Avocados are finally making a comeback after getting a lot of bad press over the past few years. Not only has there been a greater level of emphasis been placed on the health benefits of this fruit, it has become important to point out that the nutritional value of an avocado is almost beyond compare. If you’re thinking about avocados to your eating habits because you’ve heard of their many benefits, then here are some of the key pros and cons to consider.
What Are the Pros of Avocados?
1. It has over 20 different vitamins and minerals.
It isn’t just these key items that make eating an avocado good for you. They are also full of the phytonutrients the body needs as well. They are high in fiber, contain a lot of potassium, and help meet folic acid needs. Add in the vitamin E that they contain, the vitamin B, and the fact that they taste great and this fruit is clearly a winner.
2. It can take away bad breath.
Are you waking up with bad morning breath? Then consider eating an avocado or some guacamole before going to bed. The soft fruit of the avocado actually acts as a mouthwash to cleanse away the odor-causing bacteria that may be lining your teeth. The end result is a reduction of bad breath. If you’re in a hurry to meet someone or make a good first impression, just remember to get the green stuff off your teeth before you smile.
3. It helps to regulate blood pressure.
The acids, vitamins, and minerals that are contained within the fruit of the avocado can actually help to keep blood pressure balanced. This is important for those who may drink multiple cups of coffee, have energy drinks on a regular basis, or have other lifestyle habits that contribute to high or low blood pressure.
4. It is an extremely versatile food.
Even though it is considered a fruit, the avocado can actually become a vegetable substitute for many recipes. It can be cut up and served raw into salads. It makes an easy and filling baby food. Many people know about how great the flavors of a well-made guacamole happen to be. It can also be mixed with olive oil and turned into a unique pasta sauce.
5. It provides fats that are heart healthy.
What avocados contain is known as monounsaturated fat. What it does is encourage the development of good cholesterol within the body while not encouraging the LDL cholesterol that can lead to heart health issues. Some studies even suggest that avocados can even encourage LDL levels to be lowered. When avocados are consumed when an individual is taking a statin, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, the fatty acids in the blood, can both be lowered by 22%.
6. They help to keep blood sugar levels stable.
Avocados are one of the few fruits that have a relatively low glycemic index. This means that when they are consumed, blood sugar levels aren’t going to spike because of a large amount of fructose being consumed. For those who are struggling to keep their blood sugar levels down, this fruit provides a filling option that won’t cause potential health problems after being eaten.
7. It improves calcium absorption.
Calcium is important for bone health, but it often must be consumed in high doses because it is so hard for the body to absorb this needed element. By eating avocados on a regular basis, calcium absorption rates may increase, along with other key micro-nutrient levels, to create the foundations for better overall health.
8. Avocados may even cut cancer risks.
Lutein, of which avocados contain high amounts, is a known factor in reducing inflammation. Since many illnesses, including cancer, are believed to begin because of inflammation, there’s a chance that an avocado a day could keep the cancer away.
What Are the Cons of Avocados?
1. They have a high fat content.
Although avocados have what are known as “healthy fats,” there is still truth in the statement that too much of a good thing can be bad for you. The average avocado contains 29g of fat, which means just one fruit can be over 300 calories. Makes you think twice before adding avocado slices to a sandwich, right? Try to limit avocado slices to 2-3 per day to offset this potential problem, otherwise 50% of your daily recommended fat intake will be consumed with just one avocado.
2. You could be allergic to them without realizing it.
Do you have a latex allergy? Then you might actually have an avocado allergy. That’s because avocados contain an enzyme called “chitinase.” This is the same enzyme that can be found in latex and about 8% of people who consume avocados eventually become allergic to them. Even if you don’t have a latex allergy, if you eat enough avocados, you might develop one and that could create future health problems. Exposing yourself to latex could also encourage the avocado allergy in return. Kiwis, chestnuts, tomatoes, and bananas are also involved in the cross-allergy development.
3. They are a little more expensive than your average fruit.
It isn’t uncommon today to find avocados that are priced in the $2-$3 per fruit range. In comparison, that’s about the same amount as an entire bunch of bananas, a couple pounds of apples, or even a couple of grapefruits. This means not every household is going to be able to afford this healthy fruit, even if they wanted to include more of it into their diet.
4. It may put extra stress on the liver.
For those who have liver health issues, avocados may be too much of a good thing. That’s because this fruit encourages collagen formation and that may damage the liver depending on how many avocados are consumed on a daily basis. If the collagen cannot be properly processed, there is a good chance that its accumulation could result in the development of fibrosis.
5. For breastfeeding mothers, avocados may cause less milk to be produced.
This issue is typically in relation to avocados that are eaten when they are not fully ripe. Animal research has shown that immature avocados can repress how much milk can be produced by a mother and the end result may create heart health issues that are unanticipated. Liver enzyme levels may actually rise as well, further enhancing the health issue.
The pros and cons of avocados show that this can be a healthy addition to most diets when consumed in moderation. Be aware of potential allergic reactions, eat fruits that are ripe, and budget accordingly to offset the disadvantages seen here so that only the best features of what an avocado can bring to you are experienced.