Avocado” is the fruit of the avocado tree, called Persea americana .
This fruit is prized for its high nutrient value and is added to all sorts of dishes due to its good flavor and rich texture.
Nowadays the avocado has become an incredibly popular food among health conscious individuals. It is often referred to as a super food….
There are many kinds of avocados, and the shape (from pear-shaped to round) and color (from green to black) can vary between them. They can also weigh anywhere from 8 ounces (220 grams) to 3 pounds (1.4 kg).The most popular type is called Hass Avocado.
The yellow-green flesh inside the fruit is eaten, but the skin and seed are discarded.
Avocados are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of nutrients.Here are some of the most abundant nutrients in a 100 gram serving :
- Vitamin K: 26% of the RDA.
- Folate: 20% of the RDA.
- Vitamin C: 17% of the RDA.
- Potassium: 14% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B5: 14% of the RDA.
- Vitamin B6: 13% of the RDA.
- Vitamin E: 10% of the RDA.
- Then it contains small amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin).
This is coming with 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats. Although it contains 9 grams of carbs, 7 of those are fiber so there are only 2 “net” carbs, making this a low carb friendly plant food.
Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium and are low in saturated fat.
They are high in Potassium
This nutrient helps to maintain electrolyte imbalance in the body’s cells and serves various important functions.
Avocados are actually very high in potassium… with a 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving containing 14% of the RDA, compared to 10% in bananas, which are a typical high potassium food.
Several studies show that having a high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
Avocado is loaded with heart healthy monounsaturated fats:
Avocados and avocado oil are high in monounsaturated oleic acid, a “heart healthy” fatty acid. This is a monounsaturated fatty acid that is also the major component in olive oil.
Studies have shown that avocados can:
- Reduce total cholesterol levels significantly.
- Reduce blood triglycerides by up to 20%.
- Lower LDL cholesterol by up to 22%.
- Increase HDL (the “good”) cholesterol by up to 11%.
Oleic acid has been linked to reduced inflammation and been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.The fats in avocado are also pretty resistant to heat-induced oxidation, making avocado oil a healthy and safe choice for cooking.
Avocados are loaded with fiber
Fiber is indigestible plant matter that can contribute to weight loss, reduce blood sugar spikes and is strongly linked to a lower risk of many diseases.
Soluble fiber is known to be able to feed the friendly gut bacteria in the intestine, which are very important for the optimal function of our bodies.
A 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving of avocado contains 7 grams of fiber, which is 27% of the recommended daily amount.
About 25% of the fiber in avocado is soluble, while 75% is insoluble.
Avocados are loaded with powerful antioxidants:
It has nutrients called Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are incredibly important for eye health. Studies show that these nutrients are linked to a drastically reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which are common in the elderly.
Therefore, eating avocados should have benefits for eye health over the long term.
Avocado extract may help relieve symptoms of arthritis:
Arthritis is a common problem in Western countries. There are many types of arthritis, and these are often chronic problems that people have for the rest of their lives.Multiple studies have shown that extracts from avocado and soybean oil, called Avocado and Soybean unsaponifiables, can reduce symptoms of arthritis of the bones, called osteoarthritis.
Avocado is delicious and easy to incorporate in the diet:
Not only are avocados healthy, they’re also incredibly delicious and go with all sorts of foods.
You can add them to salads and various sorts of recipes, or you can simply scoop them out with a spoon and eat them plain.
They have a creamy, rich, fatty texture and blend well with various other ingredients.
A notable mention is guacamole, which is arguably the most famous use of avocados. It includes avocado along with ingredients like salt, garlic, lime and a few others depending on the recipe.
At the end of the day, avocados are an awesome food. They’re loaded with nutrients, many of which are lacking in the modern diet.
They are weight loss friendly, heart healthy and… last but not least, taste incredible.
What more could you ask for in a food?