18 ways avocados can replace pain pills, coffee, multivitamins and dieting
If you don’t already eat avocado, you have been seriously missing out, and if you already can’t get enough of them, be prepared to fall even deeper in love with them after you’ve read our ultimate guide to the health benefits of this wonder-fruit.
18 Avocado Uses
These benefits are almost too many to list, but that won’t stop us trying! Here are 18 ways avocados keep you in tip-top condition, and why you should be eating them every day.
1. Packed with Nutrients
Avocados contain almost 20 vitamins and minerals that are essential to good health and healthy body function. Of your recommended daily intake (RDI) one avocado contains:
- 53% Vitamin K
- 41% Folate
- 33% Vitamin C
- 28% Potassium
- 26% Vitamin B6
- 21% Vitamin E
- 19% Copper
These numbers are pretty impressive, and if this alone hasn’t convinced you to go out and stock up on avocados, we can look at some of the wider implications for your health that all of these have on our bodies, as well as the other ways they can benefit us.
2. Source of Fats
If you’ve ever declared your love of avocado in public or to friends or colleagues, you’ve probably had more than a few people tell you “but avocados are full of fat!”
The wonderful thing is, these are ‘good fats’ such as monounsaturated fat, and our bodies actually need and use these to lower bad cholesterol.
3. Weight Management
Admittedly a surprising follow-up point to how great of a source of fats avocados are, but studies have show that these fruit can actually help keep hunger at bay when eaten as part of your normal meals.
If you always find yourself reaching for snacks mid-morning or afternoon, try adding avocado to your diet and you’ll feel much less inclined to snack between meals.
4. Diabetes Prevention
Scientists estimate that diabetes will affect 40% of Americans at some point in their lifetime. Quite a daunting fact, but there are plenty of things you can do to reduce your risk of developing diabetes; one of the most effective ways being keeping blood sugar levels stable.
One study which had one group of participants eat lunches with avocado and another group without, found that those who’d eaten avocado as part of their lunch showed no increase in blood sugar levels when compared to those who hadn’t eaten avocado.
Amazingly, by simply adding this fruit to your normal diet, you too could avoid these spikes in blood sugar levels following meals.
5. Reduce Cholesterol
Avocados actually play an important role in unclogging your arteries; studies have shown that eating them daily resulted in improved blood cholesterol, simultaneously lowering bad cholesterol and improving good cholesterol, the kind that keeps arteries clear of obstructions.
Cleaning up your arteries in this way can dramatically decrease your risk of developing heart disease over your lifetime.
6. Fight Inflammation
Chronic inflammation is thought to be at the root of many modern diseases including conditions such as asthma, allergies, arthritis, and heart disease.
Oleic acid has been shown to reduce inflammation across several scientific studies, and is in high quantities in avocados. You can help prevent damage to artery walls, in turn lowering the risk of heart disease caused by plaque deposits, by increasing the amount of oleic acid in your diet.
7. Pain Relief
If you’re suffering from arthritis, you might be interested to know that avocado extract has been proven to reduce its symptoms, and thanks to its anti-inflammatory benefits, as we’ve just discovered, inflammatory-related aches and pains could be reduced by including it in your diet too.
8. Control Blood Pressure
If you have a diet rich in sodium, you might be putting yourself at a great risk of high blood pressure. Aside from reducing your intake of salt, potassium (a mineral in abundance in avocados) actually reduces the effects of sodium in the body and as such, helps control your blood pressure.
9. Nutrient Absorption
We could eat all the fruits and vegetables in the world and still not be getting the full benefits of the various minerals, nutrients, and general goodness they hold. This is down to the fact that our intake of nutrients will only ever be as good as our ability to absorb them once in the body.
Avocados to the rescue again! Amazingly, by adding avocado to a salad, your body instantly has an increased ability to absorb any fat soluble nutrients present in the other ingredients. These include vitamins A, D, E, and K, as well as certain antioxidants that would otherwise be much more poorly absorbed into the body.
10. Eye Health
Move over carrots! Avocados are here for happy, healthy eyes!
Avocados contain two nutrients you may not have heard of before, lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are essential for fighting one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S. today, macular degeneration.
Unlike some nutrients, the only way to get these into your body is through diet. Thankfully, avocados are the best source of lutein among the top 20 fruits most regularly consumed in America, so we’re sure you can see the benefit to eating more of them!
11. Healthy Skin and Hair
It can be so easy to be attracted to the latest ‘beauty secret’ packaged in a shiny tube of face cream or haircare product, but avocados can actually give you the same effects as these, working from the inside out. Not only does this make them a much more natural option for you and your family, but a healthier one too.
Containing over 20% of your daily dose of vitamin E, which protects body tissue from free radicals thought to cause the aging process in the skin, this fruit can keep your skin smooth and your hair soft.
12. Strong Bones
Your bones require lots of nutrients and vitamins to keep them functioning healthily and thankfully avocados contain huge doses of vitamin K, copper, and folate, all of which contribute towards a happy skeleton.
13. Improved Digestion
Avocados are very high in a lot of different essential components for all around health, as we’ve already covered, and their fiber content is no different. One avocado contains around 54% of your RDI of fiber which is essential for keeping your digestive system running properly and avoiding food staying in the gut for too long.
14. Improved Immunity
If you find yourself getting sick really easily or often, you should try and make avocado part of your daily diet. B vitamins help fight off illness and infection, and vitamins C and E both boost your immune system. Avocados contain all three of these defense-strengthening vitamins so load up on them to keep sickness at bay.
15. Vital Nutrients for Expectant Mothers
Folic acid, or folate, is essential for the healthy development of a fetus as it develops in the womb, particularly in the neural tube which will later become the baby’s brain, spinal cord and the bones that enclose them. If you are pregnant, you can turn to avocados as a great source of folate, as well as potassium and vitamins C and B6.
As well as treating your unborn child to these essential rich nutrients, the vitamin B6 content will help ease morning sickness so there’s even more reasons to get them into your diet.
16. Get An Energy Boost
Healthy fats, which we already know there are plenty of in avocados, release energy into the body slowly throughout the day. If you include an avocado at breakfast or lunch, you will find you can power through your day without experiencing a slump in your energy levels, plus if you consume avocado alongside a food rich in carbohydrates, it actually slows your digestion of the carbs, which helps you to avoid the sugar crash that would otherwise typically follow.
17. Enhance Mood
Eating this fruit every day might cheer you up if you have difficulty staying in a positive mood thanks in particular to its rich potassium content. There have been multiple studies that show a link between low levels of potassium and depression, so by consuming avocado every day, you’ll keep your potassium levels topped up and prevent any slumps in mood!
18. Improve Brain Function
Your brain flourishes when stimulated, and copper is a brain stimulant, making avocados, containing around 20% of your daily copper requirements, the ultimate in brain food! This mineral has also been directly linked with creative and innovative thought processes.
So the next time you’re in the fruits and vegetable aisle at the grocery store, pick up an avocado or two (or twenty!) and start to reap the benefits of eating avocado daily and the increased goodness this will bring to your diet!