The avocado is an incredibly popular food among the health-conscious. It’s jam-packed with nutrition and is often considered a superfood because of its health properties.
So what kind of health properties are we talking about? What are some of the benefits of avocado?
The Benefits of Avocado
Avocado is the fruit of the avocado tree. There are many types of avocados. They vary in shape and color, but by far the most popular is the Hass avocado.
One 100 gram serving gives you:
- 26% of your daily Vitamin K
- 20% of your daily Folate
- 17% of your daily Vitamin C
- 14% of your daily Potassium
- 14% of your daily Vitamin B5
- 13% of your daily Vitamin B6
- 10% of your daily Vitamin E
Avocado also contains small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous, and vitamins A, B1, B2, and B3! Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium and are low in saturated fat. And the fats they do contain – those are healthy fats!!
Ok, let’s talk about the benefits of avocado.
1. Heart Health
The American Heart Association recommends that the majority of the fat you eat be unsaturated, like you’ll find in avocados, rather than the saturated fats in foods like red meats and whole-milk dairy foods. Early research now shows that avocados in particular can also help lower “bad” cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.
2. Weight Loss
A half-cup of avocado has about 6 grams, almost 1/4, of your daily fiber needs. Fiber helps you feel full, so you’re less likely to overeat. That fibre also helps keep your digestive system running smoothly. And although avocados are high in fat, it’s mainly healthy monounsaturated fat.
3. Antioxidant Rich
Avocados are rich in leutin and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that function as antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent and slow damage to cells caused by free radicals, unstable molecules that the body produces as a reaction to environmental and other pressures. These two in particular also protect healthy cells, especially in your eyes.
4. Osteoporosis Prevention
Vitamin K is essential for bone health. It’s often overshadowed by calcium and vitamin D when it comes to maintaining healthy bones, but a a diet high in vitamin K can support bone health by increasing your calcium absorption and reducing the urinary excretion of calcium!
5. Brain Boost
Avocados contain vitamin E, which may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and slow decline in memory and thinking skills. This is thought to be a result of vitamin E’s antioxidant properties, which protect cells against free radical damage. And, the high folate helps keep your mood up. People who don’t get enough folate could be more prone to depression – and less likely to respond to antidepressants.
6. Skin Health
Whether you eat it or make it into a mask, avocado is great for your skin. Its vitamins and minerals, especially those considered antioxidants, can help keep your skin looking healthy, and protect against environmental pollutants. And the same nutrients that protect your eyes also protect your skin from UV damage from the sun. It may even help with wound healing, so slather it on a sunburn after too much time at the beach.
Avocados are not only super delicious, they’re super nutritious too. So, start your day with a few slices of avocado on toast, add some to your salad at lunch, and snack on sae fresh guacamole before bed!