Benefits of Avocado for Your Health
Avocado is a stone fruit that has a creamy texture. It is highly regarded as very nutritious and providing many “good fats” to diets. Commonly, avocado fruit grows in countries with a warm climate – mostly, in the Central America and Mexico regions.
Avocado vitamins and nutrients
One “official” serving size of an avocado is about 1/5 of a whole fruit (about 30 grams). According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the avocado nutrition profile per 1 serving size looks like this:
- Calories – 113;
- Dietary fiber – 4.6 g;
- Fat – 10 g;
- Carbs (carbohydrates) – 6 g;
- Total sugar amount – 0.2 g;
- Vitamin K – 14 mg;
- Vitamin C – 6 mg;
- Vitamin B6 – 0.4mg;
- Vitamin E – 1.3 mg;
- Folate – 60 mg;
- Potassium – 343 mg:
- Pantothenic acid – 2 mg;
- Magnesium – 19.5 mg.
One whole avocado fruit consists of 73% water, 8.5% carbohydrates (fibers), 15% monounsaturated fats (MUFAs), and 2% proteins.
These and other nutrients in avocado can work for the prevention of multiple health problems:
- Folate (B9) may aid in normal cell function and tissue growth, which is why avocados are often recommended for pregnant women.
- Vitamin K1 can prevent blood clotting and strengthen the bones.
- Potassium may be helpful in blood pressure control.
- Copper can significantly improve heart health.
- Vitamin E may work as a powerful antioxidant for skin health and beauty.
- Vitamin B6 obtained from avocados may convert food into energy faster than usual.
- Vitamin C may work as a natural antioxidant to improve the immune function.
- Plenty of carbs in avocado along with a very low amount of sugar may be helpful for people with diabetes because avocado doesn’t raise the blood sugar levels and at the same time provides all necessary carbs for the human body.
- Avocado fiber may help in regulating appetite and growing good bacteria in the gut.
- Fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols (shortly FODMAPs) in avocado can help with digestion.
- The MUFAs in avocado can reduce the inflammatory processes.
- Carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin can reduce the risks of the age-related eye problems.
- Persenones A and B are powerful antioxidants that work for the protection of the body against inflammation and cancer;
- Phytonutrients like polyphenols and flavonoids may work as anti-inflammatory agents.
However, this is not a full list of all possible avocado health benefits.
Possible avocado benefits for health
You may try to add avocado to your daily meals to get rid of the following health and beauty problems:
The vitamins in avocado can reduce “bad” cholesterol.
A study posted in the Journal of the American Heart Association stated that one avocado a day may lower “bad’ cholesterol among overweight or obese people.
Avocados may help in cancer treatment.
A recent research study found that the phytochemicals in avocados may inhibit the growth of precancerous and cancerous cells. Also, avocados can help trigger the death of cancer cells.
Avocados can saturate you quickly and prevent weight gain.
There is a common misconception that avocado oil and fruit can help lose weight. In fact, avocado is a high-calorie product that may saturate you faster and, in such way, prevent overeating. However, if you eat more than 2 avocados a day, you may, on the contrary, gain more weight.
Eating avocados may be helpful for people with arthritis.
Avocado fruit benefits for arthritis have been found by multiple studies. Avocado can help prevent progressive deterioration of the joints, especially in the knee and hip areas.
Avocados can decrease “bad” cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
According to the recent statistics, heart disease is still the number one reason for death in the United States. Avocado oil and fruits may be helpful for preventing and reducing “bad” cholesterol. In one study, it was confirmed that the avocado health profile for “good” cholesterol is very high.
Avocados may prevent liver damage.
Due to organic components in its content, one possible avocado oil benefit is the ability to improve liver health. A recent study states that avocado can protect the liver from Hepatitis C virus. Vitamins C and E may also neutralize free radicals and, in such way, protect the liver cells from damage.
Avocado oil for skin
High in the MUFAs and polyunsaturated fats, avocado oil may unclog blood arteries, protect skin from bacteria and sun damage, and also naturally moisturize it. That is why you may consider using avocado oil for face masks.
Possible side effects of avocado
Despite the scientifically confirmed health benefits of avocado oil and pulp, you may experience possible risks and interactions related to the intake of the fruit:
- Not everyone is tolerant to the FODMAPs;
- Avocado is a high-calorie food so it can’t help people who want to follow a low-calorie diet;
- Avocado may cause allergic reactions revealed through the mouth itching, heavy breathing, stomach pain, or swollen tongue. Seek medical assistance if you have any of these symptoms;
- Avocado and Warfarin may be not a good combination since this drug is an anticoagulant;
- Health care specialists recommend consuming no more than one whole avocado fruit per day. Otherwise, you may have diarrhea or nausea.
Avocado recipes for health and beauty
Avocado spread for sandwiches
Instead of mayonnaise, you may try to add a homemade avocado spread to your salad or sandwiches. Take 2 ripe fruits, peel and mash the pulp. Take 1 ounce ranch dressing mix, 1 tablespoon (tbs) of light sugar-free yogurt, and 2 tbs of fresh lemon juice. Mix all the ingredients and let the mixture cool for 1 hour in the fridge.
Avocado face mask with honey
There are only 2 ingredients that are required to make an avocado mask that may help moisturize the facial skin naturally. You may take 1 ripe avocado, peel and mash its pulp in a bowl. Then add 1 tbs of organic honey and stir the mixture well. Apply this paste to the face. Leave it for 15 minutes and rinse with lukewarm water.
Avocado mask for hair growth
You may try to fix dry and damaged hair with a homemade avocado mask. Scoop out the ripe fruit’s pulp and mash it. Mix the mashed pulp with 1 teaspoon of jojoba oil and 1 teaspoon of wheat-germ oil. Apply this paste on wet hair, from the roots to the ends. Leave the mask for 40 minutes. Shampoo the hair with warm water. Repeat 2 times per week.
Quick tips for a daily avocado diet
- Avocados should be consumed when ripe;
- You can only eat the green inside of avocado or use its oil;
- Avocado may work as a fat replacement in baking recipes;
- Soft avocado fruit with mild taste can be a good first food for an infant;
- Avocado can be used instead of mayonnaise, as a salad dressing, or a soup topping.