Published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition *1, a 2018 study found that those who eat avocados (compared to those who don’t) had higher levels of good HDL cholesterol. This is likely due to the higher levels of monounsaturated fat found in avocados. Avocados are also naturally cholesterol free, an added bonus in heart health.
Avocados contain potassium, a mineral that when included as part of a healthy diet contributes to normal blood pressure. Avocados are also naturally free from sodium which may increase the risk of high blood pressure if consumed in excess.
Published in the scientific journal Nutrients *2 in 2017, researchers in America found that people who ate one avocado a day over six months had higher levels of lutein in the blood. Avocados are a source of lutein, a phytochemical that accumulates in the eye. Lutein, along with another phytochemical called zeaxanthin, has been found to be protective against a common eye disorder in the elderly called age-related macular degeneration.
In the same study mentioned above, people who ate an avocado daily also had significant improvements in their memory, cognition and problem-solving abilities. The lutein in avocados, along with monounsaturated fats, fibre and other bioactive compounds, make this fruit particularly attractive for a healthy brain.
A mother’s diet during pregnancy plays a crucial role in influencing the growth of her baby and a healthy birth. Avocados are a nutrient-dense food consisting of a unique combination of dietary fibre, healthy fats, and vitamins and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin K and folate, all important as part of a healthy diet for both mom and growing baby.
The fibre in avocados is a unique combination of ¾ insoluble fibre and ¼ soluble fibre. Our gut needs different types of fibres to keep it healthy, each of which has different jobs in the gut. Soluble fibre acts like a mop and helps absorb fluid in the gut, forming a soft gel-like substance that helps the stool pass easily through the gut. Insoluble fibre acts like a broom, roughly sweeping through the length of the gut to remove waste. But fibre does far more than just keep us regular and may play a role in preventing colon cancer, lowering cholesterol, and even helping with weight loss.
Avocados can be helpful as part of a successful energy-controlled diet for weight loss. Researchers have found that the monounsaturated fats in avocado give a quicker feeling of fullness which reduces overeating. The richness may also help make the diet more appetising, reducing the temptation to binge on foods high in sugar and bad fats.
Avocados are high in a B-vitamin called biotin which contributes to the maintenance of normal hair and skin. Nourish your hair and skin from the inside out by adding avocado to your meals.
*1. Mahmassani HA, Avendano EE, Raman G, Johnson EJ. Avocado consumption and risk factors for heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2018;107(4): 523–536. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/nqx078.
*2. Scott TM, Rasmussen HM, Chen O, Johnson EJ. Avocado Consumption Increases Macular Pigment Density in Older Adults: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Nutrients.2017; 9, 919. Doi:10.3390/nu9090919