The avocado is not native to India, but it has been popular here as the ‘butter fruit’ since it was introduced over a hundred years ago. In fact, we now have local varieties of avocado that are better suited to our climate and are known as the Indian avocado. Whether you buy exotic imported fruit or local variants, avocado benefits have a lot to offer. The fruit has a large seed inside and a green, buttery flesh that has a rich nutty flavor. Avocados come in different shapes, sizes, colors, and textures depending on the variety. The fruit has become extremely popular in recent years and is regarded as a superfood because of its high nutritional value. Most of the avocado fruit benefits are linked to the presence of nutrients including fats, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, potassium, and many other vitamins and minerals.
12 Amazing Health Benefits Of Avocados
Here are some of the proven avocado benefits that you should know about:
Great Source Of Potassium: Potassium is a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure, fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contraction. Avocados are rich in potassium, providing 21% of the daily value in a single serving of about 200 grams. A study that included data on more than 90,000 women found that higher potassium intake is linked with lower blood pressure and reduced risk of stroke .
Contains Heart-healthy Monounsaturated Fatty Acids: Avocados are high in healthy fats, especially monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), which can help lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health. A study found that consuming a single avocado per day for 5 weeks as part of a moderate-fat diet lowered LDL cholesterol by 13.5 mg/dL compared with a low-fat diet .
Great Source Of Fibre: Fibre is a type of carbohydrate that helps regulate digestion, blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and appetite. Avocados are rich in fiber, providing 14 grams in a single serving, which is about 35% and 56% of the required daily intake for men and women respectively. Some research indicates that eating avocados could promote gut health by improving bacterial diversity and reducing fecal bile acid concentration .
Provides Antioxidants: Avocados contain several antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin), glutathione, and polyphenols. These antioxidants may help prevent or delay age-related eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration, protect your skin from sun damage and aging, and reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in your body.
Promotes Healthy Weight Management: Avocados may help you maintain a healthy weight by increasing satiety and reducing appetite. A study involving 31 overweight adults found that eating half an avocado at lunch increased feelings of fullness by 26% and reduced the desire to eat by 40% over a 3-hour period. Simply adding half an avocado to breakfast increases fat oxidation by 4.3 grams over a 6-hour period. These effects may be due to the high fat and fiber content of avocados .
Enhances Foetal Development: Avocados have a high content of folate, which is a B vitamin that is essential for fetal development. Folate helps prevent neural tube defects (NTDs), which are serious birth defects affecting the brain and spine of the baby. Avocados provide 41% of the DV for folate in a single serving.
Can Lower Triglycerides: Triglycerides are a type of fat in your blood that can increase your risk of heart disease if they are too high. Avocados may help lower triglycerides by replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated fats in your diet. Research indicates that replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated fats significantly reduced triglycerides by 19.5 mg/dL on average .
Improves Vitamin Absorption: Some vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K, are fat-soluble, which means they need fat to be absorbed and used by your body. Avocados provide healthy fats that can help you absorb more of these vitamins from other foods. A study involving 12 healthy women and 12 healthy men found that adding half avocado to meals increased the absorption of vitamin A .
Might Protect The Eyes: Avocados contain carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that accumulate in the eyes and protect them from harmful blue light and oxidative stress. These carotenoids may help prevent or delay age-related eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. A study involving 4,203 older adults found that a higher intake of lutein and zeaxanthin was associated with a lower risk of cataract surgery over a 10-year period .
Eases Psoriasis Plaques And Dermatitis: Psoriasis is an autoimmune inflammatory skin disorder that causes red, scaly patches on your skin. Dermatitis is a general term for skin inflammation that can cause itching, rash, blisters, or swelling. Avocados may help ease psoriasis plaques and dermatitis by moisturizing your skin and reducing inflammation. Avocado benefits for the skin are well-documented, with a study finding that application of an avocado oil-based cream twice daily for 12 weeks improves psoriasis and dermatitis symptoms.
Great For Skin Health: Avocados may also benefit your skin health by providing antioxidants, healthy fats, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, copper, manganese, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients can help protect your skin from sun damage, aging, inflammation, infection, dryness, and wrinkles. We know from evidence that dietary intake of these nutrients is associated with better skin appearance and function .
Protection From Osteoporosis: Contrary to popular belief, calcium is not the only nutrient essential for bone health. You also need vitamin K and just half an avocado will give you 18% of your required daily intake. Vitamin K is essential for bone health as it enhances calcium absorption and reduces its excretion via the kidneys.
While avocado benefits are plentiful and undeniable, the fruit is very high in calories and overeating avocados can actually contribute to weight gain. When adding avocados to your diet, compensate by dropping other foods. On the other hand, anyone looking to gain weight can turn to avocados as one of the healthiest choices for weight gain!