10 Health Benefits Of Avocado That May Surprise You
Popularly known as a super-food, avocado really is a dietary superstar. In spite of being rather high in calories, the avocado is worth including in your daily diet. Even avocado seeds are full of nutrients and you can use them in your smoothies. Let’s discuss its shocking, yet wonderful, effects on the human body:
• Protects your eyes
Avocados increase the levels of carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals that protect your eyes against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
• Reduces stroke risk
Avocados are a great source of folate, which helps protect against strokes. One study found that those who have folate in their diet have lower risks of stroke compared to those who did not eat it.
• Contains more potassium than bananas
Potassium is an important element that promotes healthy growth by maintaining electrical gradients in cells. You can easily get more potassium by incorporating avocados into your diet. One 100 gram piece of avocado contains 14% RDA compared to 10% in bananas. Eat smart, choose foods with nutrients you need.
Avocados are rich in fat, the majority of which is oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid which is also a major ingredient in olive oil and is beneficial for your health. Oleic acid helps reduce inflammation and has a positive effect on genetic cancers. Eating avocado will also lower your bad cholesterol level.
• Natural detoxification
The fiber in avocados enhances regularity, which is necessary for daily excretion of toxins through stool and bile. Past studies have also shown its powerful impact on the immune system and inflammation.
• Helps you lose excess body fat
Avocados are a good ally for your weight-loss regimen. The monounsaturated fats help burn energy slowly instead of burning off quickly. You are likely to feel full longer after eating avocado, the good fats also help with satiety.
• Healthy pregnancy
Folate in avocados is important for pregnant women, it helps prevent miscarriage and neural tube defects. Research shows that the biological father’s folate status is equally important before conception. A study on mice at McGill University showed that paternal folate deficiency in mice was associated with a 30% higher number of birth defects than in offspring with no paternal folate deficiencies.
• Reduces depression
Another benefit you can derive from avocados and folate is reduction of depression. Folate prevents buildup of excess homocysteine in the body, which is known to block blood flow and nutrients from reaching the brain. Excess homocysteine hampers production of feel-good hormones including serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine that regulate sleep and appetite.
• Helps absorb nutrients
Some nutrients, including vitamins A, D, E, and K, are fat-soluble, therefore they require some fat to be absorbed by the body.
• Great brain food
Avocados are considered to be one of the best brain foods to reduce risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E found in avocados are clinically proven to stop Alzheimer’s from progressing in the early stages.
Note: Portion size
Some may think avocados contain too many calories and wonder if it’s ok it to eat them on a daily basis. Keep your portions limited. One-half avocado has 161 calories, incorporate it into your salad or sandwich. If you enjoy it cubed or pureed, you will get 161 calories in 2/3 cup cubed avocado and 121 calories from ½ cup pureed avocado.