Avocados are packed with fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. They are anti-inflammatory and contain loads of “good” fat. The list below breaks down the top seven amazing avocado health benefits.
1. Repairs Cardio Health
Avocados actually contain more potassium than bananas (source). This is important because potassium significantly helps lower blood pressure. Potassium is an electrolyte, and is important for proper cell, tissue, and organ function. It also plays a key role in digestion and muscular functions (source). In addition, potassium can lower your risk for stoke by 24 percent (source).
2. Anti-inflammatory Properties
Avocados are packed with oleic acid, which is also found in olive oil. One study found that an inflammatory marker within the body is inversely related to oleic acid intake.
3. Decreases Arthritis and Osteoporosis
The Arthritis Foundation states avocados are a good source of vitamin E, which is not the case for most other fruits. As a mico-nutrient, Vitamin E is linked to decreased risk of the joint damage seen in early osteoarthritis. Avocado oil, combined with soybean oil, prevents deterioration of cells that line the joints, and possibly regenerates normal connective tissue (source).
4. Eye Protection
Carotenoids are necessary for eye health and fortunately they are abundant in avocados. Also, avocados are rich in lutein and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), which protect against age-related eye degeneration. As a result, the carotenoids and the lutein/MUFA combo offer an absorption punch most other fruits and veggies can not compete with.
5. Lowers Cholesterol
6. Fights Cancer
Avocados have many anti-cancer components. They are rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants. Both of these components suppress the growth of precancerous cells, and facilitate the death of abnormal cells. The phytochemicals can also help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy (source).
Researchers have also found that high amounts of oleic acid, which is present in olive oil, protect against cancer. The assumption is that these same benefits apply to avocados since they also contain high amounts of oleic acid.
In addition, one study found avocados to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. Researchers suggest this suppression takes place because of the high amounts of MUFA, carotenoids, and other phytochemicals working in concert within the blood stream.
7. Fiber Packed
We eat when we feel hungry. Fiber can increase your feeling of “fullness” leading to a reduced calorie diet and lowering your chances of obesity. This is just one reason why it is imperative to have a diet packed full of fiber. Amazingly, avocados are made up of 80 percent fiber. Fiber also helps to maintain sugar levels and avoid cravings causing you to make impulsive and poor food choices.
How much should I eat?
For those of us that love avocados, we know it is easy to get carried away consuming this delicious fruit. The United States Department of Agriculture suggests about a third of a medium sized avocado as their daily recommended amount. Be sure to not overindulge. Consequently, this nutrient rich food also has a high calorie count and could easily add to your waistline if misused.
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