We’ve all heard the old adage about the apple but the avocado is a firm contender for this spot. While it is easy to mistake the avocado’s growing popularity as just another fad, there is actually a lot of science proving that avocado is indeed a super food. There are various health benefits stacked into this one fruit and it is quite special in a way.
The most likely birthplace of the avocado is the Tehuacan Valley in Puebla, Mexico. But fossilized remains show that the plant may have also grown in Guatemala and in the West Indies. In fact, the oldest remains of an avocado pit were discovered in the Coxcatlan Cave and it was over ten thousand years old. This shows that it has been around for a long time. Avocados became more famous when Europeans discovered it and now with various studies affirming that it is nutritious and healthy, it has become part of diets all over the world.
There exists a general confusion about whether an avocado is a fruit or a vegetable. It might surprise some of you to learn that it is a stone fruit and the only fruit to contain monounsaturated fatty acids or MUFA which are good for the human body. Avocados are extremely nutritious as they can provide many essential vitamins and minerals.
The Benefits Of Eating An Avocado Every Day:
While avocados do contain fats, they mostly contain healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and phytosterols. Unlike other fruits they don’t contain sugar and the potassium in avocados will help your body break down and burn carbohydrates. It is also a rich source of fiber and combined with the fats, it will leave you feeling completely full when you’re done eating.
Stabilizes Blood Pressure
The Journal of Clinical Investigation carried a study from Alabama University which showed that eating foods containing high levels of potassium can decrease the rate of pathogenic vascular calcification or the hardening of the arteries. This takes off pressure from the circulatory system thereby stabilizing blood pressure. Avocados contain significant levels of potassium and are essential for those fighting hypertension.
Phytochemicals like lutein and zeaxanthin are present in the center of the retina and are responsible for central vision. The antioxidants they contain ensure that our eyes aren’t unduly damaged through exposure to dangers like UV rays. These are present in avocados and the MUFA it contains also ensure that you ingest the same antioxidants from other foods as well.
Produced by your liver, too much cholesterol is not a good thing as it could lead to cardiac and other issues. People with high cholesterol need to be careful about their diets and the avocado is highly recommended for them because it has no cholesterol. Even the fats it contains are unsaturated and so they are healthy fats. In fact, the Journal of the American Heart Association even carried a study which proved that eating one avocado a day can actually lower cholesterol.
Avocados can also bring down your blood sugar levels. The fiber in them ensures that your body breaks down food into sugar at a slower rate so that you maintain a balance. The way your body metabolizes glucose will also change because avocados contain 7-carbon sugars which can control an enzyme called hexokinase which plays an important role in glycolysis.
For Mothers And Babies
All pregnant women need lots of folic acid to ensure that their babies develop properly in the womb. Lack of folic acid can prevent the bones from forming properly and cause neurological abnormalities. Avocados are a rich source of folic acid and also of vitamin K. The latter is important for new born babies who might develop a bleeding disorder if they don’t have enough of it.
As mentioned earlier, avocados contain zeaxanthin, lutein and vitamin K. All of these elements help prevent the onset of osteoporosis. Moreover, minerals like zinc, copper, phosphorous, selenium, and calcium are all contained in avocado and they are essential for improving bone density.
Besides these health benefits, avocados can also help you in a cosmetic sense as regular consumption can make your skin and hair shinier. This list should be enough to convince you to make avocados a regular part of your diet.
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