Avocados have been dubbed a superfood and justifiably so. For a period of time they were thought to be unhealthy because they were rich in fats.
However, a little investigation eventually revealed that while that is true, avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are extremely healthy.
Eating more healthy fats has been shown to prevent heart disease and certain cancers (1) as well as actually lower bad cholesterol.
Go Ahead And Enjoy That Guacamole!
Avocados are one of nature’s most well-rounded nutritional sources.
They are rich in antioxidants which battle oxidative stress and help to prevent the development of cancerous tumors. Its antioxidant contents also dramatically slow down the aging process.
Avocados contain many nutrients that help improve all systems and bodily functions. In fact, one avocado holds approximately 20 essential nutrients, including:
- Thiamine (vitamin B1); riboflavin (B2); niacin (B3); pantothenic acid (B5); B6; biotin (B7); and folic acid (B9).
- Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that is fat soluble.
- Vitamin A which is extremely important to eye health.
- Potassium, about twice as much as bananas!
- Calcium for bones.
- Dietary fiber that assists the digestive system.
- Magnesium, which offers a wide range of health benefits.
Carotenoids and Sterols
One of the avocados most valuable roles is enhancing the bioavailability of fat-soluble carotenoids in other fruits and vegetables (2).
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For example, adding avocado to a salad increases the body’s ability to absorb nutrients in the salad.
Beta-sitosterol is a phytosterols, or plant sterols, found in avocados. Two essential actions that this compound produces in the body is balancing the endocrine system and hormone regulation. It boosts certain hormones such as testosterone in men and progesterone in women. (3)
This sterol also either blocks or inhibits the body’s ability to use estrogen. This is effective in preventing the formation of hormone dependent malignancies like breast, prostate, and colon cancers.
Sterols enhance the immune system’s ability to recognize cancer and quickly respond with antitumorigenic reactions.
Boost Cognition and Mitochondrial Functions
A study which was published on PubMed discusses the effect of avocado oil on diabetic brain damage.
Subjects were fed avocado oil for a period of 90 days. The oil improved the functions of brain mitochondrial and protected mitochondrial respiration impairment. (4)
Consuming avocados can combat multiple visible signs of aging as well as internal symptoms.
During the aging process collagen drops significantly and wrinkles begin to appear.
A group of individuals from a Brazilian based university discovered that avocado oil enhances the healing abilities in the body.
It was found to reduce inflammation and promote collagen production. The researchers determined that oleic acid content of avocados was in large part responsible for these two actions. (5)
Avocados are a superfood you definitely should eat more often. It’s loaded with healthy fats that your body needs to function optimally.
Avocados are very versatile in the kitchen. So add it to your salads, smoothies or use it to make dessert!