Health Benefits of Eating Avocados
Avocados have been called the world’s most perfect food as they contain most of the nutrients that we need in order to survive. They not only taste delicious but they provide many health benefits due to these powerful pre-loaded nutrients.
In some countries, avocados are called alligator pears and are in the top food list for brain health. However, avocados do more than just protect our brain. They are a high fiber packed food and are also sodium free.
Here are some other great benefits of eating avocados.
Healthy Cholesterol Levels – Avocados Contain Monounsaturated Fats
Studies have shown that eating avocados is good for your cholesterol. A study revealed that those men and women who consumed one avocado every day were within one week found to have lower total cholesterol levels of up to 17%.
This lowering of cholesterol levels is caused by a reduction in the LDL or bad cholesterol and triglycerides. In turn, the HDL or good cholesterol levels increased due to avocado consumption.
This is important to note! Your HDL cholesterol levels are an important part of your cholesterol count and higher is better!
Experts attribute this occurrence to the monounsaturated fat content of avocados. Avocados contain a specific type of monounsaturated fat known as ‘oleic acid’ that acts in activating the part of the brain that tells you, you are full. This is one of the reasons why avocados promote satiety much better than the type of fats found in highly processed foods.
Additionally, its healthy fat content was also found to be beneficial for promoting better absorption and efficient use of carotenoids.
Prevent Heart Disease and Cancer – Avocados Contain Carotenoids
Avocados contain both well-known and not so well-known carotenoids such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lutein, neoxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, violaxanthin, zeaxanthin and neochrome. Research shows that carotenoids are powerful antioxidants that are important for the prevention of heart diseases and cancer.
Carotenoids also help enhance the ability of the immune system to fight against infections. Some of these carotenoids in avocados serve as precursors of vitamin A which helps inhibit free radical formation and its adverse effects. This helps to protect individuals from arthritis and prevent the progression of cancer.
A study which was published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry further demonstrated the ability of carotenoids to fight against cancer. In the study, scientists exposed prostate cancer cells to the groups of carotenoids extracted from avocados. The results showed that such exposure inhibited the growth and replication of cancer cells.
Protect Against Constipation and Colon Cancer – Avocados Contain Fiber
Avocados are also loaded with soluble and insoluble fibers. Not many foods contain both types of fiber. Insoluble fiber helps ensure efficient bowel movements.
Therefore, an individual is protected from bouts of constipation while also reducing the risk of developing colorectal cancer. On the other hand, its soluble fiber content is what makes you feel fuller longer. This is what makes avocados a helpful diet addition to weight management.
Boost Your Immune System – Avocados Contain Vitamin E
One piece of avocado has approximately 4.16 milligrams of vitamin E known as alpha-tocopherol. Studies reveal that alpha-tocopherol is the most active form of vitamin E that is known to help boost the immune system. In addition, it helps reduce inflammation, prevents cholesterol oxidation, prevents the formation of eye cataracts and protects an individual against cognitive decline.