Avocado is a great addition to the diet, helping you feel satisfied for longer. It contains vitamin B and folic acid known to lower stress. It is a good source of protein, healthy fats, and vitamin E thereby being a suitable and healthy replacement for sweet foods.
Avocados are good protein sources that also have a multitude of vitamins to boost your immunity and are also suitable for vegetarians. Avocado is an unsaturated fat that is also rich in fibre.
According to Fausta Akech, a nutritionist at Healthy U, avocado is an important food for pregnant women due to its high concentrations of folate (folic acid). The folate is crucial for cell repair and prevents birth defects such as spina bifida and heart defects. High amounts of folate both before conception and during pregnancy boost foetal brain and nerve development and may help in preventing neurological defects in newborns.
“It also contains vitamin K that benefits pregnant women and their unborn babies. Vitamin K deficiency in the blood causes a condition where newborn babies cannot stop bleeding.
The fibre in avocado is beneficial for improving digestion, boosting regular bowel movements and well known to help prevent constipation. Avocados contain dietary fibre, which is essential for keeping intestines healthy and preventing conditions such as constipation, diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome.
“This is why avocados are often recommended as a mild laxative for people with constipation. The avocado fibre also helps lower your risk of colon cancer,” Akech says.
Sharpen your brain
Avocado helps in improving and sustaining good brain health. Avocados increase blood flow to the brain, lower cholesterol and aid in the absorption of antioxidants. They also contain vitamin E which protects the body and the brain from free radical damage and stroke.
Many people do not get enough potassium in their diet which often leads to deficiency manifested in high blood pressure. Avocado is good for normal blood pressure and lowers risk of kidney failure as well as heart disease because it contains potassium.
Akech says, “Additionally, the vitamin E found in avocado lowers cholesterol oxidation that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. It may also provide some protection from nerve damage in diabetic patients with peripheral neuropathy.”
She adds that, “Oleic acid and dietary fibre contained in avocados help normalise blood sugar levels, providing further benefits for heart health and lower the risk of diabetes.”
Skin and hair benefits
The monounsaturated fats in avocado are also beneficial for improving your skin tone and appearance. The omega-9 fats in the fruit are known to reduce skin redness and irritation and help in repairing damaged skin cells.
A good dietary intake of avocado can moderate sebum production as well, which helps control acne, blackheads and excessively oily skin.
Akech says: “Prolonged avocado intake protects the skin from wrinkles and other visible aging signs. Its antioxidant in vitamin E helps guard against aging from sun exposure; and vitamin C which is involved in the creation of elastin and collagen for maintaining your skin’s elasticity and firmness.”
Avocado can also be used to get thicker hair as it moisturises and adds body to your hair. The vitamin E in this fruit contributes to the overall health of the hair shaft.
How to enjoy more avocados
There are so many simple ways to add more delicious avocados to your diet. You can just use a spoon to dig out the delicious pulp from the halved avocado and enjoy.
If you want to satisfy your taste buds and enhance the benefits, you could also pair your fresh avocado with raw carrots or tomato sauce to bring out vitamin A that is good for your skin and vision.