Despite its high caloric and fat content, the avocado has a host of nutritional benefits that outweigh its downside.
For years, we have been told to avoid the Avocado because of its high caloric and fat content. An avocado contains a whopping 731 calories and over 30 grams of fat. Despite these drawbacks, nutritionists say adding a little avocado to your diet each day packs a beneficial punch that outweighs the fat and calories.
There are many nutritional benefits of avocado and researches have been trying to disprove the myths about avocado being bad for health. Avocado oil itself is known to have several health and culinary benefits. Avocado is rich in fat and therefore dense in calories. It is the fat contained in the pulp of the fruit that makes it an extremely useful skin care ingredient. Even as a whole fruit, there are many important advantages of Avocado.
Avocado, a fruit native to Mexico, Central America and Guam, grows on a tree with an egg-shaped pit. Avocado has been in cultivation since thousands of years. Avocado is a pear shape with dark green or blackish skin with a large seed. It is a fruit belonging to the genus Persea in the Lauraceae family. Avocado also known as 'alligator pear', the avocado is hated and loved with equal intensity. It is hated because it has high calorie content when compared to many other fruits. It is loved because it is tasty and filled with vital nutrients. In fact, Avocados are so nutrient dense that they have been called the 'most nutritious of all fruits' by experts.
Did you know that, Avocado has been called the world's most perfect food? It has achieved this distinction because many nutritionists claim it not only contains everything a person needs to survive - but it has also been found to contribute to the prevention and control of Alzheimer, Cancer, Heart disease, Diabetes mellitus and other health conditions.
Avocado, also called the alligator pear, is a high-fibre, sodium and cholesterol-free food that provides nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fibre, is rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and foliate) - as well as potassium.
The virtues of the Avocado are too numerous to mention, but here are just a few more health benefits that its nutritional profile provide:
- Monounsaturated Fats - These types of fats help control triglycerides in the bloodstream, lower blood cholesterol and control diabetes.
- Foliate - This water-soluble B vitamin promotes healthy cell and tissue development. According the National Institute of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements, "This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Foliate is also essential for metabolism of homocysteine and helps maintain normal levels of this amino acid."
- Lutein - This is a carotenoid (a natural pigment) that protects against cataracts and certain types of cancer and reduces the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults 65 years of age and older. Avocados contain 3 or more times as much lutein as found in other common vegetables and fruits.
- Oleic acid and Potassium - Both of these nutrients also help in lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of high blood pressure.
If you eat Avocado regularly, your immune system will be strengthened. Avocado also reduces the risk of kidney stone development, prevents you from glaucoma, cataracts and astigmatism; reduces the risk of stroke and high blood pressure; is effective in ulcers treatment, and skin disorders like dry skin and psoriasis. It is beneficial for healthy fetal development and also soothes nausea and upset stomach during pregnancy.
10 Health Benefits of Avocados
Here are ten reasons to eat an Avocado a day:
- Prostate Cancer Prevention - Avocados have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.
- Oral Cancer Defense - Research has shown that certain compounds in Avocados are able to seek out pre-cancerous and cancerous oral cancer cells and destroy them without harming healthy cells.
- Breast Cancer Protection - Avocado, like olive oil, is high in oleic acid, which has been shown to prevent breast cancer in numerous studies.
- Eye Health - Avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit. Lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts, two disabling age-related eye diseases.
- Lower Cholesterol - Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. In one study, 45 volunteers experienced an average drop in cholesterol of 17% after eating avocados for only one week.
- Heart Health - One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don't. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.
- Stroke Prevention - The high levels of folate in Avocado are also protective against strokes. People who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower risk of stroke than those who don't.
- Better Nutrient Absorption - Research has found that certain nutrients are absorbed better when eaten with Avocado. In one study, when participants ate a salad containing Avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes lycopene and beta carotene) than those who didn't include Avocados.
- Glutathione Source - Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, an important antioxidant that researchers say is important in preventing aging, cancer and heart disease.
- Vitamin E Powerhouse - Avocados are the best fruit source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin that protects against many diseases and helps maintains overall health.
Just looking at all of these nutritional and health benefits the Avocado provides, it's no wonder it's been deemed as a super food. If someone ever asks you, "What are the nutritional and health benefits of Avocado?" you have plenty to say in response. Avocados are very easy to come by, and you can also plant these in your garden. You can have your own stash of Avocados in your own back yard. Avocados should be included in the daily diet plan. Because they are beneficial for overall nutrition of your body.
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