Benefits of Avocado
The Most Nutrient-Rich Food on the Planet
The avocado has become one of the most popular fruit in the world and the reason behind this acceptance that besides being delicious and more soluble fiber, avocados also contain a good number of beneficial minerals for example iron, potassium, and copper. Avocados are carrying a good amount of the folate B vitamin too.
All about Avocado
Here are complete details on the avocado, with its history, how to accommodate it, and, of course, its health benefits.
A Little History of the Avocado
When and how did the avocado appear on our plates?
Avocado is a tropical forest fruit native to Mexico. The avocado tree is part of the laurel family.
Long called “ahua qualt” then “aguagate”, it was described as butter in the 17th century, and praised for its “delicate and creamy taste”.
It was around this time that it was imported to Europe for the Court of Spain. Subsequently, it began to be cultivated in the West Indies, before being introduced in California, Africa, Australia, and Israel.
The Characteristics of Avocado
What are the main characteristics of the avocado?
A fresh oleaginous fruit, avocado (Persea Americana) is characterized by:
– By its richness in lipids (or fatty substances): 14% on average.
– by great variability in its composition: according to the seasons, the varieties, the origin, the water content of the avocado can vary from 59 to 85%, and its lipid content go from 39 to 7% (overall, the sum of these two constituents – water and lipids – remaining relatively constant).
As a result, the energy intake of avocado, which is much more important than that of fresh fruit, is also very variable.
Per 100g net or roughly half of a medium-sized avocado weighing approximately 300g, the energy intake is approximate:-
– 140 kcalories (585 kJoules) (139,818.36 calories) for an avocado moderately rich in lipids (14%),
– 220 kcalories (920 kJoules) (219,885.28 calories) for an avocado moderately loaded with lipids (22%),
– 360 kcalories (1505 kJoules) (359,703.63 calories) for an avocado very rich in lipids (39%).
Avocado lipids have an original composition since they made up overwhelmingly (nearly 80%) of unsaturated fatty acids. Oleic acid, monounsaturated, largely dominate and exceeds 59% of total fatty acids. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (especially linoleic and linolenic acids) account for 13% of the total and saturated fatty acids (mainly palmitic acid) about 21%.
Avocado is cholesterol-free; however, there are traces of beta-sitosterol (which, like cholesterol, belongs to the sterol family, but does not have the same metabolism).
The Other Energy Constituents of Avocado Have Much Lower Levels
The proteins are present at an average rate of 1.8 g per 100 g. Their biological quality is quite satisfactory since their protein index is 75. (It is higher than that of soybeans and comparable to that of fish). They indeed contain all the essential amino acids, in good proportions (the limiting amino acid is tryptophan). These proteins constitute the nucleus of plant cells and the numerous enzymes. Other nitrogenous substances, such as amines (including serotonin and tyramine, are present in trace amounts); as well as free amino acids included in this category.
Carbohydrates do not exceed 2 g per 100 g (a value much lower than that of other fresh fruits, where they reach on average 10 g). It is a mixture of glucose, fructose, and sucrose, and above all original carbohydrate substances, such as sugar alcohols (such as perseitol), or sugars with five or seven carbon atoms, which are quite rare in the kingdom.
Organic acids are also present in small quantities. It can be classified among carbohydrate substances: malic acid (0.2 g per 100 g), and citric acid (0.08 g per 100 g).
In avocado, Minerals are Abundant:
They represent about 1.4% of the total constituents (three times more than in fresh fruits) and are largely dominated by potassium (550 mg per 100 g on average, instead of 150 to 300 mg in fresh fruit in general). Other mineral substances are present in relatively high amounts: phosphorus (44 mg) and especially magnesium (33 mg, while this rate rarely exceeds 10 to 15 mg in fresh plants). Iron and copper are well represented, with 1 mg and 0.24 mg per 100 g respectively. Finally, the presence of zinc (0.62 mg) and manganese (0.19 mg) is noted.
Avocado is a Fruit That Is Full of Vitamins
– Its vitamin C level is around 11 mg per 100 g, which places it above most of the fruit.
– Its Provitamin A reaches 0.185 mg per 100 g, an interesting content comparable to that of peaches or plums.
– It contains all the vitamins of group B, at levels generally 5 to 10 times higher than those of most fresh fruits (see composition table).
– It provides an appreciable amount of vitamin E (mainly in the form of alpha-tocopherol, very biologically active, with a few fractions of gamma-tocopherols): 1.85 mg per 100 g, a value much higher than those usually observed in fresh fruit (0.1 to 0.6 mg).
The Varieties of Avocado
What are the different varieties of avocado?
Among the many varieties of avocado, a few are commonly sold in Europe and the USA including two very popular: Hass Avocado and Fuerte Avocado.
It is small Avocado fruit with thick skin, fairly rigid, grainy, and purplish-brown in color when ripe. Its blond flesh (with green areas near the skin) is quite firm and well scented. The average weight is 250 to 350 g.
Origin: Spain (September to April); Mexico (September to December); South Africa (May to September); Israel (February to April).
It is a fruit in the typical shape of a pear, with fine and matte skin of dark green color. Its smooth, soft green pulp has a very pleasant, pronounced flavor. Average weight: 250 to 400 g.
Origin: Israel (November to April); Spain (October to April); South Africa (April to September).
The most elongated of the avocados, with a thin, soft, smooth green skin and a pale pulp of very delicate flavor.
Origin: Israel (end of September to April), South Africa (May to September).
It is almost round avocado, smooth dark green skin veined with black. Its firm and very colorful flesh support cooking well.
Origin: Israel (January to March).
A largely shaped avocado swollen at the base, smooth glazed skin, and yellow-green. It has very tender flesh when ripe.
Origin: West Indies (August to October).
The Health Benefits of Avocados
What are the health benefits of avocado?
Avocado is the Most Nutrient-Rich Food on the Planet?
Avocado has an abundance of health benefits but we going to explain the top nine (9) benefits of avocado.
- Improves heart health
- Reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome
- Supports the health of eyes, skin, and hair
- Fights the growth of cancer cells
- Promotes weight loss
- Improves digestive health
- Protects against insulin resistance and diabetes
- Stimulates mood
- Reduces symptoms of arthritis
Avocado has become one of the healthiest superfoods in the world. There are good reasons behind it. In addition to their deliciousness and ease to eat, they also contain many healthy doses of vital nutrients, for example, fiber, potassium, healthy fats, and vitamin K. There are also several benefits for avocado, research suggesting that avocados may help improve heart health, boost weight loss, and keep your digestive tract functioning well.
So avocados are healthy for you? But how you can start adding this tasty food/fruit to your diet? Read on for more fun avocado facts and benefits, plus some simple recipe ideas to get you started.
What are Avocados?
Avocados are a nutritious fruit that originated in Mexico but is now cultivated around the world. The avocado tree, also known as Persea Americana, is a member of the laurel family and can grow between 30 and 40 feet in height. It has greenish-yellow flowers and yields a single-seeded berry that is known as an avocado.
There are several types of avocado, each of which is actually a different cultivar of the avocado plant. Hass avocado is the most popular variety, but there are several other less common types as well, including Bacon, Lula, Pinkerton, Fuerte, and Gwen avocados.
Is Avocado A Fruit Or A Vegetable?
Although, people are using avocados as a vegetable in the culinary world; however, avocados are fruit actually. They are excellent in savory and sweet dishes.
The fruit itself is usually characterized by a dark outer skin with smooth green flesh inside and a large pit in the middle. It has a mild taste and a creamy texture that works well in many different dishes and recipes, from avocado salad to chicken to chocolate pudding and more.
Besides being very versatile, the nutritional value of avocado is also off the charts. Not only is it at the top of the list of foods high in potassium, but it’s also a great source of fiber, healthy fats, and bone-boosting vitamin K. No wonder there are so many advantages of Avocado.
Avocados are packed with nutrients. While each serving has a good amount of avocado calories, it’s also high in fiber, vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, and potassium, along with a good amount of heart-healthy fat and minimal carbohydrates.
How Many Calories Is In An Avocado?
According to research studies, one raw Californian Avocado without skin and seeds (weight about 136 grams) actually contains:
11.8 grams of carbohydrate
2.7 grams of protein
21 grams of fat
9.2 grams of fiber
28.6 micrograms of vitamin K (36% DV)
121 micrograms of folic acid (30 percent DV)
12 milligrams of vitamin C (20% DV)
0.4 milligram of vitamin B6 (20% DV)
2 milligrams of pantothenic acid (20% DV)
689 milligrams of potassium (20% DV)
2.7 milligrams of vitamin E (13 percent DV)
2.6 milligrams of niacin (13 percent DV)
0.2 milligrams of copper (12% DV)
0.2 milligrams of riboflavin (11 percent DV)
39.4 milligrams of magnesium (10% DV)
0.2-milligram manganese (10% DV)
0.1 milligram of thiamine (7% DV)
73.4 milligrams of phosphorus (7% DV)
0.9 milligram of zinc (6% DV)
0.8 milligrams of iron (5% DV)
200 international units of vitamin A (4% DV)
Moreover, this fruit also contains omega-3 fatty acids, omega-6 fatty acids, choline, betaine, calcium, and selenium.
Advantages of Avocado
What are the benefits of eating avocado? Here are the top 9 detailed explanations about the health benefits of avocado.
1- Improves Heart Health
Avocados (and especially avocado oil) support heart health by balancing blood lipids. In terms of fat content and chemical composition, avocado has around 71% monounsaturated fatty acids, 16% saturated fatty acids, and 13% polyunsaturated fatty acids. Diets moderately high in healthy fats – especially monounsaturated fats or MUFAs – are known to block plaque build-up in arteries more effectively than high-carbohydrate diets boosted with insulin. In addition to their fat content, avocado fiber and the presence of beta-sitosterol, magnesium, and potassium compounds can also help lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
More and more clinical studies are exploring why healthy sources of fat are so important for maintaining heart health. For example, researchers in Mexico fed a diet fortified with avocado to healthy adults and people with high cholesterol and looked at the results. After just a week, it was discovered that when healthy people with normal lipid levels ate avocados, their total cholesterol levels dropped by 16%. The results seen in the high cholesterol group were even more profound. Not only did total cholesterol drop 17 percent, but LDL (22 percent) and triglycerides (22 percent) did too, while their levels of good HDL cholesterol actually increased by 11 percent.
2- Reduces the Risk of Metabolic Syndrome
Some research suggests that consuming avocados may be accompanied by a lower risk of metabolic syndrome in adults. (The metabolic syndrome – it is a term for a collection of conditions that increases the risk of stroke, developing heart disease, and diabetes. Some other health benefits of avocado include help with low blood sugar, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and excess belly fat.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition assessed the eating habits of 17,567 American adults over a seven-year period. Researchers found that people who ate avocados regularly tended to eat more balanced and higher-quality diets than non-avocado consumers, as well as a higher intake of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, fats, and fiber. Avocado consumption linked to lower body weight, body mass index (BMI), and waist circumference, as well as higher levels of good HDL cholesterol. The researchers also found that those who ate avocados were 50% less likely to develop metabolic syndrome than non-consumers.
3- Supports the Health of Eyes, Skin, and Hair
Why is avocado good for your skin? They are rich in fat-soluble vitamins including monounsaturated fat. Avocado is beneficial for glowing skin, make shiny eyes, and help in the development of shiny hair if used regularly. Truth be told, avocado’s skin benefits may include nature’s best moisturizer, especially considering how expensive it is and they’re completely free from added synthetic chemicals.
Avocados are highly antioxidant foods that contain lutein, a type of carotenoid that protects eye health and maintains healthy, youthful-looking skin and hair. Carotenoids are a group of antioxidant phytochemicals found in vegetables like carrots, squash, and sweet potatoes which are known to block the effects of environmental toxins like pollution and damage from UV light. Research shows that dietary carotenoids offer health benefits related to disease prevention, especially certain skin cancers and age-related eye disorders like macular degeneration. Lutein appears to benefit eye health as it absorbs the type of harmful blue light rays that enter the eyes and skin, altering DNA and causing free radical damage. Research also shows that adding avocado to a meal can help boost the absorption of carotenoids.
If you way to have a healthy and glowing complexion, just rub the inner part of an avocado peel on the skin and make a habit to use avocado oil as the primary moisturizer. Mix in a few therapeutic essential oils and you can easily make a profitable lotion instead of paying cash for that store-bought stuff full of irritating chemicals. You can also use this fruit for hair masks to regenerate, moisturize and add shine.
4- Fights the Growth of Cancer Cells
Several studies have recently surfaced presenting avocados as cancer-fighting foods. the Journal of Nutrition and Cancer published the results of an in vitro study, for example, claiming that the phytochemicals in avocados are so potent they could help kill oral cancer cells. Researchers at Ohio State University have taken this theory a step further in an attempt to understand exactly how this phenomenon occurs. A preliminary study published in 2011 suggests that the specific combination of phytonutrients found in each avocado may hold the key to its anti-cancer effects. Research shows that phytochemicals extracted from avocados help induce cell cycle arrest, inhibit growth, and promote apoptosis in precancerous and cancerous cell lines. Studies point toward that avocado phytochemicals extracted with 50 % methanol help in the production of human lymphocyte cells and also lessening chromosomal changes.
Another reason avocados are linked to reduced cancer and diabetes risks are their monounsaturated fatty acid content. These have been shown to provide better protection against chronic disease compared to other types of fatty acids due to their ability to reduce inflammation. Beta-sitosterol, another compound found in avocados, is also very protective of the prostate and linked to better immune function and a lower risk of prostate cancer.
5- Helps in Weight Loss
Do avocados add in weight gain or do avocados help you to burn belly fat? Contrary to what most people believe, diets lower in carbs and higher in healthy fats are known to speed up weight loss – so if you’re looking to lose weight fast, avocados are your friend. Fat is super filling and increases satiety hormones which help you eat less overall. They also allow you to go longer between meals without feeling hungry to help prevent overeating, snacking, and sugar addiction. This is one of the reasons that increasing MUFAs in the diet is linked to better weight management and a healthier BMI.
Have you ever eaten a large salad without a lot of dressing, nuts, or avocado and feel hungry within hours? This is because low-fat diets tend to leave you dissatisfied and pose other risks like nutrient malabsorption, insulin spikes, reproductive issues, and mood issues. Researchers in charge of a 2005 study sought to dispel the myth that avocados get fat and therefore should be avoided on low energy diets. Dieticians examined the special effects of avocados; it is a rich source of calories from monounsaturated fatty acids, as part of an energy-restricted diet.
They found that consuming 30 grams per day of fat from avocado on an energy-restricted diet didn’t compromise weight loss at all when substituted for 30 grams per day of mixed dietary fat. The high intake of avocados resulted in noteworthy weight loss along with other health improvements. Measurements, including body mass, body mass index, and body fat percentage, decreased significantly in both groups during the study, but only the avocado group experienced positive changes in serum fatty acid levels in the blood, showing that there are clear benefits for avocados from weight loss.
6- Improves Digestive Health
As you now know, avocados are one of the best sources of fruit fiber. Depending on the size of the avocado, whole fruit contains between 11 and 17 grams of fiber, which is more than almost any other fruit and most servings of vegetables, grains, and beans. Foods high in fiber are important for anyone with a digestive tract problem because fiber helps alter the balance of bacteria in the gut, increasing healthy bacteria while decreasing unhealthy bacteria that can be causing it. certain digestive disorders. Fiber also helps add bulk to stools, promotes regularity, and helps draw waste and toxins through the intestines and colon.
Fats are also essential for the digestion and absorption of nutrients because they nourish the lining of the intestine. A low-fat diet can lead to constipation or symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is a disorder of the gastrointestinal tract characterized by abdominal pain and changes in bowel habits.
7- Protects Against Insulin Resistance and Diabetes
According to several studies, following a diet rich in MUFA may improve fasting insulin levels in people who are insulin resistant. Eating plenty of foods high in MUFA can also help lower blood sugar and insulin levels for hours compared to meals high in carbohydrates. Consuming dietary MUFA promotes healthy blood lipid profiles, mediates blood pressure, improves insulin sensitivity, and regulates glucose levels while preventing obesity and oxidative damage to cells.
8- Avocado Stimulates Mood
Fatty acids play an important role in regulating central nervous system functions and cognitive processes as they impact neurotransmitter levels and help balance hormones naturally. Therefore, your mood stimulates and can improve when you consume enough healthy fats. This means that you can add mental wellness aid to the list of avocado benefits.
While studies suggest that consumption of trans fat may be linked to a higher risk of depression. The reverse is true for natural MUFAs. In other words, high-fat diets can reduce depression, anxiety, and other risks of mental disorders. Because they facilitate the proper functioning of thinking, hormone production. It also helps in stress reduction mechanisms in the body.
9- Reduces Symptoms of Arthritis
Arthritis is a common disorder described by joint pain and swelling. According to the Arthritis Foundation, arthritis affects up to 50 million adults and 300,000 children worldwide. Some studies suggest that avocado benefits from certain symptoms of arthritis. In fact, several studies show that specific compounds extracted from avocado oil can help decrease symptoms of osteoarthritis, which is considered the most common form of arthritis.