6 science-backed reasons to eat avocado!
Dr. Sneha Ganatra
November 12, 2020
Trendy health food lists and fad diets come and go with every passing year, but most of them feature one fruit consistently—avocado! Also known as butter fruit, it is considered a superfood by health experts across the globe. Very few other natural foods can compare with the avocado, meaning, based on the nutritional value and health benefits of avocado alone, it outdoes several other healthy choices. To add to that, it is also quite unique in flavour and texture, with some chefs even using avocado oil for cooking and as a dressing for fresh dishes.
The avocado fruit is loaded with essential nutrients, plant compounds, and minerals, all of which play different roles when it comes to wellness. In fact, not only is it a a low-carbohydrate fruit, but it is also low on saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium, all of which are ideal for a range of health goals. These factors combined speak volumes for its value in a healthy diet and to help you understand this better, here are a few science-backed avocado benefits you should know about.
6 Avocado Benefits To Keep In Mind
Works effectively for weight loss
When it comes to weight loss, not only is important to watch what you eat but, how much you eat as well. With avocados, you can do both as it packed with nutrition and fibre. Fibre helps keep the body fuller for longer, thus ensuring that you aren’t as hungry during your waking hours. Moreover, the monounsaturated fats in avocadoes have been found to help promote weight loss as well. However, the hero is the high fibre and low-carbohydrate combination of the avocado that makes it excellent at keeping weight in check.
Minimises macular degeneration
Vision problems are quite common, especially as you get older, and there are studies that show that the carotenoids zeaxanthin and lutein are important for eye health. Avocados contain these antioxidants and, as such, reduce the risk of a person developing cataracts. Further, they also reduce the risk of macular degeneration that is brought on by age. There is also research that suggests the added absorption of beta-carotenes facilitated by consuming avocados can help protect the eyes from UV damage too, making the fruit quite beneficial for long-term eye care.
Protects against cancers
There is research that backs the fact that butter fruit benefits extend to preventing certain types of cancers. For instance, folate is an essential mineral needed by the body and it is known to protect the DNA and RNA against undesired mutations during cell division. It is for this reason that you must get adequate intake of folate from foods and avocados are loaded with it. In fact, half a raw avocado gives you about 80mcg of folate, over 20% of the daily value (DV). Folate has the potential to protect the body from cervical, colon, and stomach cancers.
Additionally, avocados also have the phytochemical plant compound, avocation B, that is known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells while simultaneously causing the death of tumours. Other studies have also found that phytochemicals in avocado may also help combat prostate cancer too!
Maintains healthy bones
When it comes to healthy bones, having adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D is crucial. However, the same applies for vitamin K, as it not only supports bone health, but also helps by increasing the body’s ability to absorb calcium and decreasing its urinary excretion. Avocados are rich in vitamin K and just half of this fruit provides for 25% of the daily recommended intake. What’s more, the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin minimise the risk of cartilage damage, especially that characteristic with osteoarthritis.
Aids absorption of nutrients
Butter fruit is well known for its high fat content and this has its own benefit for your body. This is because many of the essential nutrients, such as vitamins K, E, A and D are fat-soluble. Meaning, they require to be paired with a fat in order to get properly absorbed and utilised by the body. Avocados provide the body with fat and a study has found that avocado or avocado oil can increase antioxidant absorption, specifically of carotenoid, by up to 15-fold. This makes any nutrition gained from plant food that much more valuable, which is why you should be adding it to your salads.
Lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels
Besides being a low-cholesterol fruit, avocados are also great for lowering LDL cholesterol levels in the body. In fact, studies have found that you can reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 22% and increase HDL cholesterol by 11% with the help of avocados. Additionally, avocados also contain beta-sitosterol which has been found to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Given the obvious nutritional value of avocado, it comes as no surprise that there are seemingly endless avocado uses across difficult countries and cuisines, be it as a topping or a main ingredient. Butter fruit uses range from a simple salad dressing to elaborate dips or even as a key part of health smoothies.
While most of you may know of guacamole, a Mexican dip that celebrates avocado, chefs also use it to make pasta sauces. Even avocado juice benefits you, whether you drink it plan or mixed with a fruit like raspberry. Thanks to the internet and easy access to recipes, learning how to eat avocado is quite easy and this may be among the many reasons for its popularity. To add to that, it is a key ingredient in many fitness diets mainly due to its healthy fat and fibre content. However, even with all the avocado fruit benefits, the fruit may not a viable choice for everyone.
In such cases, consulting a nutritionist is the smartest approach when adding avocado to your diet and with the Bajaj Finserv Health app, you can find the best health professionals in your vicinity with just a tap! With it, you can book appointments conveniently online and even sign up for an e-consultation via video to address your health without stepping out of your home. Another helpful feature is the app’s ‘Health vault’, which helps you track your fitness levels and vital information digitally and even share the records with a doctor online. Download the app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play today and get started on a journey towards a fitter life!