A lot of people believe that avocados are a delicious treat but contain too much fat to be good for your health or your diet. Fortunately, that belief is incorrect. It is true that around 85% or more of an avocados’ calories are due to fat. That high-fat content which has led people to give avocados a bad rep is actually made up of monounsaturated fat – the kind of fat that your body needs. In addition, avocados have a lot more to offer than just fat. Avocados have amino acids, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, magnesium, vitamins C, E, B6, and more. With all these nutrients that it contains, avocados have definitely become more than just a delicious treat. They are the bringers of many health benefits.
How to Peel an Avocado:
Before we discuss what avocados can do for you, it is important to know that how you peel the avocado can affect how much nutrients you will get. Research has shown that the dark green flesh that lies just beneath an avocados’ skin carries the largest concentration of carotenoids. Thus, cutting away even a bit of that dark green flesh will mean lesser carotenoids for you to benefit from.
According to the California Avocado Commission, the best way to peel an avocado is to use the “nick and peel”method. The first step is to slice the avocado lengthwise without cutting the seed. Grip both halves of the avocado and pull them apart. Once open, get rid of the seed and slice the halves into two so you’ll get four slices of avocado. Afterward, use your fingers to peel away the skin just like you would when peeling a banana. The end result should be a peeled avocado with most of the dark green flesh intact.
Promotes Heart Health
Eating avocados promotes heart health by protecting the body from heart disease and reduce the risk of getting a stroke. A study published in the “African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology” in 2011 showed that avocados lower the overall blood levels of cholesterol; most particularly, they sharply lowered LDL cholesterol levels. The same study, which was conducted on rats, indicated that the avocado fruit also increased antioxidant activity. In 2010, researchers reported in “The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology” that individuals who consumed avocado had lesser chances of getting metabolic syndrome, a combination of medical disorders which increase the risk of heart disease. A study conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) showed that eating an avocado a day resulted in lowering the chances of metabolic syndrome by 50%.
How it Works
Avocados are a rich source of potassium. Studies have shown that a high potassium intake can help prevent strokes. In addition, research has also shown that blood pressure, a factor that causes strokes is adversely influenced by a potassium-sodium imbalance – when the sodium level in the body is higher than the potassium level. One avocado has about a 52 to 1 potassium-sodium ratio.
Avocados are also rich in monounsaturated fats, also known as healthy fats, which aid in lowering LDL cholesterol levels. These healthy fats also help boost HDL cholesterol levels, otherwise known as the “good” cholesterol. HDL cholesterol aids in lessening the amount of LDL cholesterol in the arteries. Lowering LDL cholesterol levels can prevent the clogging of the arteries which promotes heart health and protects the body from cardiovascular disease.
Avocados are also a rich source of beta-sitosterol, a plant-based fat that aids in lowering the amount of LDL cholesterol in the body. It does this by preventing LDL cholesterol from being absorbed in the intestines which helps improve the cholesterol ratio – reducing the risk of heart disease.
Lastly, the avocado fruit also contains omega-3 fatty acids which aid in stabilizing blood pressure and normalizing the heartbeat. These also help to promote heart health and reduce the risk of coronary disease and stroke.
Maintains your metabolic health
Fiber is important in handling many health problems and in sustaining the good functioning of our body. Avocado is rich in fiber. Fiber is important for the normal function of your body and your metabolic health.
How it works
Eating avocado can add a great quantity of fiber in your body. Though high in fiber – 6-7 grams per fruit; they are low in carbs, which helps promote weight loss. Moreover, being a fruit that keeps you full for a longer period of time, it helps weight loss as you eat less frequent.
Having a good fiber intake will help prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract.
While it fights extra weight, high fiber intake helps with lowering the risk of stroke, of hypertension, diabetes and lowering cholesterol levels.
They contain lutein and zeaxanthin – two most important nutrients for the eye health. With age, the eyesight starts to diminish and we need everything to help it stay healthy.
How it works
As it contains these two important anti-oxidants, they contribute to the reducing of the cataract development and they can improve night vision.
But, for your body to be able to absorb these good nutrients, it needs to have the right fatty acids. And avocado contains these acids as well. So right on track, it is the go-to fruit for your eyesight.
Promotes beautiful skin
We all need vitamin C and vitamin E to keep the skin healthy and glowing. Avocado is rich in both of them, containing 17 percent from the recommended daily intake. Vitamin C is important in synthesizing the collagen that makes the skin look bright and supple for many years.
How it works
It does its wonders best by eating it. You can use it in salads, as a dip or just eat it as a fruit. You can also purchase and use avocado oil and it will be a great addition to your kitchen. There are as well moisturizing products containing avocado on natural products stores.
The main reason it works so good for the skin is that it has fatty fats that support skin health. This fat helps to hold the structural barrier of the skin and moisture is not lost easily.
Great for future mothers
Folate is very important when the women are pregnant and is good to be eaten when planning to have a baby as well. Avocado is rich in folate that helps with the baby development.
It also contains vitamin B, important for a healthy pregnancy.
How it works
The folate intake will help both with the development of the nervous system of the baby, ensures healthy brains, cells and blood.
Vitamin B it contains help with the morning sickness of the mother. Studies have also shown that it helps reduce the cholesterol level and the risk of depression. Moreover, it is a good baby food once the little one is here as well.