By: Adam L.
Avocados may be awesome as an ingredient for guacamole, and they’re certainly a great addition to any taco you may ever eat…
But where they really shine is how they promote better health.
Today you’re going to see five reasons avocados are actually much healthier than you thought (#4 is crazy).
Once you see this list of health benefits you may be tempted to buy every last avocado sold at your local grocery store.
First things first.
It’s important you know avocados aren’t just a fruit, they’re a berry.
You read that correctly, avocados are classified as large, single-seeded berries.
So, berry lovers, you’ve got every reason to enjoy your favorite food with reckless abandon.
Unlike most berries, avocados are low in sugar and high in fat. And in this instance, the kind of fat avocados provide is a healthy fat with a distinct ability to improve your health.
Here’s what they can do for you.
1 – They Provide a Much-Needed Electrolyte (Potassium)
Potassium is a mineral your body needs for proper function. An electrolyte, potassium is essential for heart health, brain health, and kidney health. The reason potassium is so important is that it helps to regulate your body’s micro-electrical circuitry, the very same circuitry that prompts your heart to beat and allows your nervous system to work.
It just so happens avocados contain a large amount of potassium, much more than bananas, which many people associate with high potassium levels.
A standard serving of avocado, which is roughly 3.5-ounces, will give you 14% of the recommended amount of potassium. Compare that to 3.5 oz of banana at just 10%.
Unlike a banana, the avocado isn’t filling you up with added sugar, so that’s also a great reason to eat them as too much dietary sugar is related to a number of health problems.
2 – They Help Fight Dangerous Inflammation:
While 77% of avocado is fat, the majority of that fat is monounsaturated.
The reason these kinds of fats are so good for supporting inflammatory response is simple; they’re a short-chain fatty acid, which is a kind of fatty acid your body can easily break down to use for energy and use for inflammation control.
Monounsaturated fats aren’t just easy to break down, they help to battle dangerous inflammation in the body by acting as antioxidants as well as affecting how cells behave.
One of the main monounsaturated fats in avocados, oleic acid, even helps your body’s genes express themselves properly which is needed for proper growth and repair.
The ratio of oleic acid in avocado is one of the highest of all plant-based foods which is why they’re a real superfood.
3 – Avocados Help Keep Your Heart Beating Hard
To maintain perfect health, you need to have a healthy heart.
A long list of studies indicates avocados help keep cholesterol levels balanced which is a significant factor for maintaining a healthy heart.
How exactly do avocados keep your heart healthy?
A meta-analysis of eight studies showed avocados helped in the following ways:
- Reduce total cholesterol levels significantly
- Reduce blood triglycerides by up to 20%.
- Lower LDL cholesterol by up to 22%.
- Increase HDL (the “good”) cholesterol by up to 11%.
By adding a few ounces of avocado into your diet daily you could possibly experience the same benefits.
4 – They May Help You Absorb Nutrients Better
When it comes to your health, it’s always a good idea to incorporate as many synergistic nutrients into your diet as possible.
Synergistic foods work together to improve your health by enhancing how other nutrients perform inside of your body.
Research indicates the fat in avocados may help you absorb nutrients in other foods.
The way this works is simple; because avocados are high in fat, when you eat them alongside nutrients that are fat soluble (that is, they dissolve in fat), it helps your body absorb the fat-soluble nutrients at a higher rate.
Fat-soluble nutrients avocados help you absorb better include vitamins A, D, E and K.
There are also studies that show both avocado (and/or avocado oil) help with antioxidant absorption. In some cases, your body is able to absorb 200 – 1500% more antioxidants with avocado fats than without it.
Plus, avocados contain plenty of health-boosting nutrients.
100 grams of avocado will give you:
- 26% DV of vitamin K
- 20% DV of folate
- 17% DV of vitamin C
- 14% DV of potassium
- 14% DV of vitamin B5
- 14% DV of vitamin B
- 10% of vitamin E
5 – They Promote a Healthy Gut
A healthy gut is a key component to a healthy body.
Your gut is where all nutrient intake occurs and if it’s at all impaired you will become nutrient deficient, constipated and inflamed.
Fortunately, the high fiber content of avocados lend themselves to a healthy gut.
It does this in two ways.
100 grams of avocado provides 7 grams of fiber. 25% of that fiber is soluble fiber, the kind of fiber beneficial bacteria living in your gut eat. The other 75% of the fiber is insoluble which is a crucial kind of nutrient needed to keep your body regular.
Other Notes about Avocados
Avocados are one of the few berries you don’t necessarily need to get organic. This is because the thick skin resists pesticides and herbicides.
However, if you want to help support farmers, organic avocados are probably better to buy as organic farms have better sustainability practices and also treat farmers more fairly.