Why is avocado good for you?

Avocado is a buttery fruit with 77% fat and the only fruit that provides substantial amounts of MUFA. It is also nutrient-dense and contains a variety of vitamins and minerals. Let us look at the health benefits of regularly consuming avocados

Healthy for the heart

Avocado is high in a healthy fatty acid known as oleic acid. This fat is good for health. It lowers cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol level in the blood. It also increases the level of good HDL. Therefore promoting a healthy heart and reducing the risk of heart diseases.

Lowers Blood pressure

Avocado is a good source of Potassium, an important electrolyte in the body. Potassium helps to lower blood pressure by relaxing blood vessels. However adding raw salt to avocado could interfere with this quality. It is therefore important to enjoy your avocado without adding raw salt to it.

Helps in Weight loss

Research shows that avocado is helpful in weight loss. Because of the high fat and fibre content, it makes you feel full quickly and for long. However, for some people eating a lot of avocado can cause weight gain. This is because the fats in avocado contributes to calorie intake. It is therefore important to consider the calories that avocado adds into your diet.

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Improves eye health

Avocado has lutein and zeaxanthin which protects the eye. It improves vision by preventing cataracts and macular degeneration. You are constantly exposed to blue light from the environment. Therefore, eating avocados regularly can help protect your eyes.

Energy (Kcal)185 KcalCalcium19 mgB-carotene27 mcg
Protein1.6 gIron1 mgThiamine (B1)0.07 mg
Fat19.6 gMagnesium25 mgRiboflavin (B2)0.15mg
Carbohydrate0 gPhosphorous41 mgNiacin (B3)1.8 mg
Fibre4.0 gPotassium281 mgFolate (B9)67 mcg
Ash1.9 gSodium7 mgVitamin C14mg
  Zinc0.39 mgVitamin K21 mcg
Nutrients in 100g of avocado. Adapted from Kenya Food Composition Tables 2018

Improves bone strength

As you grow, bones become weak and easy to break. Avocado contains vitamin K which helps the body to absorb calcium. This ensures that as you age, your bones remain strong. As a result, your bones will not break easily.  Effective absorption of calcium also results in healthy blood vessels. Excess calcium in the blood will deposit in the blood vessels. This makes the blood vessels to be stiff and narrow. Resulting in an increased risk for heart disease.

However, if you have a blood clot, you should eat avocados in moderation. Because avocados are rich in vitamin K, a blood-clotting agent. It is feared that eating avocado may interfere with the effectiveness of blood-thinning medication.  People with blood clots, need to maintain a consistent intake of green leafy vegetables including avocado. Since an increase in Vitamin K increases the risk of blood clots.

Results in Healthy bowel movements

Although avocados are smooth, they are a good source of fiber.  Fiber enhances regular bowel movements therefore preventing constipation.

Note: You need to consume avocado regularly as part of a healthy diet to experience these health benefits.