Are avocados good for you? Avocados are one of the most popular and versatile foods out there, but what exactly are they good for?
Avocados have been termed the ultimate superfood, and just one of the many health benefits of avocados is that they’re good for you. This delicious fruit has all sorts of vitamins and minerals like potassium, vitamin E, and folic acid.
Avocados also contain monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat—the two types of fat that are good for your heart. They’re also high in fiber, which helps keep your digestive system running smoothly. Here are 10 reasons why avocados are good for you!
1. Avocados promote heart health
A diet high in fat is thought to be detrimental to health, but it’s important to note that not all fats are equal. Avocados contain monounsaturated fats (oleic acid), a kind of good fat that helps lower blood cholesterol and reduces your risk of heart disease.
In fact, research suggests that eating about one-quarter of an avocado daily may help improve overall cholesterol levels as well as lower bad LDL cholesterol while raising good HDL cholesterol.
In one study, both healthy adults and those with high cholesterol levels were subjected to an avocado enriched diet, and after two weeks, the group with normal cholesterol reported a 16 percent drop in total cholesterol while those with high cholesterol recorded a 17 percent drop in total cholesterol, a 22 percent drop in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and a 22 percent drop triglycerides.
The monounsaturated fat in avocado has also been shown to fight inflammation and prevent plaque buildup within the arteries, which may lead to atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
Another benefit of avocados in promoting heart health is that they contain potassium. Potassium is a mineral that helps reduce blood pressure and boost muscle function.
It also helps your muscles store and release energy, which keeps you feeling strong and energized throughout your day.
Potassium is also essential for other important bodily functions, such as helping to regulate nerve impulses in your brain, muscles, heart, and kidneys; it also regulates fluid balance throughout your body by helping move water into and out of cells.
2. It regulates appetite and aids weight loss
When it comes to avocados, their healthy fats can help keep you lean and fit. Fats are generally known to give a feeling of early satiety, and avocado is not different.
It’s high in healthy fats that help curb hunger and cravings by providing a sense of early satiety. Fats also slow digestion, preventing unnecessary snacking, overeating, or sugar addictions that may lead to high-calorie consumption, causing weight gain. Read More.
A study conducted by researchers at Purdue University revealed that overweight adults who ate half an avocado with lunch reported a 40 percent decrease in hunger and ate significantly fewer calories over the course of an entire day than those who consumed a standard lunch without any avocado.
3. Prevents diabetes
If you’re looking fight diabetes, avocados are an excellent food choice. Not only are they full of healthy fats, which fight inflammation and lower the risk of diabetes, but these fruits contain just 130 calories per cup—and are rich in dietary fiber. This helps with blood sugar regulation by reducing spikes throughout the day.
The potassium in avocados also helps control blood glucose levels even further.
In addition, diets high in omega-3 fatty acids, like avocados, may help reduce insulin resistance, which is the main problem in type 2 diabetes.
One study showed that mice with type 1 diabetes who ate a diet enriched with avocado pulp had significantly reduced blood glucose levels and liver damage compared to a control group. Researchers noted similar effects in humans who consumed at least three-quarters of an avocado per day.
The high-fiber, low-carb ratio in avocado is ideal for stabilizing blood sugar. Besides, the high-fat content in avocados may reduce sugar spikes when paired with other foods.
This is because the fats and fiber in avocado slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, allowing for a slow release of glucose into the bloodstream. Read More.
4. It’s richer in potassium than a banana
Potassium is an essential electrolyte found in some foods.
Its primary function is to regulate fluid balance, aid muscle contraction, and nerve functioning. It also regulates the heartbeat, helps deliver nutrients into the cell, and removes waste products from the cell. Additionally, potassium lowers blood pressure, Prevents muscle mass loss, and lowers the risk for stroke.
An avocado has double more potassium than a banana—good news for individuals with high blood pressure. One hundred grams of avocado can provide up to 14 percent of your daily requirement, while the same amount for banana can only offer 7 percent of what’s needed in a day.
5. Improves bone health
Avocados are rich in vitamin K, which promotes stronger bones. Vitamin K plays an important role in the production of certain proteins needed for bone formation. It has also been shown to promote bone mineral density and prevent osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
A four-ounce serving of avocado contains nearly 20 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin K. Combining avocado with other vitamin K-rich foods like kale, collard greens, mustard greens, and other leafy green vegetables can help provide your daily vitamin K requirements.
Avocados are also rich in other bone-enhancing nutrients like phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, folate, and copper that help build and maintain strong bones and lower the risk of developing osteoporosis. Read More.
6. Avocados may protect your eyes
Avocados are rich in eye-protective antioxidant carotenoids; lutein and zeaxanthin.
Studies show that eating a diet high in carotenoids can reduce your risk of cataract formation associated with old age and prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness.
Carotenoids are fat-soluble nutrients, meaning they’re more easily absorbed into your body when paired with fats. The fact that avocados are also rich in healthy fats makes it easy to obtain the nutrients and absorb them without the need for an external source of fat.
A study published in 2012 by researchers at Rush University Medical Center showed that people who ate half an avocado with lunch reported higher absorption of carotenoids than those who didn’t eat any avocado at all.
So regular consumption of avocados may help improve eye health and slow age-related eye conditions. Read More.
7. Helps fight cancer
Avocados contain a high amount of glutathione, an antioxidant that fights cancer. Glutathione reduces DNA damage in healthy cells and inhibits cancer cell growth.
They also contain beta-sitosterol, which can be beneficial to those who have prostate cancer. This compound causes certain molecules to attach themselves to enzymes found only in prostate cancer cells, which helps stop their growth.
Avocados are also high in folate and high consumption of folate from foods has been shown to lower the risk of pancreatic, stomach, colon, and cervical cancer. Read More.
8. Enhances digestive health
Avocado is rich in dietary fiber, which promotes digestion and regularity. You can easily get enough fiber by including more fruits and vegetables in your diet, but most Americans don’t meet their daily requirements.
If you’re not getting at least 25 grams a day, you’re not getting enough. Add avocado to any meal for a healthy dose of fiber. The right amount should leave you feeling full but not stuffed.
Additionally, the high fiber content of avocado helps improve gut health by increasing the good bacteria while decreasing the bad ones.
The healthy fats in avocados also help nourish the gut lining, aiding nutrient absorption and improving overall gut function. See More.
9. It’s a mood booster
Avocado contains choline, an essential nutrient that boosts the production of serotonin. Serotonin is a feel-good chemical produced in the brain. Read More.
Homocysteine is a natural amino acid produced in the body. However, high levels of it have been shown to block the production of mood-regulating chemicals dopamine and serotonin.
On the other hand, avocado is high in folate, which prevents the formation of excess homocysteine so that your body can produce sufficient amounts of serotonin and dopamine. In turn, this will improve your mood, reduce anxiety, lower your risk of depression and help you sleep better.
10. Supports skin and hair health
Avocado contains antioxidants, vitamins C and E, fatty acids, and minerals that help boost collagen production, fight inflammation, promote autophagy, and protect against sun damage. This will result in healthy, bright, and glowing skin.
Additionally, avocado is high in biotin, a B-complex vitamin that aids hair growth. Minerals in avocados like magnesium and potassium may also help strengthen your hair, keep it shiny and smooth while improving the health of your scalp.
11. May reduce the symptoms of arthritis
According to research, the high levels of vitamin E in avocado may reduce inflammation and reduce the early joint damage experienced in osteoarthritis. The anti-inflammatory properties of avocado may also help reduce swelling, pain, and stiffness experienced in arthritis. Read More.
12. Boosts the immune system
One of the best things about avocados is that they are extremely high in glutathione antioxidants which promote healthy and clear skin, boost your immune system, and minimize damage from environmental factors such as pollution.
They also contain other nutrients with antioxidant properties like vitamin C and E, which help protect the cells against oxidative damage.
Additionally, monounsaturated fats in avocados fight inflammation, the root cause of most diseases.
One way to fight Aging is by eating foods with high levels of antioxidants, and avocados are one of them. Antioxidants protect your body from oxidative stress, which happens when there are high levels of free radicals in the body. Free radicals cause cell damage and can accelerate aging and the appearance of physical signs of aging like wrinkles and fine lines.
As you age, your body’s ability to fight free radicals declines, making it harder for you to heal wounds or fend off infections. Because of their high levels of monounsaturated fats, avocados are able to fight off these destructive elements while protecting your body’s healthy cells at the same time.
Besides eating avocados, topical application of avocado oil to your skin can also help nourish cells and keep them healthy for a longer time.
14. Packed with nutrients
It’s without a doubt that avocado is a nutrient-dense food with a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that the body needs to thrive.
- Vitamins A, C, B6, C, K, and E
- Pantothenic acid
- Omega 3 fatty acids
- Omega 6 fatty acids
15. Balance hormones
Hormonal imbalance is of great concern for most people, especially women. Luckily, avocados contain sterols, a key nutrient that inhibits excess estrogen absorption in the body. This allows progesterone in women and testosterone in men to increase.
Elevated estrogen levels may lead to insomnia, weight gain, headaches, tiredness, breast tenderness, and water retention.
Low estrogen levels, especially in menopause, may also result in unpleasant symptoms, including hot flashes, irritability, leg cramps, depression, insomnia, and night sweats.
This shows how important balancing your hormones is because neither high nor low estrogen levels are good for your health.
Are avocados good for you? Yes! Avocados are absolutely healthy for you to consume, especially if consumed regularly. While they may appear fatty and unhealthy at first glance, avocados are packed with nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that play an integral part in promoting good health and fighting off disease. They have been shown to promote a strong body, prevent aging, and boost the immune system.
A daily intake of avocados may also help lower the risk of chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer. Read More.
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