The avocado is a unique fruit. It is high in healthy fats, unlike other fruits that consist primarily of carbohydrates. Numerous studies show that it has powerful health benefits. Here are health benefits of avocado that are supported by scientific research.
Avocado is very nutritious
This fruit is prized for its high nutrient value and is added to various dishes such as githeri, vegetables etc due to its good flavor and rich texture. It is the main ingredient in guacamole. These days, the avocado has become an incredibly popular food among health-conscious individuals. It’s often referred to as a superfood, which is not surprising given its health properties.
There are many types of avocado that vary in shape and the most popular variety in Kenya being the Hass avocado.
Here are some of the most abundant nutrients, in a single 100-gram serving
Vitamin K: 26% of the daily value (DV)
Folate: 20% of the DV
Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
Potassium: 14% of the DV
Vitamin B5: 14% of the DV
Vitamin B6: 13% of the DV
Vitamin E: 10% of the DV
It also contains small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin).
This is coming with 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats. Although it contains 9 grams of carbs, 7 of those are fiber, so there are only 2 “net” carbs, making this a low-carb friendly plant food. Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium and are low in saturated fat.
Watch this video about some benefits of avocado:
Healthy for the Heart
Avocados contain 1 milligram per gram 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.
High in Potassium
The significant levels of potassium make avocados a powerful fruit in the fight against hypertension. According to research eating potassium-rich foods like avocados and bananas reduces the tension of blood vessels and arteries, regulating blood pressure. This, in turn, reduces the chances of clotting, heart attacks, and strokes as well as kidney failure.
Rich in Plant Compounds
Aside from being a rich source of vitamins, minerals and healthy fat, avocado is a rich source of plant compounds that is responsible for a lot of its health benefits namely:
Carotenoids – Avocados contain carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin that are beneficial to our eyes and lowers the risk of age-related eye conditions.
Persenones A and B – These antioxidants help prevent various forms of cancer and inflammation.
D-Mannoheptulose – This is a type of sugar found in Avocado that is claimed to help control blood sugar levels.
Avocado is rich in carotenoids – a type of antioxidant. Combine it with healthy fat will help improve the absorption properties of these antioxidants.
Avocado is loaded with Heart Healthy Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
Avocado is a high-fat food. 77% of the calories in it are from fat, making it one of the fattiest plant foods in existence.
But they don’t just contain any fat. The majority of the fat in avocado is oleic acid — a monounsaturated fatty acid that is also the major component of olive oil and believed to be responsible for some of its health benefits.
Oleic acid has been associated with reduced inflammation and shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer. The fats in avocado are also rather resistant to heat-induced oxidation, making avocado oil a healthy and safe choice for cooking.
Half of an avocado provides approximately 25% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K. This nutrient is often overlooked, but is essential for bone health.
Vitamin K is often overshadowed by calcium and vitamin D when thinking of nutrients important for maintaining healthy bones, however, eating a diet with adequate vitamin K can support bone health by increasing calcium absorption and reducing urinary excretion of calcium.
Aids in Digestion
Avocados are soothing for the intestine and aid in digestion. They contain soluble and insoluble fibers that help to keep the digestive system running smoothly. These types of fiber are very important for digestion because they bulk up stools and help ensure the smooth passage of food through the intestinal tract.
Furthermore, they stimulate gastric and digestive juices so nutrients are absorbed in the most efficient and rapid way. Finally, they reduce the symptoms from conditions like constipation and diarrhea. All in all, the huge amount of fiber found in avocados (40% of daily requirement per serving) makes this a very important food for optimizing your digestive health