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With 138 calories and 14.1 grams of fat in just half of a medium-sized avocado, you may shy away from eating them very often. But those calories come in a package that includes over 25 of the essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need!
Because they are packed with so many beneficial nutrients, avocados do your body good in a number of ways; here is a list of 10 of the health benefits you get from eating this superfood:
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1. Slows Aging
Avocados are a rich source of antioxidants which are known to protect cellular breakdown by fighting free radicals that cause aging. They also boost your immune system which protects your body, keeping feeling younger and healthier. And of course, the oils in avocado are great for the skin, and can slow signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles.
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2. Skin Health
Speaking of your skin, avocados are full of monounsaturated fats – the good kind of fat – that helps improve skin tone by maintaining healthy hydration. Well-hydrated skin looks and feels softer and healthier.
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3. Brain Health
We’ve been singing the praises of omega-3 fatty acids as brain food for a while. They help with critical thinking and decision making by improving the blood flow to your pre-frontal cortex – the part of the brain that does that sort of stuff. And avocados are a rich source of omega-3s.
4. Keep Your Heart Healthy
When it comes to heart health, avocados are just what the doctor ordered! It has potassium, which is important in maintaining a regular heartbeat, and omega-3 fatty acids which are known to reduce your risk of dying from a heart attack.
What’s more, avocados have an anti-inflammatory effect that can help reduce the damage done by heart disease.
5. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Beta-sitosterol is a compound that’s been shown to help regulate cholesterol levels – and avocados are a great source of it.
Studies have shown that in patients with slightly elevated cholesterol levels, including avocado in their diet for a week caused a 17% drop in total blood cholesterol. The LDL – or ‘bad’ cholesterol – dropped 22%, and just as importantly, HDL – ‘good’ cholesterol – rose 11%.
6. Helps You Lose Weight
Avocados are great a great choice for losing weight. Not only are they full of vitamins and minerals, they also have oleic acid, a fatty acid that stimulates feelings of being full – so you eat less.
Avocado is also a pretty good source of fiber, with about 6.8 grams of fiber in one fruit. Avocados have both soluble and insoluble fibers, which helps keep things running well in your digestive track.
7. Eye Health
Macular degeneration and cataracts are two causes of poor vision or blindness, both generally related to age. Lutein is an antioxidant that’s been shown to help prevent both diseases, and is found in avocados.
8. Prenatal Development
Folate is a vital nutrient for fetal development of the neural tube – the basis for the nervous system – and it’s recommended that all women of child-bearing years take a folic acid supplement. Avocados contain plenty of folate, so are a great choice for women who are pregnant.
And for those who suffer from morning sickness, the vitamin B6 found in avocados can help reduce nausea.
9. Cancer Prevention
Avocado has been found to contain several cancer-inhibiting substances, which can help prevent some cancers and slow the growth of tumors.
10. Stroke Prevention
The folic acid in avocados isn’t just for pregnant women – it’s also been found that those who eat high levels of folate are at a lesser risk of stroke.
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