Avocados are one of the most nutritional and healthy foods that we can consume, bringing us many health benefits in both the short term and long term. The benefits of avocados even extend beyond consumption, being used in countless amounts of beauty products. This article will explore the numerous nutritional health benefits of avocados and how they can make anybody healthy.
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So What Is An Avocado Anyways?
An avocado (known scientifically as Persea americana) is a fruit that grows on an avocado tree and is believed to have originated around the south-central region of Mexico. Botanically speaking, an avocado is actually a single-seeded berry because it has a large pit in the center and fits all the criteria to be classified as a berry.
Are Avocados Healthy?
YES. Avocados are not just one of the healthiest fruits you can eat, but one of the healthiest foods in general. This is because they are packed with nutrients and are one of the most nutrient dense foods in existence.
Vitamins & Minerals
Below are just a few of the nutrients that just a single average sized avocado contain, making it so healthy:
|Vitamin A||86 μg|
|Vitamin C||12 mg|
|Vitamin E||2.6 mg|
|Vitamin K1||28 μg|
|Vitamin B-6||0.4 mg|
|Pantothenic Acid||2.0 mg|
Improves Eye Health
One of the many key takeaways from the vitamin/mineral profile above is the high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin, both incredibly important xanthophylls that help eyes not only maintain their health, but can also prevent vision loss and cataracts.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Another important note is the high amount of potassium, almost 700 mg! When we think of high potassium foods, the first food that usually comes to mind is a banana, yet that only has about 400 mg of potassium, a stark contrast. This high concentration of potassium is proven to help lower blood pressure levels and synthesize proteins.
Improves Pregnancy Health
For any pregnant women, an avocado contains around an entire quarter of the daily recommended amount of folic acid to support a healthy pregnancy, preventing major birth defects of a baby.
Lowers Risk of Stroke
The choline content in avocados help cells function properly, encourage and sustain brain development, lowers the risk of stroke, and boosts metabolism.
The overall diverse vitamin/mineral profile and high amounts of oxidants in avocados keep the body functioning properly while delivering many anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits.
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Nutritional Profile of Avocados
As seen above, avocados are packed with vitamins. But what about calories, protein, and fat? Below are the macros for a single average sized avocado:
|Macro||Amount (in grams)||% DV|
Reduces Risk of Cancer
Key takeaways from the nutritional profile of an avocado is that is is loaded with both fiber and fat. What is special about the fat profile of an avocado though is that a majority of it is a monounsaturated fatty acid known as oleic acid, which is thought to reduce risks of cancers and significantly reduce inflammation levels.
Improves Heart Health
Avocados also contain no cholesterol and have actually been linked to lowering bad cholesterol levels and raising good cholesterol levels. This only reinforces the avocado as being a great ingredient to improve heart health and lower the risk of heart disease.
Perfect for Keto/Paleo
Though an avocado contains 17 grams of carbs, a whopping 13 of those grams are fiber, meaning an avocado only contains 4 net grams of carbs. This makes avocados perfect for anybody following a ketogenic or low carb diet.
Try to eat at least one avocado a day. This super-food will have all sorts of positive effects on the body from weight loss to heart health to brain health and beyond. Overall, avocados have many health benefits and are a healthy addition to a balanced diet and taste great with any dish.