Reasons Why Avocado Should Be In Your Diet!
Avocado is often hailed as a superfood as it is packed with essential nutrients and healthy fats. Even though Ayurvedic texts do not make a specific mention of avocado, yet based on its qualities and effects on our body, we can get an idea about its Ayurvedic qualities and how it can be used to maintain balance within the body and mind, based on the individual's unique constitution and needs. Let us explore the intriguing relationship between avocado and Ayurveda.
What do we know about avocados?1, 2
Avocado, often regarded as one of the most vital tropical fruits, belongs to the Lauraceae family. It stands out due to its exceptional nutrient composition, as it contains high levels of protein, potassium, unsaturated fatty acids, omega fatty acids, tocopherols, phytosterols, and squalene - nutrients not as commonly found in other fruits. Thus, avocado is a reservoir of health benefits owing to its unique composition.
As mentioned above, avocados are a nutritional powerhouse, brimming with multiple vital nutrients. For example, a 7-ounce avocado offers an impressive 30 grams of healthy fats, 4 grams of protein, 17 grams of carbohydrates, and 14 grams of dietary fibers. Avocados also provide a significant dose of essential vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin B, B3, B5, B6, C, E, K, magnesium, potassium, and substantial amounts of essential minerals like copper and manganese, making them an invaluable addition to a well-rounded and nutrient-rich diet.
Benefits associated with avocado
Avocados can become a great addition to any nutritional diet. Full of vitamins, healthy fats, and essential minerals, it plays a crucial role in maintaining normal bodily functions and protecting the body against diseases.
Gut health:3,4 Maintaining an adequate fiber intake in your diet is crucial for the well-being of your digestive system as it fosters the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. When it comes to digestion, avocados shine! Rich in insoluble fibers, they facilitate waste removal from the body, potentially preventing constipation. Furthermore, a group that incorporated avocados into their diet exhibited a higher presence of beneficial bacteria, including Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, and Alistipes. These bacteria play a crucial role in producing short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), including butyrate. SCFAs are instrumental in providing energy to colon cells and safeguarding against serious illnesses.
Heart health:5,6,7,8,9The vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and fiber present in avocados collectively contribute to maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system. Avocado consumption has been linked to several heart-protective effects. It may help raise the levels of HDL cholesterol, which is known for its heart-protective qualities, while also lowering the levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol. Oxidized LDL is a form of cholesterol strongly associated with atherosclerosis, the accumulation of plaque within artery walls. In addition to these benefits, another study has shed light on avocados as a source of lutein. Lutein is a vital nutrient for eye health. This study also delved into the potential cognitive effects of avocado intake. The research found that a dietary intervention involving avocados significantly increased Macular Pigment Density (MPD), a biomarker associated with brain lutein. This suggests that avocados may have cognitive benefits beyond their cardiovascular advantages. Furthermore, avocados are rich in potassium and magnesium, which are both beneficial for regulating blood pressure. Maintaining healthy blood pressure levels is a crucial aspect of preventing heart disease.
Antioxidant properties:10,11 Avocados are a treasure trove of bioactive compounds, in addition to their rich content of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and fiber. These bioactive compounds, such as carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, and phenolic compounds, have demonstrated their significant potential as antioxidants, and neuroprotectors. These antioxidants play a pivotal role in shielding the body from oxidative damage, which is closely linked to the development of numerous chronic diseases. Due to their high antioxidant content, regular consumption of avocados may fortify the body's defenses against oxidative stress.
Pregnancy diet:12,13,14 Avocados stand out as a distinctive and nutritionally rich plant-based food, containing essential nutrients vital for the well-being and development of both fetuses and infants. Incorporating avocados into your diet can be particularly beneficial in meeting the recommended nutrient levels necessary before and during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Avocados are a rich source of essential nutrients like vitamin C, B6, and potassium which are especially crucial during these phases. Moreover, the high fiber content in avocados can be instrumental in preventing constipation, a prevalent issue during pregnancy. This natural remedy can alleviate discomfort and contribute to a smoother and more comfortable pregnancy experience. Thus, avocados provide a diverse array of beneficial nutrients that can significantly enhance the health of women during the preconception period, as well as throughout pregnancy and lactation.
Weight management:15,16 When it comes to achieving and sustaining a healthy body weight, a nutritious and well-balanced diet stands out as one of the most vital elements. Despite being calorie-dense, avocados offer a plethora of nutrients and offer a feeling of fullness, due to their rich fiber and healthy fat content. Research indicates that adhering to a dietary pattern abundant in fiber-rich foods, can be beneficial for weight management. In addition to this, numerous studies have linked avocado consumption with weight loss, increased satiety, and a reduction in abdominal fat, highlighting their positive impact on achieving and sustaining a healthy weight.
Helps with acne:17 Avocado oil, apart from its rich vitamin E content, includes lecithin, potassium, and other essential nutrients that offer moisture and nourishment to the skin. Thanks to its vitamins and antioxidants, avocado boasts the ability to reduce inflammation in skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. For someone dealing with acne, avocado oil can be effective as it potentially hydrates the skin without leaving excessive oil.
Healing:18Avocado oil potentially promotes rapid wound healing by stimulating collagen production, which is essential for generating new connective tissue and reducing inflammation during the healing process. It also serves as a remedy for sunburned skin, with antioxidants mitigating sunburn symptoms and shielding the skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation.
Avocado can be a useful addition to your diet during the fall season. The healthy fats in avocados provide warmth and nourishment, which can be particularly beneficial during the cooler months of autumn. These fats can help keep the body insulated and provide energy. In essence, avocado and its oil offer a treasure trove of health and skincare benefits, making them an essential addition to your dietary and beauty regimen.
While classical Ayurveda primarily centers around regionally sourced ingredients, modern Ayurvedic practitioners may occasionally introduce non-native elements like avocado into their practices if they align with Ayurvedic principles and are believed to be beneficial for specific individuals. Avocados are a nutritional powerhouse, boasting a remarkable array of nutrients. Incorporating avocados into your regular diet can offer numerous health benefits. They have been associated with protection against heart disease, enhancing overall diet quality, promoting a sense of fullness, and supporting gut health. Furthermore, their versatility and delightful taste make them a fantastic addition to a wide range of dishes, adding both flavor and nutrition to your meals.