Avocados are a stone fruit with a creamy texture that grows in warm climates. Their potential health benefits include improving digestion, decreasing the risk of depression, and protection against c****r. Also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA). Avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.
Here are some benefits we can get from eating an avocado:
1. Avocados are nutrient rich
Avocados are rich in vitamins and minerals. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one serving (one-fifth of an avocado, approximately 40 grams) contains: 64 calories, almost 6 grams of fat, 3.4 grams of carbohydrate, less than a gram of sugar, almost 3 grams of fiber, and are a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. They also provide lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.
2. Healthy for the heart
Avocados contain 25 milligrams per ounce of a natural plant sterol called beta-sitosterol. Regular consumption of beta-sitosterol and other plant sterols has been seen to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
3. Great for vision
Avocados contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that are especially concentrated in the tissues in the eyes where they provide antioxidant protection to help minimize damage, including from ultraviolet light.
4. Osteoporosis prevention
Vitamin K is essential for bone health. Half of an avocado provides approximately 25 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K.
5. Healthy babies
Folate is also known as folic acid. Folate is extremely important for a healthy pregnancy. Adequate intake reduces the risk of miscarriage and neural tube defects in infants.
6. Lower risk of depression
Foods containing high levels of folate may help to decrease the risk of depression because folate helps to prevent the build-up of homocysteine, a substance that can impair circulation and delivery of nutrients to the brain.
7. Improves digestion
Despite its creamy texture, an avocado is actually high in fiber with approximately 6-7 grams per half fruit. Eating foods with natural fiber can help prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract.
8. Natural detoxification
Adequate fiber promotes regular bowel movements, which are crucial for the daily excretion of toxins through the bile and stool. Recent studies have shown that dietary fiber may also play a role in regulating the immune system and inflammation.
9. Osteoarthritis treatment
Substances called saponins, found in avocados, soy, and some other plant foods, are associated with relief of symptoms in knee osteoarthritis, with further research planned to determine the long-term effects of isolated extracts.
10. Antimicrobial action
Avocados contain substances that have antimicrobial activity, particularly against Escherichia coli, a leading cause of food p0is0ning.