Health benefits of avocado
From grocery stores to farmers’ markets and from fast-food and fine-dining restaurants to homemakers’ recipes, avocados can be found almost everywhere.
Consumed as dips, desserts, or salads, avocados not only taste good but with its richness of 20 vitamins and minerals offer numerous health benefits too.
The health benefits of avocado range from having shining hair and glowing skin to how avocados may protect against some chronic diseases such as diabetes and cancer — perhaps the reason why their consumption has increased by many-folds in the United States.
In this guide, I discuss all the health benefits of avocado — a fruit — that can help you save a loved one’s life or let you lead a quality life.
Let’s get stuck in!
Avocados are unbelievably nutritious and can be had every day.
Known biologically as Persea Americana and considered as a superfood, avocado can provide nutrients in abundant quantities.
In about 100 grams of avocado, you can find
- 26% of vitamin K,
- 17% of vitamin C
- 214% of vitamin B5
- 13% of Vitamin B6
- 10% of vitamin E
- 20% of folates
- 14% of potassium
and vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3) along with minerals (manganese, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus) in minute quantities.
But, this is not all.
You also get
- 2 grams of protein
- 15 grams of healthy fats
- 2 grams of carbs along with 7 grams of carbs as fiber
The absence of saturated fat, cholesterol or sodium in avocado makes it an a healthy choice.
Avocados are weight-friendly food
While there is no proven scientific evidence of avocado enabling weight-loss in individuals, there’s no evidence of avocados making you gain weight to be so excluded from a weight-loss program.
In a study dedicated to weight-loss finding, it was observed that avocado may actually prevent the increase in weight.
The reality stands to be that in 100 grams of avocados there are at least 7 grams of fiber which makes you feel full in your stomach and hence may reduce your desire to eat further.
Additionally, since avocados are low in carbs, they may contribute to, if not actually promote weight-loss.
The high-fiber food in any way helps you maintain your weight by normalizing the bowel movement.
Avocados never harm if consumed daily in right doses
While it’s good to have healthy fats as your daily dietary intake, technically speaking, one may be harmed, if too much of any edible is consumed.
And, while there are very high chances that you might consume too much avocado on a daily basis because of its rich taste, having it in large quantities may contribute to weight gain.
So, in a nutshell, how much of avocado is just too much to be avoided on a daily basis? Well, a one-fifth of a medium-sized avocado will provide your body with almost 50 calories or 4.5 grams of fat, and a half or whole avocado — a reasonable quantity to be consumed by most of us — would mean our bodies getting 130-250 calories or 12-23 grams of fat on an average.
While the nutritional needs for fat servings may vary from person to person, having a whole avocado will serve, most of us, our daily nutrition.
Avocados are better than bananas
In case you didn’t know, potassium is a nutrient that can provide relief in several heart and kidney disorders, high blood pressure, stroke, stress, and anxiety.
It also helps maintain the water balance of the human body and improves the metabolism, muscle strength, nervous system.
Individuals with lack of potassium — the third-most important mineral in the body — may experience muscle weakness and fatigue.
Other symptoms of deficiency may also include abnormal heartbeat, anemia, headache, swelling of the glands, diabetes, and also intestinal pain.
Avocados being rich in potassium may help in providing relief in most or all of the above conditions. 100 grams of avocado may have as much as 14% of the recommended daily intake of potassium in contrast with banana that only contains 10%.
Avocados keep your heart healthy
Several pieces of evidence exist to prove that avocado keeps heart healthy. The oil pressed from the avocado helps in reducing the blood cholesterol — the one that’s considered a ‘bad cholesterol’.
On the contrary, avocados loaded with monounsaturated oils and anti-oxidants are found to increase the levels of good cholesterol reducing thus the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Avocados reduce the health risk -- Type 2 Diabetes
Studies by some American researchers indicate that avocado fruit rich in dietary fiber reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. You can find as much as 3 grams of fiber per 50 grams of avocado which can help boost the intake of fiber from other food sources in the human body.
Avocados have lutein and zeaxanthin that can reduce the occurrence of certain eye-disorders
Not only does avocado have beta-carotene and antioxidants to help maintain the eyes, but also lutein and zeaxanthin to help reduce the risk of common age-related eye disorders such as cataract and macular degeneration.
It’s interesting to note that the human body is incapable of producing lutein naturally and so you must rely on diet as in avocado to have it.
Avocados do not cause an increase in the blood sugar level
The health benefits of avocado aren’t limited as in maintaining the heart, skin, eyes, or the body as a whole.
By all means, this should come as good news for people who are over-weight and that is avocado does not cause any spike in blood sugar levels because of its low carb content.
According to Nutrition Journal, when avocado is consumed by healthy or overweight people as a component in standard lunch, it does not at all affect the blood sugar levels.
Avocados may help prevent cancer or the growth of cancer
About 82 micrograms of folate can be found in one-half of a raw avocado, and folates when consumed through food, can protect the human body against undesirable mutations in both DNA and RNA during the process of cell division.
There are several pieces of research that point to the fact that avocado does have a role in cancer treatment.
The phytochemicals found in avocado have been found inhibiting the growth of precancerous and cancerous cells while also decreasing any chromosomal damage that may have been caused by a chemotherapeutic drug known as cyclophosphamide.
Avocados help absorb certain nutrients
The carotenoid antioxidants are pigments commonly found in many plant food items but are hard to be absorbed by the human body.
In a study, it was revealed that avocado oil when consumed along with carrots, romaine lettuce, and spinach, helped increase the absorption of carotenoids.
Therefore, by all means, it would be beneficial to include avocado in vegetables for quick absorption of carotenoid anti-oxidants.
Avocados are considered important for a healthy pregnancy
Research on mice showed that there was a 30% increased risk of birth defects in baby mice if there was a folate deficiency in either gender.
Avocado being rich in folates aids in the healthy pregnancy of human females. It also enhances the quality of breast milk.
Avocados provide nourishment to babies
Hass avocado fruit can be an excellent first food for babies.
If that sounds surprising, you may well like to hear from all reputed pediatricians who claim that avocado should be in the top ten list of fruits for babies.
The reason why avocado makes for excellent food according to those pediatricians is that this fruit is a good source of nutrition for babies in their development stages because of its richness in protein, fiber, zinc, folic acid, niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin.
Avocados help in lowering the risk of depression
Because of the fact that avocados come with monounsaturated fats and folates, they help in reducing depression.
Folates prevent building up of homocysteine which if present in excess amount can disrupt the production of dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine and which in turn can cause disturbances in mood, sleep, or appetite.
Avocados help improve brain health
Avocado is rich in omega-9 fatty acid, a substance that helps in cognitive learning. There’s sufficient evidence to suggest that fatty acid helps in boosting of brain health and memory.
Avocados protect against gum diseases
Avocado oil obtained from avocado stops the irritation of gums and protects against periodontitis because of its anti-inflammatory property.
Avocados aids in the digestion of food
With an unusually high amount of fiber, as much as 6-7 grams, in comparison to many other widely available fruits, avocado can prevent indigestion or constipation. You will never suffer the risk of an unhealthy digestive tract or colon cancer.
Avocados help detoxify your body
If avocados can aid in digestion, it also, at the same time, helps excrete toxins from your body through the stool and the bile. And, this is because of an adequate amount of fiber present in avocados.
Avocados help prevent food poisoning
A study published in a scientific journal illustrates that avocado can help prevent food poisoning because it can protect against the bacterial microorganism E. Coli and other pathogens that may be responsible for food poisoning.
Avocados can prevent liver damage
Avocado, in a scientific study, was found to help prevent liver damage caused by the hepatitis C virus. This finding, as the researchers say, could lead to the development of some new drugs to treat liver diseases.
It also protects against the liver toxins because of certain chemicals found in it.
The oil of avocado benefits the human skin
The oil of avocado when applied directly to the skin or mixed with any beauty product, makes your skin soft, supple, strong, and elastic. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property of avocado not only heals the chapped skin but replenishes the dry, itchy skin too. The skin will remain protected from the UV radiation and against any further damage.
Avocados are good for the hair
The amount of healthy fat content found in avocado fruit is just as much as it is in olive oil which is perhaps the reason avocado is called ‘The Olive Oil of the Americas’ by an average American.
And, who doesn’t know about the goodness of this oil? Olive oil is not only recommended in recipes for any salad dressing, but for dry and frizzy hair too.
In exactly the same way, avocado fruit is recommended for deep hair conditioning.
You can skip the hair conditioners available in the market and instead mix avocados with any oil to moisturize your hair and to have hair that’s lovely, soft, and lustrous.
Alternatively, you could also try making a ‘hydrating hair mask’ out of avocado and oil.
Avocado is good for the nails
One of the many health benefits of avocados is that they are good also for the nails.
Not to overlook the fact that the potassium in avocados boosts the production of keratin and which helps you have strong and healthy nails.
Additionally, the vitamin E in avocado imparts shine and lustre to the nails.
Having read all the health benefits in this article, do you still think avocados are something that should be left out when making a solid and healthy diet plan? Also, did you know that avocados are also called ‘miracle food’ because of the many benefits they provide? To add to everything that’s mentioned here in this article, avocados are also linked to rendering the IVF treatment successful as much as they are good for the skin, eyes or hair.