9 Health Benefits of Avocado
Avocados give a flavorful boost to many dips and spreads, but the superfruit also does tons of good for your body. Read on to learn about the health benefits of avocado.
Keeps the Heart Healthy
Avocados are high in fat—but it’s the good kind. Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid that’s also abundant in olive oil, helps keep blood moving at a healthy rate by slowing the rate at which fat clogs blood vessels. Love your EVOO? Check out these health benefits of olive oil next.
Lowers Blood Pressure
When it comes to potassium-rich foods, bananas aren’t the only game in town. Each serving of avocado has about 485mg of the nutrient, which helps counteract the ill effects of sodium to keep blood pressure at a healthy level. Along with lowering the risk of heart attacks and strokes, potassium also helps improve skeletal and muscular function for more limber movement.
Fights Bad Cholesterol
Beta-sitosterol, a natural plant sterol found in avocados, simultaneously helps raise good cholesterol (HDL) levels and remove bad cholesterol (LDL), which can lower the risk of heart disease. Make your doctor proud by whipping up one of our most delicious avocado recipes.
The fiber-rich flesh of avocados soothes the intestines and helps food pass through the intestinal tract with ease. The soluble fibers also come in handy by relieving the nasty symptoms of constipation and diarrhea, just like these high-fiber foods you should be adding to your grocery cart.
Helps Meet Weight-Loss Goals
Avocados’ abundance of fiber can also help keep dieters on track. Healthy avocado recipes will help you feel fuller for longer periods of time, and the fiber can help prevent dips in blood sugar that send you reaching for mid-afternoon snacks.
Heat up avocado oil and massage it into your scalp to nourish dry, flaky skin that leads to dandruff. But be careful not to make it too hot! Your best bet will be to heat it in a jar placed in hot water and test its temperature regularly before applying. You can make a hair mask from fresh avocado, too. Here’s how.
Lots of beauty products contain avocado oil, and for good reason. It’s one of the best foods for your skin! The omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, D and E help keep skin smooth and prevent drying out. Try rubbing the inside of an avocado peel on your face and washing it off after 15 minutes for an at-home facial, or add a few drops of avocado oil to a bath to prevent piping-hot water from making skin too dry.
Protects Against Sunburn
Along with its cooking benefits, avocado oil forms a protective layer on top of the skin to shield against harsh rays of the sun while working in the yard or relaxing on the beach. The flesh also has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help tamper down the pain of sunburns.
Keeps Eyes Sharp
The phytochemicals lutein and zeaxanthin are concentrated in tissue around the eyes, and avocados help bolster their levels to minimize damage caused by UV light. Avocado’s antioxidant properties also help neutralize free radicals, which can cause cataracts and age-related eye diseases.