Avocados are a creamy, buttery fruit grown in warm climates and often enjoyed in Mexican and South American cuisine.
Avocados have become America’s “new favorite fruit.” Whether eaten in raw slices with salt and pepper or mashed up in guacamole, its myriad benefits fill every bite. The fruit, however, does more than just satisfy America’s appetite; eating avocados can lead to living a longer, healthier life. Also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of monounsaturated fat (the healthy kind). Avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.
In the article, we take an in-depth look at the possible health benefits of eating avocados as well as a nutritional breakdown of the avocado.
Although avocados have a high fat content, it’s a nutrient all-star and a great source of potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, and lutein. It also contains good amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber. If you’re looking to increase your avocado consumption, here are several health reasons to eat an avocado a day and every day.
1. Absorbs Other Nutrients
Avocado has a rich fat content that makes it easier to absorb fat solubles such as vitamins A, K, D, and E, which means that adding this creamy fruit to any vegetable-dense meals will help you get all of the vitamins of your food.
2. Eases Arthritis Symptoms
Avocados contain phytosterols, carotenoid antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, and polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols, which make the fruit an anti-inflammatory agent. Dr. Matthew Brennecke, believes avocados can help with arthritis and osteoarthritis-related pain.
3. Reduces Risk of Certain Cancers
Avocados possess a mix of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics, which makes them able to combat certain cancers, including mouth, skin, and prostateIn other words, it is the phytochemicals in this fruit that encourage cancer cells to stop growing and die out.
The consumption of avocado can also be beneficial during chemotherapy. These sessions often drain the body out of gluthathione — a powerful antioxidant source — but avocado can help. “Avocados contain rich sources of both vitamin E and glutathione, and if chemotherapy is reducing your glutathione storage supply, avocados are a great way to get that antioxidant back into your system,” Brennecke said.
4. Lowers Cholesterol
The super fruit is filled with fats that are good for you, specifically monounsaturated fat, which helps to lower bad cholesterol. This is because avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, according to Cohen, which is a compound that lowers blood cholesterol levels.
5. Boosts Eye Health
An ounce of avocado contains 81 micrograms of lutein, along with zeaxanthin, two phytonutrients which are essential to eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids, according to Clow, which act as antioxidants in the eye, lowering risk of developing age-related eye conditions. Adding avocados to your daily diet can protect the tissues of the eye from sun damage and the formation of cataracts and macular degeneration.
6. Boosts Heart Health
The mono- and polyunsaturated fats in avocados not only help reduce blood cholesterol levels, but they help decrease the overall risk for heart disease. Avocado’s high vitamin B6 and folic acid content regulates homocysteine levels which is what reduces the risk.
7. Promotes Weight Loss
Avocado’s smooth and creamy texture actually contains 6 to 7 grams of fiber for half of a medium-sized fruit. Its rich fiber content can help you feel full faster and longer, making it a go-to weight loss aid.
The benefits of this naturally nutrient-dense fruit will help you stay healthy and live longer.