Health benefits of avocados

Health benefits of avocados

  •  Avocados are classified as a fruit and are rich in monounsaturated fat. They are also very high in potassium and can help balance your vitally-important potassium-to-sodium ratio.
  • Avocados are fast becoming a superfood.
  • Let’s have a look at some of the health benefits of avocados.
  • According to the California Avocado Commission, a medium Hass avocado contains about 22.5 grams of fat, two-thirds of which is monounsaturated.
  • They are also very low in fructose provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including:
  1. Fiber
  2. Potassium (more than twice the amount found in a banana)
  3. Vitamin E
  4. B-vitamins
  5. Folic acid
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits:
  • Avocado have a laundry list of anti-inflammatory nutrients and contain the following:
  • Phytosterols, including beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, and campesterol
  • Carotenoid antioxidants, including lutein, neoxanthin, neochrome, chrysanthemaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, violaxanthin , beta-carotene and alpha-carotene.
  • Other antioxidants, including the flavonoids epicatechin and epigallocatechin 3-0-gallate, vitamins C and E, and the minerals manganese, selenium, and zinc.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (approximately 160 milligrams per cup of sliced avocado)
  •  
  • These compounds have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties by reducing the risk of inflammatory and degenerative disorders.
  •  Absorption of nutrients:
  • A study in the Journal of Nutrition shows that five times the amount of carotenoids in salad were absorbed when avocados were included. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants and may have the potential to prevent cancer and slow down aging. According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, “the greatest concentration of beneficial carotenoids is in the dark green fruit of the avocado, closest to the peel, so use the “nick and peel” method to maximize the benefits from your avocado.”
  • Blood pressure:
  • With their high level of potassium, avocados help control blood pressure levels.
  • Cancer prevention:
  • There is  mounting evidence that avocados are potent cancer fighters. They help the body against free radical damage.
  • Avocados are high in oleic acid which is a monounsaturated fatty acid found in many plant sources and animal products. It is an omega-9 fatty acid, and is considered one of the healthier sources of fat.  
  • A 2009 study shows that avocados may prevent oral cancer.
  • Another study conducted at UCLA, shows that avocado extract may help slow the growth of prostate cancer cells.
  • Eye health:
  • Avocados are a great source of lutein.
  • Lutein is a xanthophyll and one of 600 known naturally occurring carotenoids. Lutein is synthesized only by plants and is found in high quantities in green leafy vegetables such as spinach.
  • Lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Happy heart:
  • Folate is excellent for the heart and is the natural occurring form of vitamin B9 found in dietary sources. Just one cup of avocado contains 23% of the recommended daily value for folate, which reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. Avocados also contain vitamin B6, glutathione, vitamin E, and monounsaturated fats, which are essential for healthy heart functions.
  • Lowers cholesterol:
  • Avocados are a good source of beta-sitosterol, which is a compound shown to lower cholesterol. It may also help improve lipid profiles in healthy individuals.
  • Avocados are safe to buy conventionally-grown.
  • “The Commission’s public relations outreach to encourage consumers to ‘nick and peel’ their California avocados and to eat that dark green area of the fruit has resulted in 33 million consumer impressions,” said Jan DeLyser, vice president of marketing for CAC.
  • To get the full health benefits you must preserve the area with the greatest concentration of antioxidants.
  • Tips on how to peel an avocado:
  • 1. Cut the avocado length-wise. (Around the seed).
    2. Holding each half, twist them in the opposite directions.
  • They should separate them from the seed.
    3. Cut each half, lengthwise.
    4. Peel the skin off each piece.

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