Avocados have gathered more steam lately among health-conscious people due to various scientific studies which pointed out the rich nutrient contents in it.
There are many types to avocados that vary in shape, color, and size. However, the most commonly found variety is hassocks avocado.
The yellowish purple portion of the fruit is the edible part, while the large seed and skin is usually discarded.
There are many claimed health benefits to avocados. In this article, we will only look into the benefits that are backed by scientific research.
1 Helps to Reduce Blood Pressure
Your body needs the right balance of both potassium and sodium in it. While potassium helps to expel out the excess water, sodium helps to retain it.
Excessive levels of sodium in the body can increase the risk of several diseases including high blood pressure, strokes, heart failure, and kidney failure.
What combats the ill effects of sodium is potassium. Unfortunately, most of the foods we consume have high levels of sodium.
It is really essential to consume foods that are rich in potassium like bananas, avocados, etc… This will help to maintain healthy levels of potassium in your body and also helps to dislodge the bad effects of sodium.
2 Keeps your heart healthy
Avocados are rich in fat content. Almost 70 percent of calories present in avocado fruit pulp is from fat.
However, the majority of the fat present in avocados are from oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fatty acid which is believed to enhance your heart health and reduce inflammation.
It is the same type of fatty acid present in olive oil which is well known to be safe for people with heart conditions.
Additionally, fats present in avocado oil is resistant to heat-induced oxidation, making it a healthy choice for cooking.
3 It could enhance digestive health
Dietary fibers are very essential to maintain a healthy digestive system.
Fibers, both soluble and insoluble types help to regulate the bowel movements and prevent constipation.
Additionally, dietary fibers also increase the number of good bacterias in the gut and help your body to absorb certain essential nutrients.
Avocados are a rich source of both soluble and insoluble type of fiber.
Studies have confirmed that 25 percent of the fiber in avocado belongs to soluble type, while the rest of 75% is insoluble.
4 It can help to lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Heart disease and heart attacks are the number one leading causes of death all over the world.
We can now measure these risks through some simple blood tests. There are several blood markers which can indicate an increased risk of heart disease.
Some of these markers include cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammatory markers, and many more.
Good news is, several scientific studies have concluded that consuming avocados regularly lowered the levels of these markers.
Some conclusions we can draw from these studies are as follows.
- It helps to reduce the total cholesterol levels significantly
- It helps to reduce triglyceride levels by around 20 percent
- It lowers the levels of bad cholesterol or LDL by around 22 percent
- It increases the levels of good cholesterol or HDL by up to 11 percent
5 It can increase your body’s nutrient absorbing capacity
You can consume all the nutrient-rich and healthy foods there is regularly. But, that doesn’t mean your body is absorbing all nutrients present in those foods.
There are some nutrients which are fat-soluble, while others are water-soluble.
Water-soluble nutrients and vitamins are usually easily absorbed by your body, while the fat-soluble vitamins are not so.
This is because most part of our common diet has saturated fats and trans fats. Both these types of fat do not dissolve the fat-soluble nutrients to be absorbed by the body.
Avocados being a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, it helps to dissolve these nutrients and make it readily available for the body to get easily absorbed.
6 It can protect your eyes
Apart from increasing your body’s ability to absorb certain nutrients and antioxidants, avocados are rich in antioxidants themselves.
A couple of these vital antioxidant compounds include carotenoids lutein, and zeaxanthin.
Research studies have shown that healthy levels of both of the compounds help to protect your eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration.
Both these conditions are very common in older people.
This proves regular consumption of avocados over a long time period helps to protect your eyes.
7 It may protect you from certain types of cancer
Though there are not any conclusive studies that demonstrate the Avocados cancer-fighting properties, there are a few test-tube studies done with avocado extracts that looks promising.
One study has found that it helps to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy in human lymphocytes.
And another minor study has found that avocado extract inhibits the growth of prostate cancer cells.
8 It may help you to lose weight
Being a rich source of fat and dietary fibers, avocados are one of the most satisfying foods there is.
One study has found that people who consumed avocado along with their regular diet felt more satisfied after the meal and reduced their craving to eat more by nearly 28 percent, over those who did not consume avocados.
While avocados are not a magic wand that will make you reduce your waistline rapidly. However, including it over a longer time period can have a positive impact on your weight provided you eat healthily.