Health Benefits Of Avocado
16 May 2018
Health Benefits Of Avocado
What is Avocado?
The avocado is a tree, long thought to have originated in South Central Mexico, classified as a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae. Avocado refers to the tree's fruit, which is botanically a large berry containing a single large seed. Avocado is a pear-shaped fruit with a rough leathery skin and smooth, oily edible flesh.
What are the health benefits of avocado?
Avocados contain many essential nutrients, such as vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, as well as copper, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, fibre, protein, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), folate and several other beneficial elements. The avocado, also called the alligator pear, has a long list of potential health benefits. When consumed on a regular basis, avocados can protect you from various diseases and keep your body and mind healthy for years to come.
Promotes Brain Health
Health experts consider avocados one of the top brain-healthy foods due to its high content of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Omega-3 fatty acids keep your brain healthy by improving the blood supply to the pre-frontal cortex, the front part of the brain responsible for critical thinking, behavior, decision making, and planning.
Studies show that people who eat avocados, which are rich in nutrients that boost heart health, have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don’t. Avocados contain vitamin E that prevents cholesterol oxidization, folate that helps reduce dangerous homocysteine levels in the blood, potassium that helps regulate blood pressure, and phytosterols that reduce cholesterol absorption. The monounsaturated fat content also reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and improves overall blood lipid levels.
Avocados can help prevent the occurrence of cancers in the mouth, skin, and prostate gland. The anti-cancer properties in avocados are related to its unusual mix of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients. In healthy cells, these properties improve inflammatory and oxidative stress levels. But in cancer cells, they increase oxidative stress and shift the cancer cells into a programmed cell death cycle (apoptosis) to reduce the number of cancer cells. Also, the oleic acid in avocado is effective in preventing breast cancer.
Regulates Blood Sugar
The monounsaturated fats in avocados can improve your cholesterol profile and prevent or reverse insulin resistance, which is a major contributing factor in type 2 diabetes. The high amount of soluble fibre in avocados also helps improve blood glucose control. Avocados also contain oleic acid that has a beneficial effect on insulin sensitivity. Plus, avocado is a low glycemic index food. Do not eat this fruit in excess, though. Also, do not eat overripe avocados.
Regulates Good Cholesterol
Regular consumption of avocados help to improve the good aspect of your cholesterol, known as HDL, and lower the aspects that you want to keep down, such as LDL and triglycerides.
Promotes Skin Health
Avocados can improve your skin tone as the essential monounsaturated fats in the fruit help the epidermal layer of your skin retain moisture. Avocado oil works great as a natural skin moisturizer. It also can help treat several skin conditions including dry skin, psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, wounds, age spots, scars and sun damage. Also, the omega fats present in avocados help reduce skin redness and irritation and promote the body’s natural process of repairing damaged cells. Regular use of avocado also will reduce signs of aging and improve the production of collagen, which maintains your skin’s elasticity and firmness.
Helps with Digestion
Avocados have vitamin B-complex that helps release digestive enzymes used in the digestive process. Also, avocado improves the body’s ability to absorb nutrients which is an essential function of the digestion process. As avocados are considered an alkaline food, it balances the pH levels of the body and helps with conditions such as acid reflux and ulcers.
Promotes Eye Health
Avocados also help in maintaining healthy eyesight. Avocados are rich with carotenoid lutein, an antioxidant that protects the eyes from oxidative stress damage leading to cataracts and macular degeneration, which are usually age-related. Also, the vitamin E in avocados helps protect the eyes against retinopathy, a condition caused by damage to the retina.
Promotes Healthy Liver Function
Avocados can help reduce symptoms of fatty liver disease that are caused by elevated cholesterol and blood triglycerides as well. In addition, avocados can boost synthesis of the body’s most powerful anti-oxidant glutathione to help safeguard you from free radicals.
Promotes Bone Health
Bone tissue requires the minerals calcium, zinc, magnesium, potassium and Vitamin D and Vitamin K for proper formation. Avocados contain all these nutrients, but in particular Vitamin K, which is not found in many foods. Regular consumption of avocados, along with exercise, will promote healthy bone density.