Health Benefits of Avocado
The avocado is unique in the fruit in that, instead of being filled with carbohydrates like most other fruits, the avocado is filled with (healthy) fats. There are a lot of great health benefits to eating avocados. All of the following health benefits have been proven accurate by scientific research.
They’re High in Potassium
As well as being high in healthy fats avocados are also rich in potassium; something far too many people don’t get enough of. One widely touted source of potassium is bananas. Did you know, however, that avocados actually have more potassium than bananas? Bananas only have 10% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of potassium while a 100g serving of avocado has 14% of your RDA. Having enough potassium in your diet reduces blood pressure which reduces your chance to develop kidney stones or suffer from a stroke or heart attack.
Avocados Contain Heart-Healthy Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
When we say avocados are high in fat we mean it. 77% of the calories in avocados come from fats. It’s one of the fattiest plant foods there is. The good news is that most of this fat is in the form of oleic acid. This is the fatty acid found in olive oil and there are some great health benefits attached to it. It’s great for reducing inflammation and has also proven effective at helping to prevent cancer (1). Avocado fats are also highly resistant to heat-induced oxidation meaning they are ideal for cooking with.
Avocados are Filled with Fiber
Avocados are filled with many great nutrients including fiber. Fiber is plant matter that can’t be properly digested, meaning it helps a lot with weight loss, controlling blood sugar levels, and is also linked to preventing several diseases. There are two kinds of fiber; soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber keeps your gut bacteria healthy which in turn keeps your body healthy, while insoluble fiber effectively cleans out the digestive system. 100 grams of avocado contains 7 grams of fiber; just over a quarter of your RDA. That fiber is broken down into 75% insoluble and 25% soluble.
Avocados Reduce Both Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels
We live in a world where heart disease is the single biggest killer. Several blood markers, such as cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and so on are all risk indicators for heart disease. Various scientific studies have been done on the effect avocados have on these blood markers and all of them came to the same conclusion; avocados reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) levels by 22%, raise the level of good cholesterol (HDL) by 11%, and reduce triglyceride levels by 20%. While the studies were typically small and didn’t last very long these are still promising results.
Avocados Help Protect Your Eyes
One of the stranger health benefits of avocados is that they’re actually great for protecting your eyes. They are rich in antioxidants such as Lutein and Zeaxanthin which are used by the body to keep your eyes healthy. Having good levels of these nutrients reduce your chances of developing cataracts and macular degeneration; the two things that damage your eyes as you grow older. In the long term avocados are definitely good for your eyes.
There are many more health benefits to eating avocados. Just remember to be careful about how many you eat. As great as avocados are they are also high in calories.
Avocados Nutritional value (1)