The avocado has become remarkably popular in recent years, and for good reason: the fruit has a remarkably unique taste, it contains “healthy” fats, and it’s packed with protein, something that sets it apart from other fruits and vegetables. The avocado is also incredibly versatile, meaning it’s great in a sandwich, salad, and of course, on toast. It’s also the central ingredient in guacamole, one of the world’s most popular dishes.
That’s a quick run-down of some of the avocado’s many benefits, but let’s take a closer look at some excellent reasons to make the fruit an integral part of your daily diet.
Packed with Vitamin K
Avocado is high in a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, starting with vitamin K. A single 100-gram serving of avocado contains roughly one-quarter the daily recommended amount of this unique vitamin, which is found in a few other “superfoods,” including broccoli, brussels sprouts, and dark, leafy greens like kale and spinach.
There are several key benefits to getting a sufficient amount of vitamin K every day. For one, it can help assist in the blood clotting process, making it useful for anyone using a medication that actively thins the blood. Vitamin K can also help lower cholesterol, build stronger bones, and even relieve itching.
Full of Folate
Avocado is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals that, together, can help improve one’s health when the fruit is made a part of their daily diet. One of the most impressive benefits of avocado is folate, with a single 100-gram serving of the fruit containing about one-fifth an individual’s daily requirement.
Folate, which is a form of vitamin B, is available in many fruits and vegetables and has a variety of important benefits. It’s been shown to help women during pregnancy, may assist in staving off dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, can help prevent certain types of cancer, and may assist with sleep problems, anxiety, and depression.
Boost Your Immune System
When we come down with a nasty cold, many of us reach for citrus fruit or another source of vitamin C, which has been shown to help boost the immune system. But that’s a reactionary approach that’s unlikely to help the immune system prevent colds before they settle in. A more effective approach involves consuming lots of vitamin C on a regular basis by eating foods that contain the vitamin in large amounts.
Enter the avocado, which provides almost one-fifth your daily requirement of vitamin C in a single 100-gram serving. That means adding avocado to your daily diet could significantly enhance your immune system and give you the strength to fight off a cold before it settles in and ruins your week.
When we think of potassium, our thoughts usually gravitate towards bananas, the delicious fruit that contains an ample amount of the valuable nutrient. But did you know that avocados actually contain more potassium than most bananas? That’s critical, particularly as research shows that not enough people get a sufficient amount of potassium in their daily diets.
Overall, a single serving of avocado, which is 100 grams, contains about 14-percent of your daily requirement, or about one-sixth. Potassium, if you’re not aware, has the power to help reduce blood pressure levels, helping individuals with a family history of heart problems, like heart attack or stroke, stay healthy. It’s also been shown to help prevent kidney failure.
Filled with Fatty Acids
For much of the late twentieth century, the dominant diet trend involved avoiding fat at all costs. It’s one reason avocados weren’t nearly as popular back then as they are now. It’s estimated that roughly three-quarters of the calories found in avocados come from fat, something that would have alarmed people drawing up diets in the 1980s and 1990s.
Today, we understand that certain types of fat, like monounsaturated fatty acids, can actually help keep us healthy. In fact, the monounsaturated fats found in avocados can help boost heart health and keep our cardiovascular system working as it should. This type of fat can also help in the fight against inflammation, which makes it great at preventing infections.
Fiber has long been identified as an important part of the daily diet, and yet so few people actually get enough of it. And that’s a big problem, as fiber plays a central role in helping us feel full — thereby staving off unhealthy snack binges — and helping food move throughout the digestive process. Without enough fiber, you’re more likely to feel bloated and have trouble staying “regular.”
In essence, then, fiber plays an important role in helping us stay in shape and feel comfortable enough to get through the day. And there’s lots of it in avocado, with a single 100-gram serving packing in 7 grams of fiber, which is more than a quarter of your daily requirement.
Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Foods that are high in cholesterol — like fatty cuts of red meat and baked goods — pose a serious threat to the heart, particularly as we enter the late adult years. Women and especially men with a family history of heart disease need to be vigilant about tracking their cholesterol and discussing cholesterol reduction strategies with their family doctor.
The avocado can play a role in such strategies because it’s been shown to help lower our cholesterol levels. It can also limit the buildup of triglycerides, which can contribute to the development of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and fight off inflammation. In fact, some studies have shown that a diet including avocados can help cut blood triglycerides and cholesterol levels by about one-fifth. Altogether, that makes avocado an excellent choice for individuals looking to protect their heart and reduce their cholesterol.
Soak Up Nutrients Better
When you eat something healthy, like a fruit, vegetable, whole grain food, you probably assume that your body will absorb every last nutrient in that item. But that’s not actually the case; in fact, certain lifestyle and dietary choices can have a direct impact on how your body absorbs vitamins and minerals from your food.
That’s why it’s important to consume foods that can actually boost your body’s ability to safely and effectively absorb nutrients. Avocado is particularly effective in this, because its unique mix of vitamins and minerals can help you absorb food better from the other foods that make up your overall diet. In fact, studies have suggested that people who eat avocados regularly are far more successful in absorbing antioxidants from their foods, which means they are in a better position to fight off infections and possibly even serious diseases like cancer.
Power to Your Peepers
There are few body parts more important than your eyes. Imagine living in a world where you can’t view great works of art, see your loved ones as they come home from work, or watch your favorite movies, television shows, and video games. Unfortunately, many people struggle to maintain their eyesight as they age and deal with a range of diseases that can seriously impact the ability to see.
Avocados can actually help protect our eyes against these kinds of threats because they assist in the absorption of valuable antioxidants. This includes the type of antioxidant known as carotenoids, including lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which have been linked to the status of eye health. In fact, studies have shown that getting a sufficient amount of these carotenoids on a regular basis can significantly reduce the risk of cataract, macular degeneration, and other health problems affecting the eyes.
There may be no tougher job than that of an oncologist, a physician who specializes in treating cancer patients. Each day, they must tell someone that they’ve developed a disease that, in many cases, proves fatal, leaving only sadness and tragedy in its wake.
You can help make an oncologist’s job just a bit easier by living a healthy lifestyle that includes foods shown to reduce the chances of developing some form of cancer. Avocados fit the bill, as they’re high in the antioxidants that can help destroy free radicals and limit cancer’s opportunity to take hold in a system. Additionally, avocados have been shown to help reduce the side effects emerging from chemotherapy treatment.
Limit the Impact of Arthritis
Arthritis is a problem that affects people the world over and treatments for the issue remain only somewhat effective. Some of these treatments include pills, creams, physiotherapy, even surgery, with varying results. But what if you could help prevent or treat arthritis by making some changes to your diet?
Adding avocado to your daily regimen can actually help keep arthritis at bay. That’s because the avocado contains anti-inflammatory properties that can cut down on the swelling that makes arthritis and joint pain so painful and uncomfortable. In fact, studies have shown that regularly consuming avocado can seriously reduce the symptoms associated with osteoarthritis.
Get in Shape
One of the main draws of avocados is that they can help you lose weight. How so? Because they contain both protein and monounsaturated fats, which together can help promote a feeling of fullness and prevent us from indulging in less healthy foods. On top of that, avocados contain lots of fiber and relatively few carbohydrates.
In fact, studies have shown that people who regularly eat avocados felt more satisfied after their meals and had a much lower desire to consume food again within the next 5 hours. Together, these findings mean that eating avocado can help curb our appetites and give us the strength required to manage an arduous weight loss plan.
Versatile and Delicious
Unlike many of the other “superfoods” out there, like kale or quinoa, avocados are highly versatile and can be added to a wide variety of dishes. In the past, they were mostly used in dips like guacamole and possibly in sandwiches and salads. But, they’re increasingly being used for other purposes.
In fact, because of their creamy, rich texture, avocados can be whipped into serving roles usually filled by less healthy food items, like mayonnaise or butter. You can make brownies with them or use them to coat your morning toast. And because they’re packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they’ll do a lot more to help you get through the day than mayo, butter, or margarine.