The Health Benefits of Avocado: From Weight Loss to Increased Fertility
Avocados contain a huge number of important nutrients essential for human health. The green and neutral-tasting fruit is also a rich source of health-protective phytochemicals. Although avocados are a bit on the pricier side, the investment is worth it because avocados are scientifically proven to provide many health benefits from reduced risk of obesity and related diseases to increased fertility. The unique nutrient content of avocados was also recognized to support a healthy pregnancy and to improve a person’s overall health. In case you’re in doubt about including delicious avocados into your diet, here are some of the health benefits of eating avocado.
Avocados are considered to be a nutrient-dense fruit, containing plenty of dietary fiber, carbohydrates, potassium, vitamin A, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, vitamin K, vitamin B6, choline, and monounsaturated fatty acids among many others. These nutrients are not only important for your health, but for better pregnancy outcomes which is exactly why pregnant women are advised to include avocados in their diet. Furthermore, according to a study published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, the beneficial fats in avocados were found to improve blood lipid profiles and also aid in nutrient absorption as most nutrients found in avocados are oil-soluble. The same study also found that avocados helped with weight management and healthy aging. The blood-lipid reducing effect of avocados could also be said to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Infertility is known to affect approximately one in six couples and the most common cause of which are endocrine disorders, hormonal disorders, and obesity. While diet alone cannot lead to fertility problems, evidence suggests that our dietary patterns may have a strong influence on our fertility. From nutritional deficiencies to endocrine disrupting chemicals, there are so many ways a bad diet can cause infertility. On the other hand, eating a nutritiously rich diet can improve fertility outcomes by providing your body with the nutrients it needs for hormone synthesis and pregnancy support. Since avocado is so nutritiously dense, it is also popularly considered a fertility food.
Reduces risk of obesity and related diseases
A study published recently in the Nutritional Journal found that avocado consumption was associated with better diet quality and nutrient intake. The study also found that eating avocados lowered the risk of developing metabolic syndrome (obesity) in US adults. An explanation could be that avocados being nutritiously dense and high in beneficial fats increase feelings of satiety which is important for weight management. Furthermore, avocados are a type of food that usually go with a healthy diet so logically, people who consume more avocado also happen to opt for healthier food choices.
Reduced cancer risk
Studies on avocado also found that it generally provided a host of benefits for overall health, including cancer protection. One study even found that antioxidants found in avocados slowed down the proliferation of prostate cancer cells. Especially beneficial antioxidants found abundantly in avocados are carotenoids, most notably lutein, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene. These nutrients are known to reduce overall cancer risk but the benefits seem to be most noticeable in cancers of reproductive organs.
Better brain health
Neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease are often believed to be partially a result of nutritional deficiencies. However, oxidative stress which is most likely to happen in the brain due to its high demand for oxygen may also play a role. A study published in Advances in Neurobiology found that the high antioxidant content in avocados could very well prevent the onset of neurodegenerative disorders. In addition to the protection against oxidative stress, the great number of nutrients found in avocado, including vitamin B6, magnesium, and folate are also important for normal brain functioning.
Improved hormonal balance
A combination of avocado and soybean oil called piascledine was found to reduce the severity of hot flashes in menopausal women. This effect was compared to that of hormone replacement therapy and found to be just as good. This effect comes from the sterols in avocado which block estrogen receptors in our cells, meaning that estrogen absorption will be significantly reduced with avocado consumption. This also means that you reduce your risk of hormone-related cancers and improve your fertility outcomes with avocados.
Better joint health
A study published in Arthritis and Rheumatism found that compounds in avocado called unsaponifiable lipids when combined with those of soybean oil reduced the symptoms of osteoarthritis of the knee and hip. In fact, avocado/soybean unsaponifiable lipids have been used in the treatment of arthritis for quite some time now. The reason for this is that these chemicals block pro-inflammatory chemicals, prevent the degradation of cells lining the joints, and help in joint regeneration as explained by the Arthritis Foundation.
Improved liver health
Animal studies that were conducted over the years suggest that eating avocados supports liver health and functioning. This effect was mostly attributed to the antioxidants found in avocado oil. As pointed out in an article published in Health Line, although there are no studies to prove that avocado can prevent liver disease in humans, the fact is that avocados lower bad cholesterol, diabetes risk, and improve weight loss which are all factors that are known to contribute to poor liver functioning.
Avocados truly are nutritional powerhouses as they contain a huge number of nutrients in a small serving of fruit. For this reason, eating avocados is recommended to people in need of greater nutrient support such as pregnant women. Furthermore, avocados also contain antioxidants that were found to protect against different cancers and diseases. The nutrient-dense avocado is also known to boost your fertility not only by supporting your overall health but also by correcting hormonal imbalances. This is especially true for women whose hormonal imbalance has caused problems with ovulation. For all these and many other reasons, including avocados into your daily diet is a good way to support your overall health and functioning.