Avocados offer innumerable medicinal value

Avocados are rich in omega acids, antioxidants and other nutrients, many of which work as preventives against heart disease, problems with vision etc. Find out how avocado in your diet can keep you healthy.

Avocados are creamy, delicious fruits with plenty of nutrients and important plant chemicals that have medicinal properties.

Promotes heart health

The avocado oil is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which helps to promote healthy blood lipid profiles. Seventy percent of the oils in avocado is made up of oleic acid, which is good for the heart. Oleic acid is an omega-9 fatty acid. The positive effects of oleic acid are well known.

There have been several clinical studies that have found avocado to be good for heart health. Several studies have also found that avocado helps to lower levels of total cholesterol in the blood while increasing levels of HDL or the good cholesterol. Some studies on rats have found avocado even lowers blood triglycerides, as well as blood pressure.

Has antioxidant properties

Avocados are rich in antioxidants like lutein, lycopene and beta-carotene. The highest concentration of these antioxidants is present in the dark green flesh that you will find just under the peel. Antioxidants are good for removing toxins and reducing cell damage.

Improves absorption of nutrients

Fat soluble vitamins present in avocado are more easily absorbed into the body. If you eat other foods with avocado, the fat-soluble nutrients present in those foods will also be more easily absorbed.

Studies have found that adding avocado oil to salads with carotenoid-rich foods like carrots, spinach and romaine lettuce increases the absorption of this antioxidant. Carotenoid in the food is believed to lower risk of diabetes, and also lower risk of eye disease and certain cancers.

Improves eye health in elderly

Lutein and another antioxidant zeaxanthin, in particular, are good for the eyes. The results of some studies on avocado suggest that these antioxidants can help with reduced risk of cataract and aging-related macular degeneration.

Improves skin conditions

Avocado oil is rich in fatty acids that are also good for the skin. Studies have found that avocado oil can help to treat psoriasis when used in a cream also containing vitamin B12.

The oil has also interested researchers because of its ability to heal skin injuries. More research is needed to confirm if avocado oil can indeed heal wounds in humans. Tests so far have only been done on rats.

Promotes digestive health

Avocados are rich in fibres. 100 grammes of the fruit contains about 7 grammes of fibre. Few other fruits and vegetables offer such high percentages of fibre. Three-fourth of the fibre in the fruit is of the insoluble kind. Insoluble fibres, when consumed with enough fluids, help to hold a lot of water. This slows down digestion because foods move more slowly through the digestive tract.

This means you feel more satiated, and less hungry after a meal of avocados. Stool generated is also softer and larger, which helps to prevent strained bowels and constipation.

The remaining soluble fibres in avocado help to maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. As is the case with chia seeds, for the fibre in avocados to take full effect, it needs a lot of water to dissolve into a gel that binds with cholesterol and lowers glucose absorption.

Repairs dry hair

Avocados can be applied topically on hair shafts to make them stronger and shinier. The fats in the fruit moisturise and nourish the hair, while the proteins give it strength. A mashed avocado can be mixed with a whole egg and one teaspoon of olive oil and applied on the scalp and the length of the hair and left on for at least half an hour. Regular treatment gives glossy, healthier hair.

Avocados make a nourishing face pack as well, one that can fade away fine lines and delay the onset of fresh wrinkles. The fruit can be mashed and applied liberally all over the face and left on for 15-20 minutes, before rinsing with water.

A primer on Avocado

  • Avocados are nutrient dense food and have a copious amount of monounsaturated fats, known as heart-friendly fats. This means they are also high in calories. And an average avocado can have around 225 calories.
  • They are packed with nutrients and 100 grammes of this buttery fruit provides over 15% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of folate and roughly 500mg of potassium. There is around 10% of the RDA of vitamin B6, vitamin C and vitamin E in an avocado. The fruit also has substantial amounts of magnesium, vitamin A and calcium in it.
  • The presence of beta-sitosterol, a phytochemical known to lower cholesterol levels make avocados a healthy fruit. Glutathione is another phytochemical available in healthy amounts in avocados. It protects against different types of cancer.
  • The fruit is one of the richest plant sources of protein and overall avocados pack quite a nutritious punch

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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