Why Everyone Needs Avocado
March 24, 2020
As if the creamy texture and yummy taste weren't enough, avocados are the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and are packed with nutrients and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.
Following a diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables including avocados has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions.
1. Avocados are nutrient rich
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), these are the nutrition facts for about one-half, or 68 grams (g), of an avocado:
- Calories 114
- Dietary fiber fiber 6 g
- Total sugar 0.2 g
- Potassium 345 milligrams (mg)
- Sodium 5.5 mg
- Magnesium 19.5 mg
- Vitamin A 43 micrograms (?g)
- Vitamin E 1.3 mg
- Vitamin K 14 ?g
- Vitamin B-6 0.2 mg
- Monounsaturated fatty acids 6.7 g
Although most of the calories in an avocado come from fat, don't shy away! Avocados are full of healthy, beneficial fats that help to keep you full and satiated. When you consume fat, your brain receives a signal to turn off your appetite. Eating fat slows the breakdown of carbohydrates, which helps to keep sugar levels in the blood stable.
Fat is essential for every single cell in the body. Eating healthy fats supports skin health, enhances the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, and may even help boost the immune system.
2. Healthy for the heart
Avocados contain 25 milligrams per ounce of a natural plant sterol called beta-sitosterol. Regular consumption of beta-sitosterol and other plant sterols has been seen to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Avocados are also packed with Potassium, a nutrient that helps promote healthy heart contraction and reduces high blood pressure. One avocado can contain almost 15 percent of the daily recommended potassium intake, which is 4.7 g. That's as much potassium as in one and a half large bananas (.73 g) or two small bananas (.72 g)
3. Great for vision
Avocados contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that are especially concentrated in the tissues in the eyes where they provide antioxidant protection to help minimize damage, including from ultraviolet light.
4. Great for bone health
Share on PiVitamin K is essential for bone health. Half of an avocado provides approximately 25 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K. Eating a diet with adequate vitamin K can support bone health by increasing calcium absorption and reducing urinary excretion of calcium.
5. Improved digestion
Despite its creamy texture, an avocado is actually high in fiber with approximately 6-7 grams per half fruit. Eating foods with natural fiber can help prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract.
6. Natural detoxification
Adequate fiber promotes regular bowel movements, which are crucial for the daily excretion of toxins through the bile and stool.