Avocados are considered one of the world’s best foods.
They contain more than 25 essential nutrients, such as vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, as well as copper, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, fiber, protein, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats (such as omega-3 fatty acids), folate and several other beneficial elements.
The avocado, also called the alligator pear, has a long list of potential health benefits. When consumed on a regular basis, avocados can protect you from various diseases and keep your body and mind healthy for years to come.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of avocados.
1. Nourishes the Skin
Avocados can improve your skin tone as the essential monounsaturated fats in the fruit help the epidermal layer of your skin retain moisture. Avocado oil works great as a natural skin moisturizer. It also can help treat several skin conditions including dry skin, psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema, bruising, wounds, age spots, scars and sun damage. Also, the omega-9 fats present in avocados help reduce skin redness and irritation and promote the body’s natural process of repairing damaged cells. Regular use of avocado also will reduce signs of aging and improve the production of collagen, which maintains your skin’s elasticity and firmness.
2. Promotes Brain Health
Health experts consider avocados one of the top brain-healthy foods due to its high content of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. Omega-3 fatty acids keep your brain healthy by improving the blood supply to the pre-frontal cortex, the front part of the brain responsible for critical thinking, behavior, decision making, and planning. The natural vitamin E present in avocados has been clinically proven to prevent Alzheimer’s from progressing and even reversing symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Those suffering from Alzheimer’s would benefit from eating an avocado daily.
3. Boosts Heart Health
Studies show that people who eat avocados, which are rich in nutrients that boost heart health, have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don’t. Avocados contain vitamin E that prevents cholesterol oxidization, folate that helps reduce dangerous homocystenine levels in the blood, potassium that helps regulate blood pressure, and phytosterols that reduce cholesterol absorption. The monounsaturated fat content also reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and improves overall blood lipid levels.
4. Prevents Birth Defects
The high folic acid content in avocados can protect your unborn baby. Just one cup of avocado provides the recommended dose of folic acid for pregnant women. Folic acid, a vitamin helps the brain and other vital organs develop in the fetus. It is also essential in preventing birth defects, such as neural tube defect and spina bifida.
5. Prevents Arthritis
Avocados have an abundance of anti-inflammatory agents that help prevent or reduce inflammation that leads to arthritis. These include high levels of phytosterols and a variety of carotenoids. They phytosterols are in the fat content. The highest content of the carotenoids are in the darker part of the fruit that sits closest to the skin, so be sure to eat that part too. In a more concentrated form, avocado oil is said to be particularly good as an arthritis treatment when consumed regularly. You can substitute avocado oil for olive oil in many recipes including pesto and vinaigrettes, or use it to dip bread in.
6. Protects Against Cancer
Avocados can help prevent the occurrence of cancers in the mouth, skin, and prostate gland. The anti-cancer properties in avocados are related to its unusual mix of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients. In healthy cells, these properties improve inflammatory and oxidative stress levels. But in cancer cells, they increase oxidative stress and shift the cancer cells into a programmed cell death cycle (apoptosis) to reduce the number of cancer cells. Also, the oleic acid in avocado is effective in preventing breast cancer.