While most fruits consist mostly of carbohydrate, the avocado is high in healthy fats. Numerous studies show that it can have powerful health benefits, and here are 12 of them.
1. It’s Very Nutritious
The most popular type is the Hass avocado, but it’s only one of many types of avocados out there. It’s often called the ‘alligator pear’ because of its green bumpy skin.
Nutrition-wise, avocados contain a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals. They don’t contain any cholesterol or sodium, and are low in saturated fat, which makes them a good choice for those watching their weight.
2. They are Full of Potassium
Most of us don’t get enough potassium, and avocados are very high in this essential nutrient. A 100 gram serving contains 14 % of the RDA, compared to 10 % in bananas, which are widely regarded as a high-potassium food.
A high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, which is a major risk for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
3. Avocados Contain Healthy Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
Although avocados are a high fat food, the majority of the fat in them is oleic acid. This is a monounsaturated fatty acid that is also a big component of olive oil, and is linked to the beneficial effects.
Oleic acid is thought to reduce inflammation, and has shown beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.
Avocado oil is considered safe for cooking with, as the fats are pretty resistant to heat-induced oxidation.
4. A Fiber-Rich Food
Avocados are rich in fiber, with a 100 gram serving containing 7 grams of fiber – 27 % of the recommended daily amount.
Fiber is thought to contribute to weight loss, reduce blood sugar spikes, and is linked to a reduced risk of many diseases.
5. Could Help to Lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels
Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the developed world, and there are several blood markers that lead to an increased risk. These markers include cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammatory markers, and blood pressure.
There have been eight controlled human trials on the effect of avocado on some of these risk markers, and the results have shown that avocados can reduce total cholesterol levels significantly, reduce blood triglycerides, lower the bad LDL cholesterol, and raise good HDL cholesterol.
6. Those Who Eat Avocados Tend to be Healthier
The NHANES study in the U.S. looked at the health and dietary habits of people who eat avocados, and the findings showed that avocado eaters were much healthier than those who didn’t eat avocados.
People who ate avocados on a regular basis also weighed less, had a lower BMI, and less belly fat. This, however, doesn’t prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that avocados caused the people to have better health.
7. The Fat in Avocados Can Help You Absorb Nutrients From Plant Foods
We need to be able to absorb the nutrients in our foods, and avocados can help do that. Some nutrients are fat soluble, which means they need to be combined with fat in order to be utilized.
One study showed that by adding avocado or avocado oil to salad or salsa, it can increase antioxidant absorption from 2.6 up to 15 times more.
8. Avocados Can Aid Eye Health
Avocados contain nutrients called Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are very important to keep eyes healthy. Studies show that these substances are linked to a big reduction in cataracts and macular degeneration, which are common in the elderly.
9. Could Help Prevent Cancer
There is a limited amount of evidence to show that avocado may help in preventing cancer. One study showed that it could help to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy in human lymphocytes, and avocado extract has been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. More studies need to be done before anyone can say avocados can prevent cancer for sure.
10. May Help Arthritis Sufferers
There are many types of arthritis, and multiple studies have shown that avocado and soybean extract can reduce symptoms of arthritis of the bones – also called osteoarthritis.
11. Avocado Could Help With Weight Loss
There have been some studies on avocados and weight loss, and there is some evidence to say that avocados can help people lose weight.
In one study, one group was told to eat a meal containing avocado, and the others had to eat s similar meal without avocado. They were then asked a series of questions on hunger and satiety.
Those who had eaten the avocado felt 23% more satisfied, and had a 28% lower need to eat over the next five hours.
12. It’s Easy to Add More Avocado to Your Diet
Avocados go with all sorts of food, so there is a way for everyone to enjoy them.
They can be added to salads and other recipes, mashed on toast, or simply scooped out and eaten plain.
Guacamole is perhaps the most famous avocado-containing food, and includes other ingredients, such as salt, garlic, lime and a few others, depending on the recipe.