Avocado is known by its botanical name Persea Americana. It is also known as alligator pepper. Today, over 80 varieties of avocado exists most of which is HASS avocado.

Avocado is extremely nutritious.

It is loaded with high amounts of healthy fat, essential minerals and vitamins including fibre, vitamins K, B6, B5, C, E, folate, magnesium and potassium.

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Did you know that avocado is one of the few fruits that can provide you with high amounts of good fat and protein? Did you know that avocado offers amazing number of benefits? Let’s take a look…

Here are 21 amazing benefits of avocado

1) Avocado enhances your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from plant food

Enhancing your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from plant food is one of the amazing benefits of avocado.

It is important for your body to be able to absorb the nutrients from the food you eat where they can be used. Some nutrients need to be combined with fat in order to be absorbed meaning they are fat soluble.

A recent research carried out by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that adding fresh avocado or avocado oil to salad increased the body’s absorption of carotenoid antioxidant from the salad.

So when avocado is eaten with other foods, your body is better able to absorb nutrients such as beta-carotene and lutein.

2) Avocado helps to protect your eyes

Protecting your eyes is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is rich in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which are essential for eye health. They protect the macula area of your eyes responsible for short range vision and detail.

A study published in the Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science Journal showed that lutein and zeaxanthin significantly reduced the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration which is common in the elderly.

3) Avocado helps to lower cholesterol and triglycerides levels

Lowering cholesterol and triglycerides levels is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. A number of blood markers including high total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides levels are linked to an increased risk of heart disease.

A study suggested that a diet rich in mono-unsaturated fats using avocado as their major source reduced the total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels. It also reduced triglyceride levels and increased the HDL-cholesterol level by about 11%.

The soluble fibre in avocado also helps with lowering cholesterol.

4) Avocado helps to reduce your homocysteine levels

Helping to reduce your homocysteine level is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Homocysteine is a consistent marker for cardiovascular disease. High homocysteine is linked to an increase risk of cardiovascular disease.  Avocado is high in folate and vitamin B6. Research has shown that vitamin B6 and folate reduces homocysteine level in the blood.

5) Avocado helps with weight loss

Helping with weight loss is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is high in fibre, a plant matter that is not digested by the body.

High fibre foods make you feel full, reduce your hunger and cravings so you do not eat more than you need. This helps with weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight.

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that a diet high in fibre promotes satiation, prolongs satiety and encourages healthy food choices and eating habits. It also encouraged weight loss and maintenance.

 6) Avocado has anti-inflammatory properties

It’s anti-inflammatory properties is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado and avocado oil is high in good fat. It is rich in the healthy mono-unsaturated fat called oleic acid which is also the main component of olive oil.

Oleic acid has anti-inflammatory properties, it has been linked to reducing inflammation. A study published in the Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology Journal found that oleic acid reduces the biomarkers of inflammation.

7) Avocado helps to support healthy blood pressure levels

Supporting healthy blood pressure levels is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is very rich in potassium. It contains about 14% of the recommended daily amount compared to 10% found in bananas.

Potassium has been linked to reducing high blood pressure. A systematic review published in the BMJ showed that an increased potassium intake reduced blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.

8) Avocado helps to stabilize blood glucose levels

Stabilizing blood glucose levels is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is high in soluble fibre which helps to stabilize blood glucose levels.

9) Avocado helps to nourish and moisturise your skin

Nourishing and moisturising your skin is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is rich in antioxidant carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin which helps to protect your skin from free radicals that can cause damage and aging.

Avocado is also rich in vitamin C and E, strong antioxidants which also prevent free radical damage. Vitamin C is also important for the formation of collagen and elastin which helps to maintain the structure and firmness of your skin and Vitamin E is important for the maintenance of healthy skin.

10) Avocado helps to build healthy bones

Helping to build healthy bones is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is high in vitamin K, an important nutrient for building healthy bones and the proper metabolism of calcium.

11) Avocado is a great conditioner for your hair

Conditioning your hair is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. It’s natural oil acts as a hair mask and helps to revitalise the scalp.

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12) Avocado helps to improve your digestive health

Improving your digestive health is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is rich in dietary fibre. About 75% of the fibre is insoluble while the remaining 25% is soluble.

Insoluble fibre helps to prevent constipation. It bulks up your stool and helps to maintain food moving through your digestive tract while soluble fibre helps to feed the healthy bacteria in your digestive tract helping to increase their numbers. This will boost your digestive health.

13) Avocado helps to boost your immune system

Boosting your immune system is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is rich in vitamin C which is important for a healthy immune system. It is also high in antioxidants which help to reduce inflammation as a result boosting your immune system.

14) Avocado may contribute to cancer risk reduction

Contributing to cancer risk reduction is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado contains various bioactive carotenoids.

A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that these bioactive carotenoids are likely to be absorbed into the blood stream, where in combination with other diet-derived phytochemicals they may contribute to the important prostate cancer risk reduction linked with a diet of fruits and vegetables.

15) Avocado helps with balancing your hormones

Helping to keep your hormones balanced is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is rich in mono-unsaturated healthy fat which are essential building blocks for hormone production and keeping your hormones in check.

16) Avocado helps to build lean muscle mass

Helping to build lean muscle mass is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado has a high protein and low sugar content which can help to build lean muscle mass and burn fat.

17) Avocado helps to maintain cellular health

Maintaining cellular health is one of  the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is rich in magnesium which is important for maintaining cellular health.

18) Avocado pits can be used for arts and craft

Using avocado pits for arts and craft is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is so flexible, you can use the pit for arts and craft.

19) Avocado can be used as a natural food dye

Using avocado as a natural food dye is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. You can use the ink from the pit as a natural food dye.

20) Avocado helps to improve your mood

Improving your mood is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is rich in the healthy mono-unsaturated fat which can help to improve your mood and your sense of well being.

21) Avocado supports healthy pregnancy

Supporting healthy pregnancy is one of the amazing benefits of avocado. Avocado is rich in folic acid (folate) which is an important nutrient for forming your baby’s brain and nervous system. It is also rich in vitamin B6 which is important for your baby’s growth.

As you can see, avocado’s amazing benefits are great and so is it’s taste.

 

References

1) Fulgoni V, Dreher M, Davenport A. Avocado consumption associated with better nutrient intake and better health indices in U.S. adults (19+ years): NHANES 2001-2006. Abstract #8514. Experimental Biology, Anaheim, CA. April 28, 2010. 2010.

2) Delcourt C, Carriere I, Delage M, Barberger-Gateau P, Schalch W, POLA Study Group (2006) Plasma Lutein and Zeaxanthin and other Carotenoids as Modified Risk Factors for Age-Related Maculopathy and Cataract: The POLA Study. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 47: 2329-2335.

3) Carranza J, Alvizouri M, Alvarado M R, Chavez F, Gomez M, Herrera J E (1995) Effects of avocado on the level of blood lipids in patients with phenotype ii and IV dyslipidemias. PUBMED 65:342-348.

4) Burton-Freeman B (2000) Dietary Fiber and Energy Regulation. Journal of Nutrition, 130: 272S-275S

5) Basu A, Devaraj S, Jialal I (2006) Dietary factors that Promote or Retard Inflammation. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 26: 995-1001

6) Aburto N J, Hanson S, Gutierrez H, Hooper L, Elliot P, Cappuccio F P (2013) Effects of increased potassium intake on cardiovascular risk factors and disease: systematic review and meta-analyses, BMJ, 346:f1378. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f1378

7) Lu QY, Arteaga J R, Zhang Q, Huerta S, Go V L, Heber D (2005) Inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth by an avocado extract: role of lipid-soluble bioactive substances. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 16:23-30

 

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