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Avocado Health Benefits
As published by Medical News Today
- Rich in nutrients
Avocados are a source of vitamins C, E, K, and B6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. They also provide lutein, beta carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Roughly half an avocado, or 100 grams (g) contains:
- 160 calories
- 14.7 g of fat
- 8.5 g of carbohydrates
- 6.7 g of fiber
- less than 1 g of sugar
- Healthy for the heart
In every 100 g of avocado there are 76 milligrams of a natural plant sterol called beta sitosterol. Regularly consuming beta sitosterol and other plant sterols may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, which are important for heart health.
- Great for vision
Avocados contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals present in eye tissue. They provide antioxidant protection to help minimize damage, including from UV light.
- May help prevent osteoporosis
Half an avocado provides approximately 18% of the daily value of vitamin K. This nutrient is often overlooked but is essential for bone health.
- Supporting fetal health
Folate is important for a healthy pregnancy. Adequate intake reduces the risk of miscarriage and neural tube abnormalities. Consume at least 600 micrograms (mcg) of folate per day when pregnant. One avocado may contain as much as 160 mcg.
- Reducing depression risk
Avocados are a good source of folate which plays an important role in overall dietary health. Folate helps prevent the build-up of homocysteine, a substance that can impair circulation and delivery of nutrients to the brain.
- Improving digestion
Avocados are high in fiber, containing approximately 6–7 g per half fruit. Eating foods with natural fiber can help prevent constipation, maintain digestive tract health, and lower the risk of colon cancer.
- Natural detoxification
Adequate fiber promotes regular bowel movements, which are crucial for the excretion of toxins through the bile and stool. This can reduce inflammation and aggravation of the digestive tract.
- Antimicrobial action
Avocados and avocado oil contain substances that have antimicrobial properties. Research shows that avocado seed extracts can help defend the body against both Streptococcus agalactiae and Staphylococcus aureus infections, for example.
- Protection from chronic disease
The monounsaturated fatty acids in avocados may be beneficial in preventing chronic conditions, such as cardiovascular disease. Meanwhile, research suggests that an optimal intake of fiber may reduce the risk of stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases, and avocados are rich in fiber.