The avocado tree (Persea americana) is native to Mexico and Central America. The fruit is a large green-skinned pear-shaped berry that contains a single seed. Avocados must be mature to ripen properly.
Here are seven health benefits of avocados.
1. Avocados may be perfect for healthy weight management.
A study, published in the Nutrition Journal, suggests that consuming one-half of a fresh avocado with lunch may satisfy hunger in overweight individuals, reducing their need to snack after a meal. This could reduce the caloric intake, resulting in weight loss.
2. Avocados can help increase digestive regularity.
Fiber helps prevent constipation, making one’s bowel movement easier to manage. Avocados are excellent sources of fiber. An avocado contains 13 grams of dietary fiber. The daily recommended dietary fiber intake for men and women are 38 grams and 25 grams, respectively.
3. Avocados may be associated with better diet quality.
Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey suggests that consuming avocados may be associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake, decreased intake of added sugars, lower body weight and body mass index, elevated "good cholesterol" levels and lower metabolic syndrome risk.
4. Avocados could help improve your brain and nerves.
Some vitamins like folate play a significant role in the regulation of specific amino acids that the nervous system requires. Studies have shown that a deficient amount of dietary folate can increase the homocysteine levels, which can be a dangerous precursor to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. One avocado contains 41 percent of the recommended value of folate.
5. Avocados can help improve your heart’s health.
Elevated levels of homocysteine are a risk factor for heart attack, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease and are found in between approximately 30 percent of patients with cardiovascular disease. Folate lowers the levels of homocysteine in the blood. Avocados are also rich in magnesium. An avocado contains 15 percent of magnesium. Magnesium helps the blood vessels relax and improves blood flow in the body.
6. Avocados can help you sleep better at night.
Avocados have a high content of magnesium, which is a mineral that is directly linked to improving the quality, duration, and tranquility of sleep. Avocados also help regulate the metabolism to help reduce sleep disorders and the occurrence of insomnia.
7. Avocados can assist in energy production and make you feel rejuvenated.
One avocado has 14 percent of the mineral manganese, which is an essential cofactor in some enzymes important in energy production.