabetes Management
One of the biggest challenges for diabetics is in finding the right food items that won’t hurt their sugar levels. As avocados are low in carbohydrates and sugar content, it makes the perfect food for diabetics. With these two being the most popular culprits for insulin spikes in diabetes, finding a fruit that has so little of both is a great thing. This means you can eat it without worries about raising your blood sugar levels.
Another reason why diabetics should eat avocados is because of its high monounsaturated fat content. This specific fat content is the good kind of fat and is actually beneficial for your heart and cholesterol. As diabetics are prone to heart disease and stroke, eating something that will protect your cardiovascular system, like the humble avocado, is a must.
9. Skin and Hair Care
Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are always good for the skin and hair, but it take it to the next level. As it is packed with various vitamins and minerals, it can also beautify you without a hitch.
How? For one, avocados can act as humectants. This means that they draw water into the skin, plumping it up and making it moisturized, healthy, and glowing. It can also minimize fine lines, giving you a more youthful appearance overall.
Then, there’s the vitamins in avocado that can help fight skin damage. Vitamin E is an excellent source of antioxidants that can then fight off free radicals that can cause skin damage. So, getting a load of the right vitamins will do wonders for your skin.
As it also has Omega 3, it can help clear your skin from acne and make your hair shiny and healthy.
10. Arthritis Treatment
Joint repair is also one of the things that avocados can offer to its eaters. According to experts, avocado’s monounsaturated fat can boost the body’s antioxidant levels and help promote the repair of cartilage. With arthritis being a degenerative disorder of the joints, it is essential to counter it with food items that can help repair such damages.
Avocado also have anti-inflammatory properties so it can prevent flare ups in connective tissues. This helps in the case of osteoarthritis.
11. Good for Pregnant Women
Unlike other superfoods that are not recommended for pregnant women’s consumption, avocados are actually highly suggested by experts for expecting moms. As this fruit is packed with essential nutrients, it can actually help the baby’s growth and keep both the mom and baby healthy.
With its vitamin B6 content, avocados can boost the baby’s tissue and brain growth. It can also be great for the mom’s morning sickness, especially if she’s sensitive to certain smells. Avocado isn’t exactly fragrant, so you can easily consume it despite your sensitivities.
Aside from this, avocado are also rich in folate, potassium, and vitamin C which are good for the baby’s growth. It also has monounsaturated fat that can help in developing the cell structures of your little one.
When it comes to constipation, natural is the best way to go. Natural food items are just much better in helping you digest and process your food intake better. And avocado can also be of great help.
As it have high fiber content, it can help you absorb water better to prevent constipation. This nutrient can also enable food to move faster through your intestines, letting you process your food better. Fiber is also an anti-inflammatory agent in your intestines, preventing diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease.
Avocado are also rich in potassium which helps prevent intestinal paralysis that causes bloating and constipation. It also has Vitamin B complex which helps metabolize carbs into energy. The fruit’s magnesium content also helps initiate the chemical process of metabolizing proteins and fats, keeping your digestive system in top shape and fully operational.
13. Kidney Health
Developing kidney stones from high salt content in your body can easily degenerate your kidneys. Avoiding this is a must as weak kidneys can easily affect your overall health.
Luckily, eating avocado regularly can help as its high potassium content is useful in minimizing the risks of developing kidney stones.
How to Consume Avocados for the Best Results
Aside from having many benefits, there are also many ways how you can enjoy avocados. Keep these in mind and you’ll be able to consume avocados more without having to get tired of the same technique easily.
- As a sandwich or dish ingredient. Add slices of avocado to your regular sandwich or salad dish and be amazed at how filling it can be.
- As a spread and substitute to mayo. Since avocados are creamy, you can easily spread a ripe one on bread and eat it as is or add additional ingredients for a fuller meal.
- Eating avocado as is can also be done easily. You can also add it to pies and no-bake cakes as a substitute to cream cheese.
- Avocado oil. You can use avocado oil in many ways. You can add it to water and drink it as is or substitute it to cooking or olive oil for salads and other culinary uses.
- As a dip. Of course, you can always enjoy it as the classic guacamole.
- In a smoothie. Blend with other citrus juices or on its own and you already got a refreshing drink to enjoy.
- As a cream substitute for pastas, desserts, and baking.