Advertisement The avocado is widely considered to be a superfood due to its high amounts of nutrients and antioxidants. It is endemic to Mexico and Central America, but it is also widely consumed around the world. When ripe, the avocado has a mild, muted flavor and a thick, buttery texture, which is why it is typically consumed as guacamole, a creamy avocado-based dip.
There are many varieties of avocado that differ in shape, color and flavor. The Hass avocado is one of the most popular varieties. It is also colloquially known as the “alligator pear” due to its pear-like shape and green, pebbly skin.
But regardless of variety, avocados provide several health benefits linked to immunity, digestion, cardiovascular health and cell development. Here are 9 reasons why you should include this extremely healthy superfood in your diet: Contains essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals
The avocado is an incredibly nutritious fruit. Half an avocado contains the following : Calories: 114 kcal
Carbohydrates: 6 g
Sugar: 0.2 g
Fiber: 5 g
Protein: 1 g
Fat: 10.5 g
Potassium: 345 mg
Magnesium: 20 mg
Vitamin C: 6 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg
The avocado also contains traces of vitamins A and E, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, manganese, zinc and phosphorus. Moreover, avocados contain zero cholesterol and sodium. Boosts immunity
Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, plays an important role in immunity enhancement. It prevents cellular damage caused by free radicals, which can eventually lead to chronic diseases and premature aging.
Avocados also contain high levels of omega-3 fatty acids that boost immunity by stimulating the production of white blood cells. Meanwhile, essential B vitamins protect the body by fighting disease-causing pathogens. Supports cell development
Avocados contain 18 essential amino acids that play essential roles in cell growth and development. Amino acids are organic compounds that combine to form proteins. In turn, proteins provide structural support, fortifying the cells of bones, nails, hair and skin. Regulates blood sugar levels
Compared to many fruits that naturally contain fructose, avocados have very low sugar content. It contains a unique sugar known as D-mannoheptulose, which acts as a phytochemical to regulate blood sugar levels. Therefore, regular avocado consumption can reduce high blood sugar levels significantly, thereby lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
D-mannoheptulose can also inhibit excess production of insulin in the pancreas, which can otherwise lead to hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Supports heart health
Avocado consumption is also linked to heart health. Several clinical studies show that avocados can lower cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart attack, congestive heart failure and stroke. Aids digestion
Avocados also contain high amounts of dietary fiber, which promotes digestion and regulates bowel movement. Moreover, dietary fiber can promote weight loss since it can sustain satiety for longer periods. Combats aging
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that stimulates the production of collagen, a protein that supports the structure of tendons, ligaments, muscles, bones and skin. Vitamin E also protects the body’s cells from damage caused by disease-causing free radicals, which can also induce premature aging. Supports fetal development
Avocados contain folate, an essential B vitamin that promotes healthy fetal development especially during the early stages of pregnancy. Vitamin B6, another B vitamin found in avocados, also plays a critical role in fetal development due to its ability to improve brain functions, such as memory and concentration. Improves sleep quality
Snacking on an avocado before bed can help you sleep better at night. Like bananas, avocados are excellent sources of potassium , which acts as a natural muscle relaxant. The avocado’s unsaturated fats can also increase the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates the body’s circadian rhythm.
Avocados are excellent sources of essential nutrients and antioxidants that provide several health benefits. As a versatile fruit , avocados can be used to make smoothies, salads and dressings. But you can always just go ahead and eat it right out of the skin!
Sources: NaturalLivingIdeas.com GoodHousekeeping.com