Blog 6th of October 2017

The health benefits of avocados

I love avocados and use them in many of my salad recipes. Every now and then I even eat one as a snack. It's also a real treat when eaten with roasted sourdough bread.

Are you getting hungry? I invite you to read this article and discover all of the healthy benefits of this delicious fruit.

Not only is avocado a unique fruit, it's also very healthy.

While most fruits have a relatively high carbohydrate content, avocado contains a lot of healthy fats, vitamins and other nutrients. Research proves that avocado is, indeed, healthy. It even shows that the fruit reduces cholesterol, has eye improving properties, and is beneficial to the skin and heart.

A list of all benefits:

  • Nutritional value: avocado contains more healthy fats than any other fruit, and also a relatively small amount of saturated fat (the 'bad' fat).
  • Despite the amount of fat, avocado is made up of 70 percent water. Moreover, the fruit is rich in potassium, and also contains 0,4mg of iron.
  • Vitamins and minerals: the avocado is a special fruit, thanks to its variety of nutrients. It contains 15 different kinds of vitamins and minerals. The large amount of vitamin E is extra beneficial because it is an antioxidant that promotes cell repair. Avocado is also rich in fibre. 
  • High in potassium: potassium is extremely important for the body. It promotes effective functioning of the nervous system and has a stimulating effect on the muscle fibres. Studies show that the majority of people do not ingest the recommended amount of this mineral. The average avocado contain 450mg of potassium, which makes this fruit especially healthy. Moreover, potassium regulates your fluid balance, because the salt it contains raises the osmotic level.
  • Another great property of the avocado is its positive effect on cholesterol and the heart. It is known that certain factors increase the likelihood of cardiovascular disease. Two of those factors are high cholesterol and an abundance of triglycerides in the blood. Cholesterol consists of a few ingredients - two of which are LDL and HDL. LDL is the bad cholesterol and could, in the long run, cause clogged arteries. HDL comes into existence as a reaction of saturated fat entering the body, and causes the excess of cholesterol to drain to the liver to prevent it from doing any more further damage. The two components basically cancel each other out.
  • The large amount of vitamin A in avocado provides healthy skin. That is because this vitamin accelerates the process that replaces old skin cells with new ones. After all, it is said that avocado gives one 'the skin of a model'.
  • The fibre in avocados are healthy, too. Fibre has a very special function in the body: they are not digested by the small intestine, and absorb water from the large intestine, causing the canal to run more smoothly. This is beneficial to the process of defecation. Scientists claim that it not only benefits the intestinal flora, but also diminishes the risk of colorectal cancer. Furthermore, recent studies have shown that fibre aids in weight loss, as it influences the blood sugar level in a positive way.
  • Healthy eyes: it is remarkable that avocado also benefits the eyes. That is because avocados are rich in antioxidants. Out of the 500 natural oxidants, two of them are active in the eyes: lutein and zeaxanthin. These two substances prevent oxidation and are situated near the retina of the eye. While the effect does not cause many short-term developments, it mainly prevents the forming of cataract later on in life. One avocado contains about 274 micrograms of lutein.
  • Avocados have, at times, been blamed for weight gain. This is not entirely true. An avocado contains a very small number of 'net' carbs due to its fibre. This fibre positively influence the blood sugar level, which hinders an increase in weight.

For best results, enjoy avocado once or twice per week.

Lieve Plasch
M.Sc. Psychology

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