FOOD AND NUTRITION TIPS: Health Benefits of Avocados
You’ve probably seen avocados being touted as a heart-healthy superfood in recent years.
The next time you’re grabbing that burrito or turkey sandwich, you might want to consider adding a healthy dollop of guacamole.
Here are four reasons that you should consider eating a little bit of avocado each day.
1. You may reduce your risk of heart disease.
Avocados have been shown to positively benefit our cardiovascular system in a number of ways due to its low saturated fat and high unsaturated fat content. Consuming excess saturated fat (>10% of total calories) may raise your LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. On the contrary, consuming adequate unsaturated fat in your diet may help lower LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol). The same time maintain HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol) and potentially improve your insulin sensitivity.
In addition its nutritious fat content, avocados also contain a potent mix of nutrients (e.g., potassium and lutein). Including plenty of antioxidants such as carotenoids, called xanthophylls and phenols. These compounds can help prevent inflammation and oxidative stress in the blood vessels while facilitating improved blood flow.
2. You may have an easier time maintaining your weight.
Eating fat to lose fat: who would have thought? Avocados can help with weight-loss and maintaining a healthy BMI by promoting a feeling of satiety. Avocado in meals helped extend feelings of fullness and reduced the desire to overindulge. The belly-filling properties of avocados are aided by their high fibre content, about 14g per fruit on average. In addition, higher avocado consumption has been associated with smaller waistlines and lower BMIs.
3. You might reduce your risk of cancer.
Food and nutrition tips: Avocados provide us with numerous phytochemicals that may help prevent cancer. Including the previously discussed xanthophylls and phenols. A protein compound called glutathione, along with the xanthophyll lutein (both found in avocados), have been associated with decreased rates of oral cancer. Preliminary data also show promising results for avocados potential role in reducing the risk of both breast and prostate cancers. Additionally, preliminary studies demonstrate that a specific type of fav derived from avocados is able to exert anti-cancer effects on acute myeloid leukaemia cells. Together, these studies show that further research needs to be conducted to draw more conclusive results.
4. You will protect your skin and eyes well into old age.
As it turns out, avocado carotenoids do quite a number of things for our body. Both lutein and another compound found in avocados called zeaxanthin can slow age-related ocular decline and prevent vision dysfunction. In addition, these same two nutrients also act as buffers against oxidative UV damage, keeping our skin smooth and healthy. The bioavailability (ease of absorption by our body) of carotenoids from avocados compared to many other fruits and vegetables makes eating avocados every day a sensible choice.