It’s Avocado Monday again! Time to explain some important health benefits of avocados.. On #avomonday you are fully alowed to use this beautiful piece of fruit to the max! Actually, I incorporate avocados into my diet at least four times a week. I spread them on toasts or sandwiches, use them in my smoothies and even bake with them. In this post, I explain to you important health benefits of avocados by showing what vitamins and minerals avocados contain and where these vitamines are good for.
Important health benefits of avocados
- Avocados are nutrient rich. This is important because good nutrition helps to promote your overall health, to maintain a healthy weight and to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. Avocados are among others a source of:
- Vitamins C, E, K, and B-6: These vitamins boost your immune system and support your all round health and wellbeing.
- Riboflavin (also known as Vitamin B2): Helps to produce energy for the body and works as an antioxidant. Contributes to the aging process.
- Niacin (also known as Vitamin B3): Helps the digestive system, skin, and nerves to function. It is also important for converting food to energy.
- Folate: Helps the body make healthy new cells. It can prevent birth defects on baby’s brain or spine during pregnancy.
- Pantothenic acid: Helps the body break down and use food. Also needed for growth.
- Magnesium: Is important for many processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels and making protein, bone, and DNA.
- Potassium: Helps the nerves to function and muscles to contract. It helps the heartbeat stay regular and to move nutrients into cells and waste products out of cells.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Have a variety of health benefits related to their anti-inflammatory properties. They may help lower the risk of heart disease, skin problems, depression, dementia, and arthritis. Vegans have low Omega-3 intakes, so this is a big plus!
- Beta-sitosterol: Helps to maintain a healthy cholesterol level
- They also lower the risk of depression because of their high levels of folate (Young, S.N., 2007).
- They protect against cancer. Researchers believe that folate protects against mutations during cell division (McWilliams, L., 2013).
- They improve digestion since they are high on fiber.
- They support a healthy pregnancy.
- They are healthy for the heart because they contain beta-sitosterol.
When you read all of this, it is not weird that the avocado is often touted as a health food. So I would say: keep incorporating them into your diet!
Fun facts about avocados
Fun fact 1: Did you know that avocado is actually a fruit? And more specifically, that it is classified as a berry? Avocado consist of an outer layer (the skin), a middle layer (the flesh) and it is cased around a seed, which are the features of berries, one of the two main classes of fleshy fruit (Storey, W.B., 1974).
Fun fact 2: Did you know that the seed of an avocado is more nutrient-rich than its flesh? 70% of the amino acids that this fruit is found in its seed. The avocado seed extract supports healthy body weight and reduces the blood sugar level (Alhassan, A.J. et al., 2012). You can dry the seed, put it in a small towel and slam it with a hammer. After that, you grind it and add it to your food. Note: make sure you mix it with enough sweet ingredients, such as fruit, to equalise the bitter taste.