What Is an Avocado?
Avocado is an ever green, tropical tree with green, pear-shaped, nutrient-dense fruit. The term avocado refers to both the tree and the fruit.Avocados come in hundreds of different varieties. And the tree is a member of the flowering plant family, Laurence.
Avocado snagged a spot as one the world’s healthiest super-foods — and for good reason. In addition to being delicious and easy to enjoy, avocados also contain a hearty dose of important nutrients, such as fiber, healthy fats, potassium and vitamin K. There are also several avocado benefits, with research suggesting that avocados could help enhance heart health, boost weight loss and keep your digestive tract running smooth.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), these are the nutrition facts for about one-half, or 68 grams (g), of an avocado: (3)
Dietary fiber 6 g
Total sugar 0.2 g
Potassium 345 milligrams (mg)
Sodium 5.5 mg
Magnesium 19.5 mg
Vitamin A 43 micrograms (μg)
Vitamin E 1.3 mg
Vitamin K 14 μg
Vitamin B-6 0.2 mg
Monounsaturated fatty acids 6.7 g
This is come 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.
Health Benefits of Avocado
Avocado health benefits are extensive and include:
Avocado Eaters tend to be Healthier
Avocado consumers tend to have higher nutrient intake and lower rates of metabolic syndrome. They also have lower weight, lower BMI, less belly fat, and higher levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or “good”cholesterol).
Supports Eye, Skin and Hair Health
Avocados are high-antioxidant foods that contain lute-in, a type of carotene that protects eye health and preserves healthy, youthful-looking skin and hair. Carotids are a group of antioxidant petrochemicals found in veggies like carrots, squash and sweet potatoes that are known for blocking the effects of environmental toxins like pollution and UV light damage. Research shows that dietary carotids provide health benefits related to disease prevention, particularly certain cancers of the skin and age-related eye disorders like macular degeneration. Lute-in appears to be beneficial for eye health because it absorbs the type of damaging blue light rays that enter the eyes and skin, changing DNA and causing free radical damage. Research also shows that adding avocado to a meal can help boost carotene absorption.
Avocados can help you Better Absorb Antioxidants
Some nutrients are fat-soluble. That means you should consume them with fats so your body can proper absorb them. A 2005 study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that eating carotids (antioxidants including lycopene and beta-carotene) with avocado or avocado oil increased their absorption.
Avocado May Help Prevent Cancer
There is limit evidence that avocado may be beneficial in cancer treatment and prevention.Test-tube studies suggest that it may help reduce side effects of chemotherapy in human lymphocytes.Avocado extract has shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells in a laboratory.However, keep in mind that these studies were done in isolated cells and do not necessary prove what happen inside people. Human-based research is unavailable.
Promotes Weight Loss
They found that consumption of 30 grams a day of fat from avocado within an energy-restricted diet didn’t compromise weight loss at all when substituted for 30 grams a day of mixed dietary fats. The diet high in avocados resulted in significant weight loss in addition to other health improvements. Measurements including body mass, body mass index and percentage of body fat decreased significant in both groups during the study, but only the avocado group experienced positive changes in fatty acid blood serum levels, demonstrating that there are clear avocado benefits for weight loss.
Half of an avocado provides approximately 25 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K.This nutrient is overlook, but is essential for bone health.Vitamin K is overshadow 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.
Protection from Chronic Disease
According to the Department of Internal Medicine and Nutritional Sciences Program of the University of Kentucky, high fiber intakes are associate with significantl lower risks of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Increased fiber intake has shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and enhance weight loss for obese individuals.