Na­ture Nur­ture

Un­rav­el­ling the health ben­e­fits of this nu­tri­tion­packed fruit.

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS -

Get the most out of your av­o­cado

Ac­cord­ing to the Jour­nal of the Amer­i­can Heart As­so­ci­a­tion, eat­ing one av­o­cado a day as part of a heart- healthy, choles­terol­low­er­ing, mod­er­ate-fat diet cuts bad cholesterol lev­els in over­weight peo­ple. Dr Man­jari Chan­dra, Se­nior Con­sul­tant Nu­tri­tion, Max Health­care, Mum­bai, says “One medium-size av­o­cado has around 215 to­tal calo­ries but be­cause of the healthy fat, fi­bre and phy­to­chem­i­cal con­tent, this su­per nu­tri­ent­dense food should only help you lose weight.”

Is av­o­cado a fruit or a veg­etable?

Avo­ca­dos are con­sid­ered a fruit be­cause they fit all of the botan­i­cal cri­te­ria for a berry. They have a fleshy pulp and seed. Peo­ple tend to think of it more as a veg­etable though be­cause of the way it’s used in salad or savoury dishes.

Av­o­cado’s health ben­e­fits are due to the fol­low­ing key nu­tri­ents:

Mo­noun­sat­u­rated fats — These are known to re­verse in­sulin re­sis­tance and reg­u­late blood su­gar lev­els. Avo­ca­dos and av­o­cado oil are some of the rich­est sources of mo­noun­sat­u­rated fats which have been linked to pro­tec­tion against heart dis­ease, can­cer, cog­ni­tive de­cline and many other dis­or­ders. Carotenoids — Carotenoids give cer­tain fruits and veg­eta­bles their bright yel­low, or­ange or red colour. Carotenoid ben­e­fits in­clude low­er­ing in­flam­ma­tion, pro­mot­ing healthy growth and de­vel­op­ment, and boost­ing im­mu­nity, among others. Fat-sol­u­ble vi­ta­mins A, E and K — Av­o­cado has an abun­dance of these fat sol­u­ble vi­ta­mins that work to­gether with es­sen­tial min­er­als (such as mag­ne­sium and zinc) to im­pact meta­bolic fac­tors for cel­lu­lar res­pi­ra­tion and thy­roid hor­mone bal­ance. Wa­ter-sol­u­ble vi­ta­mins B and C — Avo­ca­dos are one of the bet­ter vi­ta­min C foods and sources of B vi­ta­mins, in­creas­ing im­mu­nity and men­tal health. Loads of fi­bre – Avo­ca­dos con­tain more sol­u­ble fi­bre than most foods and help sta­bi­lize blood su­gar lev­els, fa­cil­i­tate proper bowel reg­u­lar­ity and main­tain weight con­trol. Fo­late — Av­o­cado ben­e­fits in­clude pre­vent­ing cer­tain birth de­fects like spinal bi­fida and neu­ral tube de­fects be­cause of its high sup­ply of the cru­cial nu­tri­ent called fo­late.

Avo­ca­dos are one of the bet­ter vi­ta­min C foods and sources of Bvi­ta­mins, in­creas­ing im­mu­nity and men­tal­health.

Skin and hair ben­e­fits:

Av­o­cado oil can pen­e­trate into the sec­ond layer of the skin (der­mis) and pro­vide deep mois­tur­iz­ing with its oleic acid and phy­tos­terols. Av­o­cado oil has ben­e­fits for any skin that shows signs of nat­u­ral ag­ing like wrin­kles, dry­ness and flac­cid­ity. Vi­ta­min E and lecithin in av­o­cado help boost the col­la­gen in the skin, giv­ing it firm­ness, and also pre­vents in­flam­ma­tion and keep wrin­kles from show­ing on the skin. Apart from its mo­noun­sat­u­rated fats like oleic acid that mois­tur­ize the scalp, av­o­cado oil con­tains vi­ta­min D, which is cru­cial for the gen­er­a­tion of new hair fol­li­cles. With its mo­noun­sat­u­rated fats, av­o­cado oil can also pre­vent dan­druff for­ma­tion by al­le­vi­at­ing the dry­ness of the scalp.

Av­o­cado oil has ben­e­fits for any skin that shows signs of nat­u­ral ag­ing like wrin­kles, dry­ness and flac­cid­ity. Vi­ta­min E and lecithin in av­o­cado help boost the col­la­gen in the skin, giv­ing it firm­ness, and also pre­vents in­flam­ma­tion.

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