Avocados offer a wide range of health benefits. The fruit is known for being a naturally nutrient-dense food as it contains nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.
Eating avocados gives the body a good amount of vitamins C, E, K and B-6, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, potassium, lutein, beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids, among others. The fruit alone can help reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a single serving of an avocado or 40 grams provides 64 calories, nearly 6 grams of fat, 3.4 grams of carbohydrates, less than a gram of sugar and up to 3 grams of fiber.
Eating avocado offers a long list of health benefits and below are just six of them:
1. Promotes Healthy Heart
Up to 25 milligrams per ounce of the natural plant sterol, called beta-sitosterol, is present in avocados. Regular consumption of beta-sitosterol and other plant sterols could help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, leading to a good heart health, according to Medical News Today.
2. Prevents Osteoporosis
Just half of an avocado already provides 25 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K. This nutrient increases calcium absorption and lowers urinary excretion of calcium, helping the body maintain healthy bones, particularly for older adults.
3. Reduces Cancer Risk
Research showed that phytochemicals extracted from avocado could help prevent the growth of cancerous cells. Such chemicals also trigger the death of cancer cells and encourage the production of immune system cells, called lymphocytes.
4. Keeps Babies Healthy
The folate found in avocados helps in pregnancy. Adequate intake reduces the risk of miscarriage and neural tube defects. One study showed that lack of folate could lead to a variety of birth defects in babies.
5. Lowers Risk of Depression
High levels of folate could help decrease the risk of depression. Food, like avocados, help prevent the build-up of homocysteine, a substance known to block the circulation of nutrients to the brain as well as the production of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine, which regulate mood, sleep and appetite.
6. Facilitates Natural Detoxification
Avocados provide the body with high fiber, which helps in regular bowel movements. Recent studies suggested that dietary fiber could also help improve regulation of the immune system and inflammation.