Some research suggests that avocados may help with digestion, lower depression risk, and even protect against cancer.
Avocados, which have other names including alligator pear and butter fruit, are botanically classified as berries. A warm temperature is necessary for their growth. Avocados are a good source of several vitamins and minerals and a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids. They have many positive effects when added to a balanced, healthy diet.
Here, we’ll examine the nutritional profile of avocados, the twelve potential health benefits they offer, and the potential dangers we face from eating them.
There are numerous methods to add avocados to one’s diet. Guacamole, for instance, is deliciously made from soft avocados, while firmer avocados are ideal for slicing and adding to a salad or sandwich. Softly pressing the skin of an avocado might reveal whether or not it is ripe. The avocado is not ripe if its skin is totally firm. The avocado is ready to eat when the skin yields under gentle pressure. Avocados have several other uses than being eaten, such as an oil for cooking and skin/hair moisturizer. Before buying, it’s important to read the product description carefully to make sure it won’t be put to any inappropriate uses.
There are many ways in which your health can benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables. Some of the potential benefits of this include weight loss, improved skin and hair, more energy, and a reduced risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and even death.
Listed below are ways in which avocados promote good health:
Both avocados and avocado oil include compounds with antibacterial effects. Extracts from avocado seeds have been shown to be effective for warding off a variety of bacterial infections, including those caused by Streptococcus agalactiae and Staphylococcus aureus.
Beneficial to the heart
Beta sitosterol, a natural plant sterol, may be found in avocado at a concentration of 76 milligrams per 100 grams. Beta sitosterol, along with other plant sterols, may aid in the maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels, which is crucial for cardiovascular health.
Dense in vital nutrients
Avocados are a good source of a number of essential nutrients, including the vitamins C, E, K, and B6; riboflavin; niacin; folate; pantothenic acid; magnesium; and potassium. Additionally, they offer lutein, beta carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Since avocados are rich in heart-healthy fats, eating them can help you feel satiated for longer in between meals. Eating fat has been shown to aid in maintaining steady blood sugar levels by delaying the digestion of carbohydrates.
Every single one of your body’s cells relies on fat for survival. Healthy fats are beneficial for several reasons, including skin health, the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, and immune system support.
Relief from osteoarthritis
Saponins can be found in foods like avocados and soy, among other plants. There is some evidence that these compounds can alleviate the pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis of the knee and hip. However, the long-term effects of saponins in persons with osteoarthritis have not yet been validated by experts.
Adequate fiber intake encourages regular bowel movements, which are critical for the elimination of toxins via the bile and stool.
Recent research has linked dietary fiber to an increase in both beneficial gut bacteria and microbial diversity. As a result, the body’s bacterial balance is better preserved. This may help alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort and inflammation.
To date, there have been no conclusive studies evaluating whether or not eating avocados can help lower cancer risk. Avocados, on the other hand, have chemicals that show promise in inhibiting the development of certain malignancies.
The risk of getting malignancies of the colon, stomach, pancreas, and cervix has been linked to consuming an adequate amount of folate. However, the mechanism underlying this correlation has yet to be determined. Roughly 59 mcg, or 15% of the DV, of folate can be found in half an avocado.
Avocados are a good source of phytochemicals and carotenoids, both of which have been linked to potential cancer-fighting effects. It has been found that carotenoids, in particular, may prevent cancer from spreading.
A study published in 2013 looked at the possible benefits of eating avocados in relation to breast, oral, and throat cancers. However, these correlations are typically based on in vitro studies rather than randomized clinical trials in humans. To verify these correlations, more study is required.
Fiber content in avocados is very high; a half of an avocado has about 6-7 g of fiber.
Constipation can be avoided, digestive health can be preserved, and colon cancer risk can be reduced by eating foods high in natural fiber.
About 18% of your daily vitamin K needs can be met by eating half an avocado.
Although it’s crucial for strong bones, this vitamin gets little attention. Vitamin K helps the body absorb more calcium and excrete less of it in the urine, two factors that contribute to bone health.
Chronic illness protection
Avocados’ high concentration of heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids may help stave off a variety of degenerative diseases.
Meanwhile, avocados are high in fiber, and studies have shown that eating a diet high in fiber can help lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, and several gastrointestinal disorders.
Obese patients who increase their fiber consumption see improvements in their blood pressure, cholesterol, insulin sensitivity, and weight reduction efforts.
Excellent for the eyes
The avocado’s lutein and zeaxanthin phytochemicals can be found naturally in the eyes. They help prevent damage, especially that caused by UV rays, by acting as antioxidants.
Avocados’ monounsaturated fatty acids aid in the digestion of other fat-soluble antioxidants like beta carotene. That’s why including avocados in one’s diet has been linked to a lower likelihood of acquiring AMD in old life.
Protecting against depression
Avocados are beneficial because they contain a lot of the B vitamin folate. Low levels of folate have been linked to an increased risk of depression, according to the literature.
Folate aids in preventing the accumulation of homocysteine, a compound that can hinder blood flow and the brain’s ability to receive nutrients. Excess homocysteine has been associated in meta-analyses of previous research to cognitive impairment, depression, and the inability to manufacture the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which are responsible for regulating mood, sleep, and hunger.
Promotion of healthy pregnancies
Fetal development relies on adequate folate levels. Adequate intake protects against miscarriage and birth defects of the neural tube. In order to have a healthy pregnancy, you need to get at least 600 mcg of folate per day. You could find up to 160 mcg in a single avocado.
Fatty acids, which are essential to both maternal nutrition and fetal growth, can be found in avocados as well.
In order to be healthy and fit, a person’s nutrition plays a crucial role. Rather than focusing on the benefits of specific foods, it is more beneficial to have a varied diet. When consumed in moderation, avocados pose minimal danger. However, as with any food, consuming too much might have negative effects. For instance, due to its high fat content, eating an excessive amount of avocados can lead to undesired weight gain (Trustworthy Source).
In addition, the vitamin K in avocados may interfere with the effectiveness of blood-thinning medications. Patients using blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin) should maintain stable vitamin K levels. Because of its vital role in blood clotting, vitamin K-containing foods should not be added or removed from the diet all of a sudden.