Avocado is a delicious fruit that is extremely beneficial to health. Rich in fiber, potassium, sodium, magnesium, vitamin A, C, E, K 1, folate, B-6, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, choline, lutein, zeaxanthin, cryptoxanthin, phytosterols and monounsaturated fats, which help reduce the risks of chronic diseases, this fruit is the perfect option to add to the diet and achieve a healthier diet.
For, avocado is often cited as a superfood, which is not surprising given its health properties. With that in mind, nutritionist Adriana Stravo explains a little more about the benefits of the fruit. See below:
Health Benefits of Avocado
1. Protects against DNA damage
A study of 83 male airline pilots from an American airline on a biomarker of exposure to cosmic radiation and DNA damage (this population is exposed to high levels of ionizing radiation (IR) known to damage DNA, accelerating the process of aging), showed that high intakes of vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, beta cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin can protect against cumulative DNA damage in people exposed to IR.
2. Decreases hypertension
Avocados are rich in potassium. A 100 gram serving contains 14% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), compared to 10% in bananas, which are a typical food with a high potassium content. In the systematic review and meta-analyses of the effect of increasing potassium intake on the prevention of cardiovascular disease, which included 22 randomized controlled trials with 1,606 participants with hypertension and high blood lipids, and 11 cohort studies with 127,038 participants reporting cardiovascular disease , stroke or heart disease, showed that increasing potassium intake reduced systolic blood pressure by 3.49 and diastolic by 1.96.
3. Lowers total and LDL cholesterol and increases HDL
Avocado is an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids in diets designed to treat hypercholesterolemia. Avocados are rich in plant sterols, which have been shown to lower cholesterol by blocking its absorption into the bloodstream. They are also rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, E, magnesium, folate and zinc. Avocado consumption showed reduced levels of total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol (good).
4. Avocado extract can relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis (OA)
OA is a common, painful and debilitating chronic disease that affects thousands of individuals. Studies suggest that the consumption of 300mg of avocado unsaponifiables (ASU) can reduce hip and knee OA.
5. Reduces risk of heart disease
A meta-analysis of 50 studies on the effect of the Mediterranean diet on metabolic syndrome showed that a diet high in monounsaturated fat was effective in preventing metabolic syndrome. Another study on Mediterranean diet and incidence and mortality from heart disease and stroke followed more than 74,000 women aged between 38 and 63 years. The authors reported that women who adhered to a Mediterranean-style diet had a lower risk of stroke.
6. Helps to absorb antioxidants better
Dietary lipids are considered an important factor for the bioavailability of carotenoids. However, most carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables are low in lipids. In the 2005 study, which evaluated the consumption of avocado or avocado oil and the absorption of carotenoids, it showed that the consumption of 150g of avocado or 24g of avocado oil in salads increased the absorption of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein.
7. It can prevent and help treat cancer
A 2015 study published in Cancer Research showed that avocado B, an avocado-derived compound, can help kill leukemia cells. A 2015 research review published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that the phytochemicals present in avocados make them potentially beneficial for preventing this disease.
8. Improves eye health
Avocados contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals important for eye health. Including fruit in your diet helps reduce your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
9. Keeps blood sugar stable
Avocados are rich in nutrients with properties that can favorably impact the energy balance. Adding avocados to your diet helps keep your blood sugar levels in check. The fat present in the fruit does not change blood glucose. This means that diabetic patients can benefit from consumption. A study by researchers at Loma Linda University found that participants who ate half an avocado for lunch reported feeling full for longer, it also showed that eating avocados did not result in an increase in blood sugar levels. Researchers believe that consumption may be beneficial in maintaining weight and controlling diabetes.
10. Improves digestive health
Avocado fiber not only stabilizes blood sugar, it also helps improve digestive health. It also helps change the balance of bacteria in the gut, increasing healthy ones and decreasing harmful ones that can be the key to some digestive problems. Avocado fat also nourishes the lining of the intestine, which decreases the chance of constipation and the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
11. Improves cognitive function and keeps the nervous system healthy
Fatty acids are crucial in maintaining a healthy nervous system, reproductive system and cognitive processes. As its fatty acids are one of the best benefits of avocado, this makes it an excellent brain food. These acids help balance hormones that directly affect mood. Higher fat diets can reduce the risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders by facilitating the proper thought-processing, hormone production, and stress-reducing mechanisms that occur in the brain. Avocado consumers have higher HDL cholesterol, lower risk of metabolic syndrome, lower weight, BMI and waist circumference.
12. Aids in weight loss
A randomized study published in the Nutrition Journal in 2013 to assess the effect of consumption of Hass avocado on satiety showed that the addition of 150g of Hass avocado (avocado) at lunch influenced post-eating satiety during a subsequent period of 3 and 5 hours in overweight adults.
13. Protects against chronic diseases
According to the University of Kentucky Department of Internal Medicine and Nutritional Sciences Program, high fiber intake is associated with lower risks of developing heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, gastrointestinal disease, stroke, insulin sensitivity, hypercholesterolemia, and helps in weight loss. Despite its creamy texture, avocado contains approximately 3g of fiber for every 100g of pulp.
The benefits of a tasty avocado are diverse, aren’t they? See also how valuable it is to feed fish!
Collaboration: Adriana Stavro