With their odd, leathery skin, sizable pit, and thick, creamy flesh, avocados are one of the more unique fruits available. Despite their unusual look and texture, avocados are extremely popular and are being added to more and more restaurant menus and recipes all the time. That's because they taste great and are excellent for your health. Although they were once avoided due to a high fat content, health experts have found that the fat in avocados is actually good for you in many ways. In fact, avocados may even help to prevent certain diseases and health conditions. In this article, we'll describe the impressive nutrient and vitamin content in avocados, along with how they can improve your health.
Vitamins and Nutrients
Avocados are filled with wonderful vitamins and nutrients that are great for your health. These fruits contain vitamins A, C and E, all of which provide a wealth of health benefits. Furthermore, nutrients like potassium, lutein and folate are found in high amounts in avocados.
Antioxidants, which are great for preventing disease, are also found in large amounts in avocados, giving you just one more reason to enjoy this delicious fruit. As mentioned before, the fats in avocados may make some individuals wary of eating them. However, avocados contain monounsaturated fats, which can actually improve your health.
Here is a quick review of the vitamins and nutrients found in avocados:
Preventing Disease and Sickness
Parts of the body that benefit from the consumption of avocados include:
- Blood pressure
Avocados can also help prevent or reduce:
- Heart disease
- Cancer (i.e. prostate cancer or breast cancer)
- Cataracts and macular degeneration
- Osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
Perhaps the biggest benefit of consuming avocados is better heart health. Because avocados contain almost a quarter of the recommended daily intake for folate, they are excellent for helping to prevent heart disease and strokes. Meanwhile, the monounsaturated fats in avocados can actually lower LDL cholesterol levels. Additionally, the vitamin E and glutathione in avocados are also great for your heart.
Avocados are a great source of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant. This nutrient is helpful in the prevention of heart disease, aging and even cancer. Avocados also contain vitamin A, another antioxidant which can help to remove the free radicals in the body which may lead to these harmful diseases.
Avocados have been closely linked to the prevention of certain types of cancer. For example, several phytonutrients in avocados may help to prevent prostate cancer, while the oleic acid found in this fruit may prevent breast cancer as well.
A carotenoid called lutein found in avocados has been linked to better eye health. In fact, it may help to prevent serious eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Therefore, eating avocados regularly may help you to maintain good vision well into your senior years.
Avocados also contain a significant amount of potassium. Surprisingly, avocados contain even more potassium than an average-sized banana. This important nutrient is great for regulating blood pressure. Consuming avocados can help to prevent certain circulatory diseases, including high blood pressure, heart disease or strokes.
Additionally, avocados are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties. The combination of nutrients like carotenoid antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids make avocados a great food to eat if you suffer from or are prone to osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. These nutrients found in avocados will help to prevent or relieve the symptoms associated with these diseases.
Other Health Benefits
There are several other health benefits of avocados which aren't related to preventing disease, but can still greatly improve your health. One of the little known effects of eating avocados is that they can actually improve the way in which your body absorbs nutrients. In one study, people who ate a salad with avocados were better able to absorb other nutrients and vitamins found in their meal than those who ate the same salad without avocados. That's why it's a great idea to incorporate avocados into other meals and dishes that you enjoy.
The antioxidants in avocados, in addition to preventing disease, are also great for slowing the aging process. By eating avocados, you can get a boost to your immune system and encourage a healthy nervous system. Meanwhile, the vitamin E in avocados promotes healthy skin.
It's a good idea for pregnant women to consider adding more avocados to their diets. That's because avocados contain plenty of folate, which is critical for the proper development of a baby's brain and tissues. Furthermore, avocados contain vitamin B6, which can help to reduce the nausea often associate with pregnancy.
Keep in mind that, while they are great for your health, avocados alone should not be used as a treatment for any particular condition or disease listed in this article. Consult your doctor if you would like to incorporate avocados into your treatment or health regimen.