Nutrition Fox

8 Health Benefits of the Almighty Avocado!

Avocado, or alligator pear, is a type of fruit that looks like a large berry with a single seed. According to Wikipedia.org, this fruit hails from the Central America region – most commonly from the country of Mexico. This fruit is perceived to be quite valuable commercially, not only because of the creamy and buttery taste that allows it to compliment a lot of meals on your table though. It is also very valuable because of the numerous health benefits that it can offer.

Generally, fruits and vegetables are good for the body. They provide you with the proper nutrients that you need and they fuel your body so it can perform well on a daily basis.

open avocadoHealth Benefits of Avocados

  1. They help lower bad cholesterol.
    Avocados may be high in fat but this is Monounsaturated Fat. In other words, it provides your body with the “good fat”. This type of fat, when ingested in moderation, can reduce the bad cholesterol that is already in your bloodstream. Not only that, the good fat provides you with the nutrients that you need to keep your cells healthy. 1
  2. They keep your heart healthy.
    This benefit is actually in relation to the ability of avocados to lower your bad cholesterol. Hypercholesterolemia is a condition that means you have a high level of bad cholesterol in your body.2 This puts you at a high risk of heart ailments and stroke. Most of the time, people that are at risk of heart problems are advised to have a low-fat diet. Although avocados have a high fat content, it is the “good” kind of fat and can help keep your heart healthy.
  3. They provide your body with cancer-fighting abilities.
    Carotenoids are orange-yellow pigments that can be found in avocados, carrots, potatoes and other vegetables. This organic pigment is known to be a great antioxidant that can help your body fight off cancer – or at least, any cancer cells that may be growing somewhere. 3 The thing is, when Carotenoids are taken in, it has to be with a high enough fat content so they can be absorbed by your cells. Otherwise, you will not be able to maximize their health benefits. This is where avocados shine in the limelight. Potatoes, carrots and vegetables may be rich in carotenoids but they do not have enough fat content to maximize absorption. Since avocados are rich in fat, you get the carotenoids right in the cells that need it the most. If you add it to salads and side servings of vegetables, even 1 cup of an avocado can help provide you with up to 20-25 grams of good fat. 4
  4. They’re good for your eyes.
    The eyes are the windows to your soul and avocados make sure that they are as healthy as they can be. These nutrient-filled fruits are rich in Lutein, which helps lower the risk of light-induced Oxidative damage – something that can lead to Macular Degeneration. 5 Together with Zeaxanthin, lutein can protect eyes from the high-energy light waves that can be quite harmful.
  5. They help lower your blood pressure.
    When you feel like your blood pressure is rising, one way to counter that is to eat an avocado. This fruit is rich in potassium – which is a great nutrient to help reduce high blood pressure. When you have hypertension, you are at a high risk of heart ailments and stroke. While there are other foods rich in potassium, cooking usually destroys or diminishes it. This is why eating raw avocado is better compared to getting potassium from potatoes, for instance. 6
  6. They help repair your cells.
    Folate is one of the many vitamins that makes avocados very healthy. It is also known as Vitamin B9. This, together with the other B Vitamins, is needed in order to help form your red and white blood cells in your bone marrow. Not only that, it can convert carbohydrates into energy and produce DNA and RNA. 7 The folate in an avocado is also one of the reasons why your body will gain the ability to fight off bad cancer cells.
  7. They improve your digestion and help with weight loss.
    Avocados are rich in fiber. This is why they can help you maintain a healthy digestive system. Dietary fiber can be found in various fruits, grains and vegetable. This can make you feel full faster and thus help you keep your weight low. Fiber is a great aid in digestion so you can avoid constipation issues. 8
  8. They help battle arthritis.
    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost half of Americans suffer from a form of arthritis. 9 Apart from the monounsaturated oils in avocado, it also has Vitamin E that can help repair any damaged cartilage. The combination of potassium, vitamin B and fiber also pitch in to help. 10

avocado in bowlWhile all of these health benefits mean you should consume avocados regularly, you need to remember to eat them in moderation. It is important to have variety in your diet to achieve good health. You cannot concentrate on one food alone. You need to mix and match according to what your body needs.

It’s also important for you to consult with a Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist to make sure you’re eating the right things, they can help you come up with a diet plan specifically for you.

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