Avocados have a ton of health benefits, ranging from boosting heart health to improving digestion. Avocados contain good fats, fiber, potassium, vitamins, antioxidants, and other essential nutrients.
14 health benefits of avocado
- Heart health:
- Avocados are high in monounsaturated fats and phytosterols that help lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.
- Avocados have a high concentration of potassium and are low in sodium, which not only aids in the maintenance of electrical gradients in the body's cells but also plays a role in important body functions. It is associated with lower blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure.
- Brain health:
- Avocados are high in folate, which can help with depression by allowing for more efficient nutrient delivery to the brain. It can also aid in the production of chemicals that regulate mood, sleep, and appetite.
- The high vitamin E content in avocados may help in preventing Alzheimer's disease and promote healthy cognitive function.
- Kidney and liver health:
- Organic compounds in avocados have been found to be beneficial in preventing liver and kidney damage. They help regulate fluids and nutrients that pass through these organs.
- Rich in antioxidants:
- Digestive health:
- Avocados are loaded with fiber, which promotes bowel regularity and prevents constipation in addition to boosting digestion and colon health.
- Studies have shown that eating avocado helps you feel full for longer and may help you avoid cravings.
- Pregnancy health:
- Avocados are high in folate, which is beneficial to pregnant women because it aids in the development of a healthy fetus.
- The nutritional content of avocados helps improve maternal health, breast milk quality, and birth outcomes.
- Studies show that folate can also reduce the risk of depression by preventing the buildup of homocysteine, which tends to hamper the circulation and delivery of nutrients to the brain.
- Skin health:
- Avocados are rich in vitamins C and E, both of which are essential in keeping the skin healthy and glowing.
- Avocados contain monounsaturated fats that are good for the skin, helping to maintain adequate moisture levels in the epidermal layers.
- Eye health:
- Avocado has two chemicals called lutein and zeaxanthin that act as antioxidants, preventing age-related vision loss and preserving the natural moisture of the eyes.
- Hair health:
- Amino acids, antioxidants, and essential oils in avocados help moisturize dry scalp and repair damaged hair.
- Bacteria-fighting properties:
- Avocado seeds have bactericidal and fungicidal properties that inhibit the growth of various pathogenic microorganisms.
- Anti-inflammatory properties:
- Avocados have anti-inflammatory properties that can aid in the treatment of osteoarthritis (a painful inflammatory condition of the joints). They are also a source of omega-3 fatty acids, which help lubricate joints.
- They contain unique fats such as phytosterol, campesterol (a plant hormone), beta-sitosterol, and stigmasterol, which keep inflammation under control.
- Avocados can help combat fatigue and sleepiness. Vitamin C aids in the absorption of iron from the diet, which may help you feel more energized.
- Diabetes prevention:
- Researchers have found that avocatin B (a fat molecule found only in avocados) can inhibit the cellular process that causes diabetes.
- Improved libido:
- Saturated fats play a beneficial role in our bodies by increasing testosterone levels and increasing sex drive.
Can you eat too much avocado?
While avocados are good for you, it’s possible to have too much of a good thing. Overeating avocados can cause adverse effects:
- Weight gain. Despite being an unsaturated fat, eating too many avocados can lead to weight gain due to the fat content. This can result in nutritional deficiencies because fat is digested more slowly and leaves you feeling fuller longer than other nutrients.
- Allergies. Avocado allergies are rare, but they do exist. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, wheezing, coughing, and edema. They are commonly associated with latex allergies.
- Migraines. Sometimes eating too many avocados can cause migraines, which are a common type of chronic headache. Migraines can cause nausea, vomiting, and light sensitivity, which can make it difficult to function normally.
How much avocado is good for me?
One-third of a medium avocado is the recommended serving size (approximately 2 tablespoons). Each serving contains 55 calories and 5 grams of fat, so keep this in mind when calculating your daily calorie and fat intake goals.
- Avocado can be added to salads, soups, and salsa, and can also be used as a spread in place of butter or mayonnaise or to replace sour cream in dips.
- Avocado qualifies as a superfood, but like anything else, it is best to consume in moderation.
Is avocado a tree nut?
Technically, tree nuts are the seeds of certain fruit-bearing trees. You’ve probably heard of tree nuts like almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, brazil nuts, pecans, cashews, etc., all of which grow on trees.
But even though avocados grow on trees, they are not classified as tree nuts. They are instead classified as a type of berry or climacteric fruit, which means they mature and ripen on trees, similar to bananas. And while tree nuts have hard outer shells with hard or leathery meat inside, avocados have leathery skin, a large pit and soft fruit.
Also known as alligator pear or butter fruit, the avocado originates from a tree called Persia americana and belongs to a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae. These trees are partially self-pollinating and are often propagated through grafting to maintain predictable fruit quality and quantity.
Avocado minerals and vitamins
Enriched with important minerals and vitamins for the body, avocados are one of the most nutritious fruits that are also popular to use in many recipes, especially in vegan and paleo dishes. Avocado oil or butter (made from the flesh and not the seed) is also used in skin and hair products for their hydrating properties.
Avocados are a rich source of “good fats,” fiber, and nutrients such as:
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
- Niacin (vitamin B3)
- Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
- Pyridoxine (vitamin B6)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
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Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Health Benefits of Avocados: https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-avocados-health-benefits
Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664913/
Avocado: Nutrition, Benefits, & Side Effects: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-avocado.html
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