Avocados are creamy, buttery fruits grown in warm climates and often enjoyed in Mexican and South American cuisines. Also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the versatile avocado is the only fruit that contains monosaturated fat – the good fat! Avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and provide a substantial amount of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients with relatively few calories. One-fifth of a medium avocado (1 oz) has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.
A single 3.5 oz (100 gm) serving of an avocado: 26% Vitamin K, 20% Folate, 17% Vitamin C, 14% Potassium, 14% vitamin B5, 13% Vitamin B6, 10% Vitamin E of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). It also contains – Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin).
Avocados have amazing health benefits. Here is how this superfood boosts your brain, lowers your risk of serious diseases, improves your skin and much more!
Boosts Your Brainpower
Avocados have the right mix of nutrients that your brain requires. Daily consumption of half an avocado can help counter natural depletion of brain function that occurs with age or poor lifestyle and diet choices. It contains rich amounts of unsaturated fatty acids, that are essential for neurotransmitters to function at an optimal level. Avocados also have powerful antioxidants like lutein, folate and vitamins C and E, that help prevent oxidative stress of brain cells. They are rich in magnesium which can help improve synaptic plasticity, memory, and learning.
Lowers The Risk Of Metabolic Syndrome
A metabolic syndrome is a group of factors that raise your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Avocados contain monounsaturated fats, that help reduce LDL and increase HDL cholesterol. They also contain natural phytosterols, dietary fiber, magnesium and potassium that help lower secondary cholesterol and reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome.
Reduces Your Risk Of Heart Disease
The food you eat is an important factor in determining your heart health. In fact, a heart-healthy diet can reduce your risk of heart disease or stroke by 80%. A medium Hass avocado provides close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients and antioxidants that help prevent heart disease. Avocados are an excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat that is easily burned for energy while being low in fructose. One ounce of avocado (1/5 of a medium avocado) provides 140 g of potassium or 4% of the recommended Daily Value (DV).
Helps Lower Bad Cholesterol
Avocados help improve lipid profiles, both in healthy individuals and in those with mild hypercholesterolemia (elevated cholesterol levels). A study revealed that healthy individuals observed a 16% decrease in serum total cholesterol level following a one-week long diet high in monounsaturated fat from avocados. Further, in those with elevated cholesterol levels, the avocado diet resulted in a 17% decrease in serum total cholesterol, and a 22% decrease of both LDL-cholesterol/ ‘bad’ cholesterol and triglycerides, along with an 11% increase in the so-called ‘good’ HDL cholesterol.
Regulates Estrogen And Insulin Levels
Hormones that have a powerful influence over your health are testosterone, progesterone, estrogen, and insulin. The plant sterols promote the production of estrogen in women and testosterone in men and also maintain the right progesterone balance in women. The avocado fruit contains a sugar called mannoheptulose, which has been shown to inhibit both synthesis and release of insulin. Consumption of avocado sugar is a natural, dietary solution to alleviate the problem of hyperinsulinemia (excess blood insulin levels).
Helps Relieve Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is caused by breakdown or loss of protective cartilage. Aggrecan (also called proteoglycan) plays a crucial role in the functioning of articular cartilage (the cartilage found in joints). According to studies, Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables (ASU) boosts the synthesis of collagen and aggrecan and reduce inflammation. Avocados contain carotenoids that help modulate oxidative stress. Vitamin K in avocado increases bone mineral density in osteoporotic people and also helps reduce fracture rates.
Good For Your Skin
Rich in vitamins A, E, D, B1, B2, K, PP and essential fatty acids, which are extremely beneficial for your skin, avocado oil can be used both internally and externally. It is very effective in fighting the aging process, keeping skin hydrated and stimulating collagen production . During the summers avocado oil can protect your skin from damaging sun rays.
Great For Vision And Cancer-Preventer
Avocados contain high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration and can actually improve your vision. The antioxidants in avocados do more than protecting your eyes – they can also ward off certain types of cancer. In medical studies, avocado extract inhibited the growth of precancerous cells that led to oral cancer and prostate cancers. The oleic acid in avocados also offers protection against breast cancer.