Avocados are extremely nutritious and can greatly benefit your health. Avocados, a type of fruit, grow from trees that belonging to the family Lauraceae. Avocados mature on the tree and ripen off of the tree. Avocados can ripen in a few days when stored at room temperature. Avocados are firm and a medium green color, as they ripen the avocado becomes softer and darker in color.
The health benefits of avocados are well known due to the 25 vitamins and minerals they contain. Avocados contain vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, iron, magnesium, folic acid, copper, fiber, protein, and potassium. Avocados also contain phytonutrients. Avocados contain 18 essential amino acids which can be used to form a complete protein. For this reason, avocados are often an integral part of vegetarian, vegan or raw food diets.
Avocados consist of approximately 20% fat. The majority of the fat contained in avocados is monounsaturated fat. Avocados also contain a small amount of polyunsaturated and saturated fat. The fat in avocados is the healthy kind of fat that our bodies need for growth and to perform bodily functions.
# Heart Healthy Benefits
Avocados vitamins and minerals help maintain homocystine levels. The monounsaturated fat and glutathione also benefit for a healthy heart. Avocados also support the blood vessels. Additionally, heart health benefits from oleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which are present in avocados.
# Boosts the Immune System
The glutathione in avocados aids in boosting the immune systems and benefits the nervous system. The carotenoids present in avocados has been found to enhance the functioning of the immune system and benefit the reproductive system.
# Avocados are Anti-Inflammatory
The phytonutrients, polyphenols and flavonoids, present in avocados reduce inflammation.
# Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Avocados contain beta-sitosterol which studies have shown is effective at lowering LDL cholesterol levels and increasing HDL levels.
# Benefit Blood Pressure
Avocados contain more potassium then bananas. The potassium aids in controlling blood pressure levels.
# Cancer Protecting Properties
Those who consume type of fat found in avocados have been found to have a reduced risk of cancer. Studies have also shown that avocados can aid in fighting prostate cancer.
# Increases Absorption of Nutrients
Avocados increase nutrient absorption. Studies have shown that when subjects ate meals containing avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of beta carotene and lycopene.
# Contains Antioxidants
Avocados are rich in antioxidants and aid in fighting oxidative stress. The glutathione is a strong antioxidant which fights free radicals.
# Prevent Diabetes and Regulate Blood Sugar
Avocados have been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes. The monounsaturated fats help regulate blood sugar and can reverse insulin resistance.
# Benefit Eye Health
The high amount of carotenoid lutein in avocados aids in protecting against cataracts and macular degeneration.