If you are a health-conscious person, you have no reason to resist avocados. This creamy-textured fruit is well-recognized as a “super food” that helps keep your heart, eyes, joints and digestive system healthy, apart from adding flavour to your daily meals. An American study has even found that people who have regular consumption of avocados are healthier and less likely prone to metabolic syndromes than people who do not eat avocados.
According to the Hass Avocado Board, avocados have taken the United States by storm for the past 15 years because more and more Americans are aware of the nutritional value of this fleshy, pear-shaped fruit.
Wondering what magic is behind avocado? Then you can’t miss the 10 powerful health benefits of avocado below:
1. It makes you look more attractive
Avocados contain vitamins that are essential for glowing skin and healthy hair. For example, vitamin C helps firm skin and fade brown spots on face. Vitamin K helps lighten under-eye dark circles. Vitamin E keeps the blood circulation of our scalps smooth and aids the growth of new hair.
What’s more, people who eat avocados often look younger! Antioxidants in avocados help reduce signs of aging such as wrinkles. You can maximize the fruit’s anti-aging effect by making avocado face masks and directly applying them on your face.
2. It relieves symptoms of arthritis
If you’re suffering from arthritis, eating avocados helps soothe the chronic pain a lot. Avocados contain polyhydroxylated fatty acids, omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E. These nutrients make the fruit an exceptional anti-inflammatory agent. Also, the extract from avocado and soybean oil improves collagen synthesis of your joints.
3. It protects your unborn baby
If you’re pregnant, avocados should be one of your best company. One cup of avocados can provide you 25% of your recommended intake of folate, which protects your unborn baby from congenital malformation and heart defects.
4. It helps you lose weight
No fruit can compete with avocados for the title of “the best weight loss friendly food”. The high fiber content of avocados ensures our digestive system runs smoothly and slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in our bodies. Also, the oleic oil found in avocados is able to activate the satiety center of our brains to make us feel full for longer. These prevent us from overeating and having uncontrollable weight gain.
5. It helps prevent cancer
A study published in 2007 found that the phytochemicals in avocados can track and inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics of avocados make the fruit especially effective in combating mouth, skin and prostate cancers.
Avocados are also said to be beneficial to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy. They can restore the supply of antioxidants like glutathione drained by chemotherapy, and so protect healthy cells from chemotherapy damage.
6. It lowers your cholesterol levels
Most of us are easily misled by the fatty texture of avocados into thinking that this fruit is bad for our hearts. But the fact is the majority of fat in avocado is oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fat that helps significantly reduce bad cholesterol in our bodies by 22% and increase the healthy type of cholesterol by 11%.
Another good news for you: oleic oil can be found in avocado oil as well! Apart from eating avocados every day, adding avocado oil to your cooking is also an effective way to control your cholesterol level and protect you from heart disease.
7. It contains more potassium than bananas
Banana is well-known as a great food source of potassium, which is a vital nutrient that helps lower our blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
An average adult is recommended to have 4,700 mg of potassium intake every day. To reach this amount, you may find eating avocados a better choice. Avocado contains 4% more potassium than banana. To be more specific, you only need to eat 2.5 avocados to absorb the same amount of potassium found in 10 bananas.
8. It has high fiber content
A study published in 2010 revealed the alarming fact that a majority of Americans receive less than half the amount of daily fiber they need. With inadequate intake of fiber, they are more likely to have the problems of constipation, overweight, slow metabolism and even blood sugar spikes.
But don’t worry! The high concentration of fiber in avocados can save us from the above health problems. 25% of the fiber found in avocados is soluble fiber , which is able to increase the amount of friendly gut bacteria in our intestines and so optimize our body functions.
9. It is good for your eyes
Avocados are rich in antioxidants including Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which protect our eyes from sun damage and remarkably help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
More surprisingly, avocados aren’t only a great source of antioxidants, but they also boost the absorption of antioxidants from other foods. Carotenoid which is another essential antioxidant for eye health is soluble in fat. Next time when you add monounsaturated-fat-rich avocados to your palatable salad, you can better absorb the carotenoids in fruits and vegetables.
10. It helps absorb nutrients from other foods
Many important vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) in vegetables cannot be well-absorbed by our bodies without being consumed with fat. Adding sliced avocados with high fat content to your vegetable-dense meals can reduce unnecessary nutrient loss.
Avocado is a popular ingredient as it blends well with many other foods. Guacamole is one of the most famous recipes that include avocados as the main ingredient along with salt, garlic and lime. This snack is simple to make but its nutritional value is far beyond your imagination!
Want to embark on your health journey after knowing the incredible health benefits of avocado? Here are the recommended recipes you should try:
via Bon Appétit
via the kitchn
via Bon Appétit
via Fresh Avocados
Featured photo credit: MSPhotographic via shutterstock.com