In this fast food culture, one essential food group that is often neglected are the vitamin-packed fruits and vegetables that everyone should be consuming daily. However, this food group doesn’t just mean spinach and brussels sprouts anymore. Try an avocado for full flavor and a big dose of essential nutrients. Here are some of the health and beauty benefits of avocado, also known as the “alligator pear” or “butter pear.”
Avocados are Packed with Potassium for Circulatory and Muscular Health
Potassium is vital to the circulatory system, assisting with regulating blood pressure, maintaining healthy heart rhythm, and ensuring proper oxygen flow to the brain, thus helping to prevent stroke and heart disease.
Potassium is also important in muscle development and function, making avocados helpful to muscle recovery in athletes, important in keeping a healthy balance of water in the muscles, and maintaining a healthy heart.
Avocados contain even more potassium than bananas, making it a smart potassium supplement.
Avocados are High in Fat (the Good Kind!)
Although this simple fact once made dieters shun this rich fruit, scientists have found that the fat in avocado is unsaturated, as opposed to the saturated fats in palm oil and red meat or the trans fats commonly found in packaged foods. This “good fat,” otherwise known as oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat, is healthy for the body, assisting with lowering cholesterol and preventing heart disease.
This high-fat content also makes avocados helpful in absorbing more nutrients from the foods we eat. The essential carotenoids found in fruits and vegetables are fat-soluble, meaning an addition of oleic acid to a serving of avocado helps the body to retain the important beta-carotene and lycopene found in accompanying fruits and vegetables.
Avocados’ high-fat content is what provides its rich taste and texture; this makes it a great substitute for mayonnaise, butter, and other high-calorie spreads.
Avocados are a Heart-Healthy Fruit
Between its potassium and its cholesterol-lowering properties, avocados are already great for the heart. However, avocados also contain a large amount of folate, which is known to lower the risks of heart-related problems including heart disease and heart attacks. One cup of avocado provides 23% of the recommended daily folate intake.
Avocados are Linked to Cancer Prevention
Phytochemicals in Hass avocados have been shown to play a role in the prevention of oral cancer, according to a study by Ohio State University. Likewise, avocados as part of a balanced, healthy diet may play a part in the prevention of both prostate and breast cancers.
Avocados are Filled with Fiber for Digestive Health
Despite its creamy texture, an avocado actually contains nearly 30% of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber, which is extremely important to digestive health. Fiber assists with regular bowel movement and treats constipation. Additionally, dietary fiber helps one feel full longer, helping to reduce hunger and caloric intake.
Avocados’ Essential Vitamins Promote Skin Health
Avocados contain a large dose of many essential B vitamins, including Niacin (vitamin B3) which has been proven to improve the appearance of skin. Its vitamin-rich pulp along with its essential oils make it a must for glowing skin. Also, a healthy diet overall results in a healthy appearance, so maintaining a properly balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables like avocados is extremely important for beauty.
Avocado’s vitamin E also works to soothe irritation and condition skin and hair when applied topically. Its creamy flesh has been used historically as a moisturizer and even sunscreen, and many people still use it today as an essential ingredient in natural facials and at-home hair conditioners.
Avocados are a Power-Packed Food
With its essential nutrients that help maintain muscular and circulatory health, keep the heart healthy, prevent cancers, regulate the digestive system, and promote skin health, why not add an avocado to salads, sandwiches, tacos, soups, or even smoothies?