Avocados top many lists of healthy foods for the body. It is called the best product for women’s health, for the heart and blood vessels, for beautiful skin. Avocados are still not widespread in Russia. Nevertheless, more and more people begin to eat it regularly, as this exotic fruit has become easier to buy in stores and supermarkets.
This is not to say that avocados are a delicious fruit. It does not have a pronounced taste and aroma. Its taste is rather delicate and rich. Many people like it. But it is not the taste of the matter. Avocados are a true storehouse of nutrients that provide its many health benefits.
Studies show that people who eat avocados are generally healthier and have a lower body mass index. Therefore, do not limit yourself to the use of this super-healthy product. And we will tell you in more detail about what exactly is unique in an avocado, its benefits and harm to the human body.
The health benefits of avocado
Consider 20 useful properties of avocados, which are confirmed by scientific research.
1. Rich in nutrients
Avocados are an incredibly rich source of nutrients, containing about 20 vitamins and minerals in each serving. According to the recommended daily intake of substances, one average avocado contains:
Vitamin K : 53%
Folate (folic acid) : 41%
Vitamin C: 33%
Pantothenic acid : 28%
Potassium : 28%
Vitamin B6 : 26%
Vitamin E : 21%
Copper : 19%
2. Source of healthy fats
Although the fat content of avocados is high, these are “good fats,” including monounsaturated fat. This type of fat can reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack. It also lowers the value of “bad” (bad) cholesterol in the blood.
The fruit also contains polyunsaturated fatty acids, namely beneficial omega-3 fatty acids .
3. Useful for losing weight.
It’s amazing that eating avocados can really help you lose weight!
In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, it was found that consuming only half an avocado per day helped overweight people feel more full longer after eating. Only 40% of the participants again showed a desire to have a snack during the three-hour period and 28% of the participants within five hours after eating ( 1 ).
4. Prevents diabetes
Avocados help regulate blood sugar.
Keeping blood sugar at a stable level is important to reduce the risk of developing diabetes – a disease that is gaining tremendous momentum in the modern world due to improper and unhealthy diets.
In one scientific experiment, people consumed half an avocado per day for lunch. After that, scientists measured the level of glucose in the blood and insulin. Although adding avocados to food increased calories and carbohydrates, participants did not show an increase in blood sugar compared to those who ate a standard lunch without avocados ( 2 ).
5. Fights inflammation
It is believed that chronic inflammation in the body causes asthma, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, cancer and most modern diseases.
The benefits of avocados are manifested in the anti-inflammatory effect, which is due to the content of oleic acid. It is monounsaturated fat in olive oil, which is responsible for most of its beneficial properties.
Several studies have proven that oleic acid can reduce inflammation in the body.
6. Good for eye health
There are two important compounds that are critical to the health of the organs of vision – these are lutein and zeaxanthin. They are able not only to prevent eye diseases, but also to treat macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of blindness in the world.
The only way to get lutein and zeaxanthin into the body is through nutrition, which includes plant foods rich in these phytonutrients, including blueberries, bell peppers, plums, broccoli and others.
One study found that avocados are the best source of lutein among the 20 most commonly consumed fruits. It is also a good source of zeaxanthin, so it will provide better eye health.
7. Healthy skin and hair
The benefits and harms of avocados to the body have been extensively studied by dermatologists and cosmetologists.
Due to the fact that the fruit contains healthy fats and has anti-inflammatory properties, scientists suggested and then proved that avocados can give you smooth skin and smooth, glossy hair.
The fruit we are considering also contains more than 20% of the daily dose of vitamin E, which protects the skin from damage by free radicals, which are believed to play a role in aging. Therefore, instead of buying expensive creams for skin care with vitamin E, eat avocado or its oil to fight aging from the inside out!
8. Lowers Cholesterol
Every third adult in Western countries suffers from high cholesterol, which doubles his risk of heart disease. Fortunately, there are many natural ways to lower cholesterol.
Studies have shown that regular use of avocados is one of these ways. Fruit can significantly lower total cholesterol, triglycerides in the blood, and “bad” (bad) LDL cholesterol while increasing good HDL cholesterol.
9. Improves nutrient absorption
When it comes to vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, it does not matter how much we eat them. The important thing is how many of these substances are absorbed by our body.
Some nutrients are fat soluble, that is, they need to be combined with fats for the body to absorb. Examples of fat-soluble nutrients include vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K, as well as some antioxidants.
By adding half an avocado to a spinach or carrot salad, the absorption of alpha-carotene antioxidants increases by 8.3 times, beta-carotene by 13.6 times, and lutein by 4.3 times!
10. Helps fight cancer
A small part of scientific work indicates that avocados are beneficial in the fight against cancer.
One study found that avocado extract can stop or slow down the growth of prostate cancer cells. Another experiment proved that fruit reduces the side effects of chemotherapy.
However, these experiences are limited, so it’s best to just enjoy the avocado for the wealth of other benefits it brings.
11. Strengthens bones
Although you need more than just eating avocados to make your bones strong and strong, this fruit can play a beneficial role in this aspect.
Avocados contain healthy skeletal nutrients, including vitamin K, copper, and folic acid. Several studies prove that eating fresh foods improves bone health in both men and women of all ages.
12. Relieves pain
Avocado extract has been proven to reduce the symptoms of bone arthritis (osteoarthritis). Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it can even alleviate other types of inflammatory diseases and pains.
13. Improves digestion
Fiber is an important component of any balanced diet – it ensures the smooth operation of the entire digestive system and especially the intestines, helping beneficial bacteria and limiting the vital activity of harmful bacteria.
Despite the fact that fruits and vegetables in absolute terms are “loaded” with fiber, this is something that most people lack in nutrition. One avocado contains 13 grams. dietary fiber or about 54% of the recommended daily fiber intake!
14. Useful for pregnant women.
Avocado is one of the most important foods pregnant women can eat. It contains folic acid, potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6.
The most important element, folic acid, is critical for pregnant women and pregnant women. This vitamin is essential for the healthy development of the fetus in early pregnancy. Vitamin B6 helps the baby’s tissues and brain grow properly and relieves morning sickness (toxicosis of pregnant women).
15. Adjusts blood pressure
It is known that a diet rich in natural sources of potassium is important for controlling blood pressure, due to the ability of potassium to reduce the effect of sodium in the body.
Avocado – an excellent natural source of potassium – in one fruit contains 28% of the recommended daily intake of potassium.
However, do not forget that avocados are fatty foods. If you add it to your diet, make sure that you reduce fat intake in other dishes to balance the situation.
16. Boosts energy
Eating one avocado, you will get energy for 3 hours of active health! Of all three macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats), fat is the most concentrated source of energy for our body.
Healthy fats provide a slow, steady flow of energy. In addition, when they are eaten along with carbohydrates, they slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, that is, you will not suffer the energy decline that usually follows when eating simple carbohydrates such as white bread.
17. Improves immunity
Avocados are an excellent source of B vitamins that help fight diseases and infections. It is also rich in vitamins C and E – natural immune “boosters”.
Vitamin C is so important to our well-being that doctors consider high levels of vitamin C in the blood to be an ideal nutritional marker for overall health.
18. Improves mood
The benefits of avocados for the body are also manifested in its ability to raise the mood due to its vitamin and mineral content, especially potassium and folic acid.
Some studies have found a link between lack of potassium and depression ( 3 ). A review of several scientific experiments on the relationship between sodium, magnesium and potassium in patients with depression found that depressed men and women all have low potassium values. In an experiment conducted in 1993, it was found that patients with depression had lower levels of potassium than healthy people.
Folate is also important in preventing poor mood and signs of depression, which was proven by researchers back in the 1960s.
19. Good for the brain
Copper is a brain stimulant, so avocados can be classified as food for the mind. In the end, it contains almost 20% of your daily copper needs. This often forgotten mineral is directly related to thought processes and creative thinking.
20. Tasty and versatile
Besides all the incredible health benefits that an avocado can bring you, let’s not forget that these are incredibly delicious fruits that can be used in a variety of ways.
Of course, you can eat it in guacamole or add it to salads and sandwiches. But you should know that it can be used much more creatively.
Contraindications of avocado
Studies at Cambridge University have shown that avocados can harm people with a specific genetic mutation.
Experiments have found that when people with this mutation have a high level of good cholesterol found in avocados, they increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease. However, this mutation is found in only one of 1,700 people, so the likelihood that you are at risk is small.
However, avocados also have other negative health effects.
Due to the high fat content found in fruit, eating it can increase fatigue. Although these are healthy fats, recent research has shown that fats of any type increase the body’s fatigue when consumed in large quantities. Extremely high fat intake is not suitable for sleep, so the key word here is a healthy diet, without bias towards fatty, carbohydrate or protein foods.
Therefore, be careful before consuming large amounts of avocados. With moderate consumption, this fruit will bring only benefits and no harm to your body.