Avocados provide many health benefits

By CRAIG MORRISON

With a taste that has been described as creamy and rich, avocados are used by many to complement foods.  They form great combinations with cheese, chicken, toast and eggs. It is even used as a type of butter. However, avocados are significant for other reasons besides taste. They contain many great health benefits that may not be known at first.

A split avocado lying on top of a cutting board. About half of an avocado,100 grams, contains 160 calories, 14.7 grams of fat, 8.5 grams of carbohydrates, 6.7 grams of fiber, and less than one gram of sugar. (CRAIG MORRISON/ Ethic News photo)

According to an article on MedicalNewsToday, vitamins C, E, K and B6 are all found inside an avocado—all greatly needed to keep a human body healthy.

Vitamin C helps with the growth and repair of body tissues. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that is necessary for the functioning of many body organs. Vitamin K is used to aid in blood clotting and prevents excessive bleeding. Vitamin B6 keeps the nervous and immune system healthy and helps with brain development. 

In addition to their nutrient benefits, avocados also contain many healthy fats. These fats help keep an appetite full for longer periods of time and can help with decreasing food intake between meals. This can be very beneficial to people on diets and wanting to suppress their snack cravings. 

Along with other various benefits, avocados also help maintain healthy cholesterol levels which lead to a healthy heart. This is because avocados contain beta-sitosterol, a natural plant sterol known to lower cholesterol levels. 

Minerals such as potassium have a high amount in avocados. Potassium, when consumed in high quantities, is linked to reduced blood pressure. This reduction of blood pressure can lead to a lowering of risks of diseases such as heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. A 100 grams of avocado has about 14% of the recommended daily allowance compared to the 10% in bananas, a food most people think of when they hear potassium. 

Avocados are a great source of fiber too. Fiber can be broken down into two groups: soluble and insoluble. 

Soluble fibers are dissolved in the gut and are known to nourish the good type of bacteria. Insoluble fibers prevent constipation by absorbing liquid. Both types are found in avocados and increase their nutritional benefits. 

MedicalNewsToday says avocados contain about 18% of your daily fiber needs in half of the fruit. This amount of fiber will keep your intestinal tract healthy and running well. 

Finally, avocados can prevent certain types of cancer.

According to ScienceDaily, in the article “Avocados May Help Prevent Oral Cancer, Study Shows,” extracts from Hass avocados stop the development of cancer cells that lead to oral cancer. Also, compounds contained in avocados prevent the beginnings of some cancers such as stomach, colon and pancreatic.

Although known for their taste, avocados have notable health benefits. From maintaining healthy cholesterol levels to keeping the immune system healthy, avocados offer much nutritional value. So, the next time you want to eat something healthy, try an avocado.

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