10 Most Outstanding Health benefits of Avocado
Avocados are also known as Ube Oyibo by the Igbos in Nigeria. It’s other name is Alligator Pear, which is mainly due to its shape and the leathery appearance of its skin.
Avocados contain more than 20 essential nutrients which include calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, phosphorus and zinc. They also contain minerals such as vitamin C, B6, B-12, A, D, K, E, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.
Health Benefits of Avocado (ube oyibo)
Avocados are packed with nutrients and are most beneficial when eaten raw or fresh. Elaborated below are some of the most outstanding health benefits of avocado.
1. Aids in weight loss
If you are trying to loss weight, avocado can be a helpful tool as it contains fibre both soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fibre slows the breakdown of carbohydrates in your body, helping you to feel full for longer time.
Also the oleic acid in avocados activates a part of the brain that makes one feel full. This produces a greater feeling of satiety than less healthy saturated fat and trans fats found in processed foods
2. Protect the Eyes against diseases
Avocado contains antioxidants, Luetin and zeaxanthin, that are important for maintaining good eye health. Studies show that these nutrients are linked to a drastically reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which are common in the elderly. iovs.arvojournals.org
3. Stabilize Blood sugar levels
The monounsaturated (good) fats in avocados takes longer time to digest than carbohydrates. They release energy slowly into the blood stream. This prevent spike in glucose levels which could be dangerous for diabetics.
4. Promotes healthy heart
Avocados contains foliate and B6 which reduces the risk of of heart attack and hearth diseases. Vitamin B6 and folic acid, help regulate homocysteine levels. High level of homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
Avocado also contains vitamin E, glutathione, and monounsaturated fat, which help in maintaining a healthy heart.
5. Prevent birth defects
The folate in avocado, a B vitamin commonly known as folic acid is known to prevent birth defects, such as neural tube defect and spina bifida. One cup of avocado provides almost a quarter of your recommended daily intake of folate.
6. Lower Cholesterol Levels
Avocados are contains compound beta-sitosterol, a compound which has been shown to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels.
According to a study, patients with mild hypercholesterolemia who included avocados in their diet for 7 days had 17 percent decrease in total blood cholesterol levels, a 22 percent decrease in both LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels, and a 11 percent increase in HDL (good cholesterol) levels.
7. Regulate Blood pressure levels
Avocado contains high level of potassium, which is the nutrient that help maintain electrical gradients in the body’s cells and serves various important functions.
The significant levels of potassium also make avocados a powerful fruit in the fight against hypertension. Potassium is a vasodilator, which relaxes the tension of blood vessels and arteries, thereby reducing the chances of clotting, heart attacks, and strokes.
Several studies show that having a high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure (ncbi.nim.nih.gov).
8. Ability to absorb nutrients from plant foods.
The raw fat content of avocado stimulate gastric and digestive juices so fat soluble nutrients are absorbed in the most efficient and rapid way in other foods eaten in conjunction.
One 2005 study according mercola.com found that adding avocado to salad allowed the volunteers to absorb three to five times more carotenoids antioxidant molecules, which help protect your body against free radical damage.
9. Skin care
Avocado is used in preparing costmetics because of its ability to nourish the skin. Beta carotene and lycopene found in avocado helps in improving the health and tone of the skin and eliminating signs of premature aging.
Avocados is also used to prepare skin and hair masks. Above all, avocado oil helps in treating plaque psoriasis, a skin disease that causes skin redness and irritation.Vitamin C, an anti oxidant found in avocado contributes to cell growth and repair—from your skin to your nerves.
10. Reduce Inflammation
Avocados are one of the best foods for reducing the inflammation in tissues, joints, and muscles. The Phytonutrient compound found in avocados, such as polyphenols, flavonoids, carotenoids, phytosterols, fatty alcohols, and omega-3 fatty acids, have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, thereby reducing the risk of inflammatory and degenerative disorders like arthritis.