health benefits of avocado

The Health Benefits of Avocado

The green superfood avocado is a great source of nutrients and phytochemicals that provide several health benefits. It contains folate, which helps prevent the build-up of homocysteine, a substance that slows circulation and delivery of nutrients to your brain. It also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect your eyes by reducing damage from ultraviolet light.

High in Vitamin C

Avocados are rich in vitamin C, a water-soluble nutrient that helps keep the immune system healthy. The body cannot synthesize this nutrient, so it is essential to consume it regularly. Avocados also provide folate and vitamin E, both fat-soluble vitamins.

Folate helps prevent high homocysteine levels that can reduce vascular endothelial health and increase cardiovascular disease risk (IOM, 1998). Half an avocado provides 27 mg of folate and 0.09 mg of vitamin B-6.

Vitamin C regulates the production of collagen, which boosts calcium absorption and improves bone health. It is also an antioxidant that prevents oxidative stress on cells, which can cause ageing.

Avocados are also rich in potassium, a mineral that plays an important role in regulating blood pressure and sending electrical signals to the muscles to contract. A single serving of avocado provides 10% of the recommended daily value for potassium. Potassium is also crucial for eye health. It protects the lens of the eye against oxidative damage and may slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration.

High in Vitamin E

Avocados contain Vitamin E, an antioxidant that reduces oxidative damage and protects cells. One avocado provides about 3 milligrams, which is roughly half the amount needed daily, says registered dietitian Connie Elick. Try them sliced or whole in a salad, smoothie, or on toast.

They are also rich in potassium, with one serving (half an avocado) containing more than a medium banana does. Potassium lowers sodium levels in the blood and helps stabilize blood pressure.

Folate, a B vitamin, is also found in avocado. Folate is necessary for normal cell function and tissue growth, and is especially important for pregnant women. It is also important for preventing certain cancers and helping your body absorb iron.

Avocados are a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are phytochemicals that help prevent macular degeneration in older adults. More clinical research is needed to confirm these claims, however.

High in Fiber

Avocados are high in fiber and contain monounsaturated fat, a healthy type of fat that reduces cholesterol levels and helps you feel full. It also contains potassium, magnesium, folate, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Folate prevents the buildup of homocysteine, which can impair circulation and reduce brain function. One-half of an avocado provides a good amount of this nutrient.

Eating a diet rich in fiber promotes digestive tract health and helps you maintain a healthy weight. The average person needs 25 to 35 grams of dietary fiber daily, which you can reach with moderate avocado intake.

Avocados are also a great source of plant sterols, including beta-sitosterol, which can help lower cholesterol in people with normal or elevated blood levels. They also contain saponins, which may relieve knee and hip osteoarthritis symptoms. In addition, a diet that includes lutein and zeaxanthin can protect the eyes from UV damage. The vitamin E in avocados can also help protect the eyes from cataract and macular degeneration.

High in Potassium

Avocados have more potassium than a medium banana and are one of the best food sources for this mineral. Potassium helps lower blood pressure and maintains healthy cellular levels, which can help stave off heart disease. A medium avocado packs 431 mg of potassium, which is more than you need daily for most people.

Half of a ripe avocado has 81 mcg of folate, which is 20% of your daily value for this B vitamin. Folate promotes cell growth and DNA synthesis, especially in infants and pregnant women. Research has linked optimal intake of this nutrient with reduced risk for colon, stomach, and pancreatic cancers.

The fats in avocado are monounsaturated, which have been shown to block cholesterol and lower “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. This helps reduce plaque buildup in arteries. A diet high in monounsaturated fats may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and obesity. Avocados are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids that protect against macular degeneration and cataracts.

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