The avocado is popular for its signature flavor and rich, creamy texture. Fortunately, the star of guacamole is not only tasty and surprisingly versatile, but it is also incredibly nutritious. Unlike other fruits, avocado is loaded with healthy fats in addition to an array of nutrients. In fact, many people don’t even realize that it is a fruit at all. Here are five ways you can use avocados to improve your overall health.
1. Lower Your Risk for Cardiovascular Disease
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Many of the nation’s processed food products contain high amounts of salt, cholesterol and saturated fats. An excess amount of pro-inflammatory omega-6 vegetable fats found in soybean, corn and palm oil often leads to high blood pressure. This is the result of gradual buildup in the artery walls. Just like any other part of your body, your arteries respond to stress with inflammation. With that said, a no-fat diet is just as harmful, so optimal health means incorporating more healthy monounsaturated fats from natural sources like avocado.
Over 75% percent of the calories found in the average avocado come from fat, most of which is monounsaturated oleic acid. Not only does this fatty acid help reduce harmful LDL cholesterol, but it also helps reduce inflammation and increase the levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol. Avocados are also loaded with Vitamin E to help prevent cholesterol oxidation, while the high concentration of potassium helps regulate blood pressure. As a bonus, avocado oil is heat-stable, so it’s a great alternative to standard cooking oil.
2. Relieve Symptoms of Arthritis
For the millions of people who suffer from joint inflammation, avocados may provide some needed relief. Many common foods, including corn, sugar and wheat have been known to make symptoms worse. However, many sufferers of arthritic pain have actually reported relief from the powerful anti-inflammatory properties found in avocados.
3. Liven Up Your Skin
Not only do monounsaturated fats benefit your heart, but they also improve your overall skin health. By maintaining sufficient moisture within your epidermal layer, these healthy fats improve your skin tone and reduce the redness and irritation that accompany the process of cellular repair.
Likewise, Vitamin E slows the effects of sun damage, which is the major cause of wrinkles and premature aging. Plus, avocados are rich in Vitamin C, which helps promote elastin and collagen production to keep your skin looking firmer.
4. Improve Your Eye Health
Two of the antioxidants found in avocados are lutein and zeaxathin. Because these nutrients help lower the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, avocados are strongly linked to long-term eye health.
5. Supplement a Weight Loss Plan
Do you struggle with weight loss on a low fat diet? Perhaps you see friends continue to add those pounds even when sticking to low-fat versions of popular food items. Contrary to popular belief, healthy fats actually aid in weight loss, as they are a highly-effective source of energy. Furthermore, a 100-gram serving of avocado features seven grams of fiber, an indigestible plant nutrient that also aids in weight loss.
6. Help Control Symptoms of Diabetes
Oleic acid is recommended for people who suffer from diabetes. Diabetics who include more monounsaturated fats in their diets are helping to reduce triglyceride levels and regulate blood glucose. Vitamin C also works double duty for diabetics to strengthen blood vessels and boost immunity.
7. Maximize Your Nutrient Intake
Not only do avocados supply their own natural nutrients, but they also increase the nutrient value of other healthy foods. Many key nutrients found in vegetables are actually fat soluble, so they need to be paired with fat in order to be fully digested and used. Avocados are a great way to increase the absorption of Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and especially antioxidants.
A true super food, avocado is quickly becoming a popular staple to a balanced and healthy diet. The best part is that it is famously flavorful and incredibly versatile. Use it as an oil, a dressing, a dip or even spoon it right out of its shell.
For more information on the health benefits of avocado or other natural foods, check out our blog. As an industry leader in nutraceutical treatment, we aim to improve the physical health of all of our customers with products that are natural, safe and effective.