Are you looking for a healthy start in the new year? Do you want to get your diet and your meals back on track? Do you feel overwhelmed with the options?
It’s understandable that in a new year you can feel stressed out by trying to develop a new exercise and eating plan. But the key to success is starting small — and one way you can start small is by boosting your diet with avocados.
What many people don’t realize is that avocados are packed with hidden benefits that improve your digestive system’s functioning and help you lose weight. They are packed with healthy fats and vitamins that can aid your weight loss regime and boost your immune system.
Are you ready to learn what avocados can do for you? Don’t miss these 15 science-backed avocado health benefits you didn’t know existed.
A Boost to Your Immune System
If you are looking for a sustained boost to your immune system, then look no further than your friend the avocado. Avocados are packed with vitamins and nutrients that keep your body strong and help to fight against sickness over time.
This doesn’t mean you won’t get sick. It simply means that your body will be equipped with an immune system that may be stronger than people who don’t eat avocados regularly and may be better suited to fight off disease or to combat it before it starts to attack your body.
Some of those vitamins and nutrients that will contribute to a boosted immune system over time include:
- Vitamin B5 and B6
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
In a single serving of avocado, you’ll get nearly 30 percent of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin K, which is critical for blood coagulation and is necessary for controlling how calcium binds to your bones and tissues!
They also contain more potassium than in bananas! In all, you’ll get a whopping 20 vitamins and nutrients when you eat a single serving of avocado, which is about 3.5 ounces.
A Reduction in Inflammation
Avocados are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which aid in a reduction of inflammation and have been show to be beneficial when interacting with genes that have been linked to cancer.
The acid in avocados is called oleic acid, and contribute to this high-fat food. But the fat is healthy and very good for you. Avocados are one of the fattiest plant foods there is, with 77 percent of calories coming from fat.
In addition, if you’re looking for a comparison for oleic acid, you might thing of olive oil. This also is a healthy fat for cooking — as is avocado oil — that contains oleic acid and is rich in those monounsaturated fats.
An Easier Digestive Flow
Avocados are loaded with fiber, which is a plant fiber that can aid your digestive system by making it easier for your body to process foods regularly and to combat constipation.
If you’ve ever experienced a time when you’ve eaten a lot of foods that have contributed to an irregular digestive flow — such as during the holidays — then you know how uncomfortable you can feel when you are constipated.
But fiber does a lot of good to aid in digestion — and that’s why many people turn to fibrous fruits such as prunes to aid with digestion and bowel movements. You can get a very similar result simply by eating an avocado after all of that holiday splurging.
Reduction in Blood Sugar Spikes
In addition to the help fiber-packed avocados give to your digestive system, they also help to reduce the chances of your blood sugar spiking and irregularly affecting the overall health of your body.
They stabilize and neutralize your normal blood sugar and helps prevent your body from breaking down mentally and physically from a spike in blood sugar.
Spikes in blood sugar can lead to disorientation and lethargy — and can be extremely dangerous to the life of someone who struggles regularly with wavering blood sugar levels.
But because avocados can regulate blood sugar and prevent spikes, they are an especially good fruit for people who are struggling with diabetes to incorporate into their daily diets.
If you have diabetes or are pre-diabetic, talk to your doctor about the benefits of adding more avocado to your meals.
Weight Loss Chances Increase
Studies have demonstrated that people who eat avocados regularly are at a lower chance of developing obesity issues and have an increased level of energy.
Therefore, eating avocados regularly can contribute to overall weight loss. This has to do with the role of dietary fiber in making the body feel full.
Lower Risk of Coronary Heat Disease
One study from the National Institutes of Health has linked the intake of avocados with a lower risk of coronary heart disease. The fiber in this fruit are a major contributing factor and reduce the chances of coronary heart disease better than other fibers foods such as cereal or other fibrous fruits and vegetables.
If you’re someone who has ever struggled with high cholesterol, then avocados can be your best friend.
Avocados have been shown to increase the body’s good cholesterol, known as HDL, by up to 11 percent while reducing the bad cholesterol, known as LDL, by up to 22 percent!
Reduced Risk for Metabolic Syndrome
You might not have heard of metabolic syndrome — but it is a serious condition used to describe a series of symptoms that can lead to heart disease and diabetes.
People who eat avocados are half as likely to develop metabolic syndrome because of the high level of nutrients in avocado.
Develop Superpower Eyes
This is partly a joke — but the superpower strength of your eyes is nearly impossible with avocados. They contain the nutrients Zeaxanthin and Lutein, two critical nutrients for eye health, as well as antioxidants that fight against eye diseases.
People who eat avocados regularly are likely to have a reduced risk for cataracts and macular degeneration, as well.
Reduced Risk for Kidney Failure
Because of the potassium-rich content of avocados, you can fight against kidney failure over time when you eat this fruit. Often we associate potassium intake with bananas, but avocados are an even better choice because they contain 14 percent of the recommended daily allowance of potassium compared to 11 percent of the RDA for potassium found in a banana.
Filling up on potassium also is beneficial for people who are at a higher risk for heath attacks and strokes. Potassium has been show to help with all of these potential conditions.
Get Relief from Arthritis
Arthritis is a painful malady that effects many people in middle age and old age — and there really isn’t a cure. You can manage the symptoms and have surgery to remove build up in your joints — but that only helps for a time because arthritis is known to come back with a vengeance, often more painful than before as a person grows older and loses mobility in joints.
However, despite the challenges of arthritis to the everyday functioning of a middle-aged to elderly person, studies have show that the extract from avocados can contribute to a reduction in symptoms of osteoarthritis over time.
That means that there is hope that the symptoms can be alleviated or reduced for a least a period of time. Research continues in this area, but at this time, the results are limited to avocado extract rather than the fruit itself.
Absorb More Nutrients When You Eat Other Plants
Now, if we’re talking about superpowers, can we please talk about the superpowers of the avocado itself? Did you know that avocados have the superpower of helping your body absorb even more nutrients from the other plant foods you eat than if you didn’t eat avocados?
There are many plants that have what are known as “fat soluble” nutrients. That means they need to be combined with a compatible fat in order to be put into action. When you eat an avocado, you help your body not only absorb those fat soluble nutrients but then take advantage of them in your body.
Otherwise, those nutrients can’t get to work keeping you healthy and at the top of your game. Now that’s a superpower worth using!
A Reduced Risk of Cancer
Although there isn’t a cure for many cancers, avocados are showing signs of fighting against it in several studies. Extract from avocados have demonstrated an ability to stop the growth of cancer cells in the prostate.
In addition, they have been shown to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy administered to humans.
Prevent Birth Defects
Avocados are a great source of folic acid, which is necessary for fighting against birth defects in such as neural tube and spina bifida.
In addition, the high concentration of Vitamin K found in avocados are good for pregnant women to ingest on a regular basis. Vitamin K, as mentioned above, helps with blood coagulation and will help your baby stop bleeding.
It also will help you stop bleeding following childbirth. When you eat more Vitamin K, you help your unborn child ingest more and develop the necessary ability to stop bleeding.
Ready to Buy an Avocado?
If you’re ready to pack your diet with a punch of healthy fat that will help keep you in shape, trim your waistline, improve your digest health — and more — then it may be time to take a trip to your local market and pick up a few avocados.
The hidden benefits of avocados are tremendous — and they are backed by science — so you’ll know that you’re always doing something good for your body when you take a bite of this delicious fruit.
Remember that if you purchase avocados that are not quite ripe, they can get to the ripeness you desire and become more flavorful if you let them sit on your counter throughout the week. Also remember that for some people, incorporating avocado into meal plans takes a little time and getting used to — so start small.
Top your soup or salad with a few slices or make a bowl of guacamole. Over time, you’ll find that adding avocado to your meals becomes a natural part of meal prep!