Avocado is a unique type of fruit from avocado tree, called Persea americana. Most fruit consists primarily of carbohydrate, while avocado is high in healthy fats.
The yellow-green flesh inside the fruit is eaten, but the skin and seed are discarded.
Avocado does alot in the body among which are lose weight, improve your skin and lower your risk of many life-threatening diseases like cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Also ahead is how avocado helps high blood pressure and constipation, why it’s beneficial as a arthritis treatment, important for pregnant women and has even been shown in studies to help you live a longer and healthier life.
1. Cardiovascular Health
Coronary heart disease is still the biggest killer, experts now believe that high consumption of pro-inflammatory processed vegetable oils are a significant risk factor in cardiovascular disease. They adviselowering polyunsaturated fat intake and increasing the amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids in your diet.
Eating a high fat food like avocado can actually lower the amount of fat in your blood clearly shows that all fats are not equal. It’s important to get enough of the right ones if you value your health and, as you’ll see ahead, doing so can have many benefits for losing weight, improving your skin and much more.
Avocados are also an excellent source of folate, known to reduce dangerous homocysteine levels in the blood, another predictor of cardiovascular disease. Folate is a nutrient many of us are low in and it is especially important for pregnant women.
2. Avocados for Blood Pressure
Many people don’t get enough of the mineral potassium in their diet. This deficiency can lead to high blood pressure, which is in turn a significant risk factor for heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.
Avocados are particularly rich in potassium, even higher than the often touted bananas, and a good food to eat for normal blood pressure and a lower risk of kidney failure and heart disease.
Aside from healthy blood pressure, the oleic acid and dietary fiber in avocados help normalize blood sugar levels, providing further benefits for heart health and lowering the risk of diabetes.
3. Cancer Prevention
Avocados are a good source of antioxidant carotenoids like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants protect your body’s cells against cancerous changes due to freeradical damage and are considered your front line of defense against numerous diseases.
The monounsaturated fats in avocado also help with carotenoidabsorption and studies suggest it has a protective effect against breast cancer in particular.
Avocados also contain high levels of vitamin C and vitamin E, themselves potent anti-cancer antioxidants.
Vitamin C is considered protective against many non-hormonal cancers, like pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer and lung cancer. Importantly, it appears most effective when it comes from food rather than supplements.
Vitamin E deficiency has been linked to breast cancer and studies have found a dramatic reduction in breast cancer risk at higher intakes, especially for women with a family history of the disease.
Once again, the natural tocopherol and tocotrienol form of vitamin E found in avocados is much healthier than the isolated alpha-tocopherol found in multivitamins.
4. Avocado Skin Benefits
The monounsaturated fats in avocado are also beneficial for improving your skin tone and appearance. They are vital for maintaining good moisture levels in the epidermal layer of your skin that make it look and feel soft and healthy.
These omega-9 fats are known to assist in reducing skin redness and irritation and are involved in repairing damaged skin cells. A good dietary intake of monounsaturated fat can moderate sebum production as well, which helps control acne, blackheads and excessively oily skin.
Avocado benefits also include protecting your skin from wrinkles and other visible signs of aging with its antioxidant carotenoids; vitamin E which helps guard against photo-aging from sun exposure; and vitamin C which is involved in the creation of elastin and collagen for maintaining your skin’s elasticity and firmness.
5. Avocado for Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease reaching epidemic proportions and there are believed to be a significant number of undiagnosed sufferers. If the rate of new cases continues it will put a huge strain on the medical system and our ability to treat people with the disease.
The most common symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes include a sudden and large increase in thirst and hunger and much more frequent urinating. A dry mouth, significant unexplained weight loss, vision problems and leg pain are also common symptoms.
Having more monounsaturated fats in a diabetic diet is also beneficial for reducing high triglyceride levels and may help improve insulin function and blood glucose levels.
6. Arthritis Treatment
Osteoarthritis is a painful condition characterised by joint inflammation and soreness that affects millions of people. Many common foods like wheat, corn, milk and sugar are known to worsen symptoms, but anti-inflammatory avocado is one of the few foods consistently reported to reduce arthritic pain.
Avocados contain high levels of monounsaturated fats, phytosterols and antioxidants like vitamin E, vitamin C and a variety of carotenoids that can help reduce the inflammation that leads to arthritis.
7. Benefits of Avocado for and Pregnant Women
Avocado is a particularly important food for women who are pregnant, and those trying to be, due to its high concentrations of folate (also known as folic acid).
This B vitamin is needed to prevent birth defects like spina bifida and doctors advise women to get high amounts of folate both before and during pregnancy.
Avocados contain around 45 mcg of folate per half a cup, which is more than any other fruit, making them a great food source for moms to be.
Vitamin K is another valuable nutrient found in high concentrations in avocados that benefit women during pregnancy and their future babies.
Vitamin K deficiency-related bleeding, or VKDB, is a condition where newborn babies cannot stop bleeding as their blood doesn’t contain enough vitamin K. Getting more high vitamin K foods in your diet during pregnancy can help pass more of it onto your unborn child.
8. Avocado for Constipation
Despite their creamy texture, avocados are actually a high fiber food, with 8 grams of both soluble and insoluble fiber per cup of the fresh fruit.
This fiber is beneficial for improving digestion, encouraging regular bowel movements and well known to help prevent constipation. In fact, avocados are often recommended as a mild laxative for people having trouble going to the toilet.
If you’ve been having problems with elimination, whether constipation or diarrhea, then getting more fiber-rich foods like avocados can definitely help keep you regular.
The fiber in avocados isn’t just good for constipation either, it also helps lower your risk of colon cancer and can even assist in losing weight by making you feel more full and wanting to eat less.
9. Avocado Benefits for Weight Loss
Many people would be surprised that a food high in fat and calories like avocado would be recommended for weight loss. However, research has shown that avocado’s monounsaturated fatty acids are much more likely to be used as slow burning energy than stored as body fat.
This steady energy and the feeling of satiety or satisfied fullness that you get from eating an avocado is one of the reasons they are so good at reducing hunger and appetite.
It’s also why including more foods in your diet that are high in healthy fats and less with processed carbohydrates makes such a big difference when you want to lose weight.
The great part about eating like this is you don’t have to go hungry to lose weight. It’s not about eating less food but rather eating the right kind of meals that tell your body to burn fat rather than store it.