The popularity of the avocado is down to its rich, creamy, velvety texture and mild flavor. The avocado or Persea Americana is a fruit that belongs to the family of Lauraceae; a group that also includes members such as cinnamon and laurel. There are dozens of varieties of avocados ranging in size, color, and texture. All are native to tropical climates and when harvested, the flesh softens to a buttery texture that has become extremely popular in everything from toast toppings to desserts. Discover our full range of health benefits of avocado here.
9 Amazing Benefits Of Avocado
1. They are full of nutrients
Avocados have been commended as a good example of a nutrient dense food.
They are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat and vitamin E. However, avocados are high in calories due to the high fat content. Half an avocado counts as one portion of your 5-a day and those managing their weight might want to consider limiting the number of avocados they consume to two per week while increasing the portions of other lower calorie fruits and vegetables.
Avocados have more soluble fibre than other fruit and contain a number of useful minerals such as iron, copper and potassium and are a good source of the B vitamin, folate.
2. Source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats
100g of avocado contains about 19g of fat, of which 12g are monounsaturated fats (only 4g of saturated fat).
The guidance around the types of fat we should be consuming for a healthy diet is ever changing. Currently, it is recommended that we choose unsaturated fats such as monounsaturated fat (like that found in avocados) as they are supposedly better for heart health than saturated fat.
Research suggests that monounsaturated fat helps to protect against heart disease and lowers blood pressure.
3. Help to lower cholesterol
One of the benefits of avocado is to help to lower cholesterol. The oils provided by an avocado include oleic acid and linoleic acid and are therefore recommended as part of a balanced diet to prevent high cholesterol.
4. Help regulate appetite
There is no doubt that the calorie content of avocados is greater than other fruits and vegetables. One small study has shown however that the fat content of avocados can lead to feelings of satiety which can help with appetite regulation.
5. Avocados Are Loaded With Fiber
Fiber is another nutrient that avocados are relatively rich in.
It’s indigestible plant matter that can contribute to weight loss, reduce blood sugar spikes and is strongly linked to a lower risk of many diseases.
A distinction is often made between soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber is known for feeding the friendly gut bacteria in your intestine, which are very important for optimal body function.
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of avocado packs 7 grams of fiber, which is 27% of the RDA.
About 25% of the fiber in avocado is soluble, while 75% is insoluble.
6. Avocado May Help Prevent Cancer
There is limited evidence that avocado may be beneficial in cancer treatment and prevention.
Test-tube studies suggest that it may help reduce side effects of chemotherapy in human lymphocytes.
Avocado extract has also been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells in a laboratory.
However, keep in mind that these studies were done in isolated cells and don’t necessarily prove what may happen inside people. Human-based research is unavailable.
7. Be great for vision
Avocados contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that are especially concentrated in the tissues in the eyes where they provide antioxidant protection to help minimize damage, including from ultraviolet light.
As the monounsaturated fatty acids in avocados also support the absorption of other beneficial fat-soluble antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, adding avocados to your diet may help to reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
Substances called saponins, found in avocados, soy and some other plant foods, are associated with relief of symptoms in knee osteoarthritis, with further research planned to determine the long-term effects of isolated extracts.
9. Healthy babies
Folate is extremely important for a healthy pregnancy.
Adequate intake reduces the risk of miscarriage and neural tube defects.
Recent research from McGill University found a 30 percent higher incidence of a variety of birth defects in baby mice conceived using sperm from mice with a folate deficiency compared with mice conceived using sperm from mice with adequate folate levels.