Avocados have a leathery skin and are an extremely popular component of guacamole and salads. They get some bad press because of their high calorie content, but it turns out that they are incredibly good for your health in a number of important ways. If you eat them in moderation, you can easily enjoy their health benefits without putting on any excess weight whatsoever. Read on to discover the eleven main reasons why including more avocados in your diet could improve and extend your life.
1) They have powerful anti-carcinogenic properties:
Firstly, avocados are a great source of oleic acid, and a large number of research projects have established a strong connection between oleic acid and breast cancer prevention. Secondly, they contain glutathione, which helps the body to break down carcinogenic compounds. Studies also show that eating avocados helps to inhibit tumor growth in people with prostate cancer, and that they promote the destruction of pre-cancerous cells in the mouth.
2) They boost heart health:
Avocados provide you with plenty of folate (with one serving offering around 23% of your recommended daily intake). This is good news for your heart, as studies show that people who consume the most folate are substantially less likely to develop heart disease. In addition, it has been shown that the glutathione found in avocados can help to reduce blood pressure. Finally, they also contain vitamin E and monounsaturated (i.e. ‘good’) fats, both of which promote general cardiovascular health.
3) They increase your absorption of nutrients:
One particularly interesting property of avocados is that they encourage your body to absorb more nutrients from other foods. For example, one study showed that people who ate salads containing avocados absorbed around five times the level of carotenoids than the control group (whose salads did not contain avocados).
4) They can boost dental health:
The production of certain cells in your mouth needs plenty of folate in order to take place, and your dental health can suffer without a rich supply of folate. This means that avocados can help to reduce your risk of developing gingivitis (i.e. inflamed gums), as well as gum disease.
5) They can lower your cholesterol levels:
Avocados are an excellent source of a compound called beta-sitosterol, which lowers levels of LDL (i.e. ‘bad’) cholesterol. Specifically, one credible study showed that cholesterol levels reliably drop by around 17% if you regularly eat avocados for just one week.
6) They boost your metabolism:
The vitamin E in avocados means that they can improve your body’s metabolic rate, helping you to burn more calories at a faster rate. When you have a faster metabolic rate, it is easier to lose weight or avoid gaining it.
7) They help to keep blood sugar under control:
Since avocados are such an outstanding source of monosaturated fats, and this means that they can help to regulate blood sugar by reversing insulin resistance. Further, they contain plenty of soluble fiber, and this promotes healthy blood sugar levels as well.
8. They reduce your risk of having a stroke:
The fact that avocados contain so much folate also means that they can help to protect you against the possibility of suffering from a stroke. Numerous studies have established that people who eat the most folate are much less likely to have a stroke.
9) That have powerful anti-inflammatory properties:
Avocados contain polyphenols and flavonoids that have an anti-inflammatory influence on the body. This means that they can help people who suffer from diseases such as arthritis and ulcerative colitis, reducing the severity of their symptoms.
10) They help to maintain eye health:
Out of all the most common fruits and vegetables, it is avocados that contain the most carotenoid lutein. This means that they are an ideal snack if you want to preserve your eyesight well into old age, as they help to protect you from the development of both macular degeneration and cataracts.
11) They can help unborn babies to develop:
Folate is necessary if an unborn child’s brain and spinal cord is to properly develop, and so if you are deficient in folate while you are pregnant then you put your baby at risk of suffering from spinal problems. A lack of folate is linked to neural tube defects such as spina bifida (which leads to an exposed and poorly functioning spines), and anencephaly (which leaves part of the brain exposed). As mentioned above, avocados are a great source of folate, making them an ideal snack if you are pregnant.
As is obvious from the above health benefits, avocados are an excellent addition to your diet if you want to increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables. However, make sure that you eat them in moderation in order to avoid gaining weight. A few avocados a week will not do your waistline any harm, and your body will benefit a great deal.