health benefits of avocado

Health Benefits of Avocado

Avocado is the only fruit that can keep you healthy for weeks even if you don't have anything else to eat.

That is because avocado contains healthy fats that other fruits and vegetables lack. In addition it has many other nutrients that give you multiple health benefits.

Before we get into the details of the health benefits of avocado, let us first understand its nutritional profile.

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Avocado is Full of Nutrients to Keep You Healthy

Avocado also known as avocado pear or alligator pear is a fruit of the avocado tree (Persea americana). It is cultivated in mediterranean and tropical climates.

This fruit is widely used across the globe for its good taste and nutrients.

Depending on where it is cultivated an avocado can weigh between 200 grams to 1. 4 kilograms.

Following nutrients makes it a superfood.

  • Monounsaturated fatty acids - The oleic acid in avocado is a healthy monounsaturated fat. It doesn't contain cholesterol or sodium making it highly beneficial for your heart health.
  • Fiber - Avocado contains 7% fiber in the ratio of 1:3 soluble to insoluble fiber. 100 gram of serving meets 27% of RDA.
  • Vitamins - A 100 gm of avocado serving provides RDA of 14% Vitamin B5, 13% Vitamin B6, 17% Vitamin C, 10% Vitamin E and a whooping 26% of Vitamin K. It also contains 20% of folate small amounts of Vitamins, B1, B2 And B3
  • Minerals - It contains 14% RDA of heart healthy potassium. Also contains small amounts of magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, copper, iron and zinc,
  • Plant compounds - contains carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin that are good for eyes and other antioxidants.
  • Other - Avocado contains 2gm protein, 15gm fats and 9 grams of carbs


Health Benefits of Avocado

1. Improves Vision

The carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin protect you from age related eye diseases, cataracts and macular degeneration.

The antioxidants and other phytochemicals in avocados protect your eyes from free radicals.

The impact gets enhanced as the monounsaturated fats help nutritional absorption.

So, it is not just eye health but the nutrient packed avocados gives you overall health benefits. As and the capabilities to get the nutrient absorbed entire the nutrition

2. Prevents Osteoporosis

Calcium absorption is one of the most important criteria for bone health.

If you eat calcium rich food but if calcium is not adequately absorbed then it will not reach your bones and the benefits of loss.

Vitamin K in avocado helps calcium absorption. A combination of a calcium rich diet and Vitamin K rich diet always work well for bone health.

It is even more important as you age. If you don't take care then osteoporosis can really make your bone weak and brittle.

Add Avocado and other vitamin K rich foods in your diet.

3. Relieves Symptoms of Osteoarthritis

The carotenoid lutein and vitamin E in avocados help in preventing inflammation of joints in the early stages of osteoarthritis. It reduces the risk of joint damage.

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a painful condition which can severely limit normal body movements. It is one of the most common causes of disability in humans.

A study shows that a dietary supplement called avocado/soybean unsaponifiables (ASU) can inhibit OA progression.

Bottomline is avocados not only help you to deal with osteoporosis but also reduces risks of osteoarthritis.

4. Lowers Triglycerides and Cholesterol

LDL cholesterol and triglycerides are generally responsible for blockage in the arteries causing all sorts of cardiovascular health problems.

Various studies have found that

  • Lowers bad cholesterol LDL
  • Increases good Cholesterol HDL
  • Improves HDL/LDL ratio significantly
  • Lowers total Cholesterol also
  • Lowers triglycerides

The presence of monounsaturated fats in avocados helps in improving the lipid profile in the blood.

5. Help Prevent Cancer

It is believed that avocados may help prevent certain types of cancers.

There is very little research done on this aspect but in a small laboratory study it was found that avocado extract inhibits growth of Cancer cells.

This small laboratory study does not indicate that it will be as effective in the real cancer situation in the body though it works on isolated cells in the lab.

Nevertheless, eating avocado regularly offers many other health benefits and give a ray of hope against preventing cancer.

6. Improves Digestion

Avocado is rich in dietary fiber. It has both soluble and insoluble fiber that helps in regulating proper bowel movements.

Diet rich in fiber prevents constipation and reduces the risks of developing diverticulitis as you age by keeping your intestine clean.

Even vitamin C and to some extent vitamin B6 in avocado helps to improve digestive health.

If you gut is healthy then you are healthy.


7. Delays Aging

No one wants to look but we get old and look old at some stage. Getting old cannot be changed but looking can be delayed.

You need to have a Lifestyle that helps you to retain your youthfulness. Includes sleeping well, eating well and exercising.

Certain foods help you to stay young for longer periods and avocado is one such fruit. It contains an antioxidant called chlorophyll which gives avocado ice cream colour. Chlorophyll protects your skin from aging.
It keeps your skin in youthful condition for a long period.

Add avocado in your diet if you are not already taking it regularly

8. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

If you really want to prevent diabetes type 2 then you have to be careful in ensuring that your blood sugar levels are under control. In addition your blood pressure and cholesterol levels should also be within limits.

Avocado is one such food item that gives you all the three benefits.

Avocado is low in carbohydrates compared to other popular fruits like apple and banana. It is also rich in monounsaturated fats. This combination keeps a check on your blood sugar level.

Remember, excess of any good thing is also bad. A half avocado will give you 170 calories which is a safe quantity to eat daily.

Other Tips and Precautions

Avocados are generally safe but some individuals may find some of the following symptoms. Contact your doctor in that case

  • May get allergic reaction in the People with Latex allergy. A condition called latex fruit syndrome in which proteins of fruits like avocado, banana and kiwi etc. Mimic latex proteins
  • Can get irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) due to compounds.
  • Some varieties like Mexican avocado contain estragole and anethole compounds can cause damage to your liver.

Bottom line is avocado is a superfood that needs to be in your daily diet. Don't ignore it.