Avocado has many health benefits which include boosting the immune system, fights against diabetes, keeps the heart healthy, helps in weight management and many more.
Avocado is the miracle food which is the gift of health from Mother Nature to the mankind.
Avocado has green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped or spherical and ripens after harvesting at home.
Avocado Trees are partially self-pollinating and often are propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit.
It has the highest energy value of any fruit; you can find nearly 20 essential nutrients some of them being fiber, potassium, Vitamin E, Vitamins B and folic acid in avocados.
They are rich in proteins and fat and yet low in carbohydrates, and this quality can make a person awe in wonder.
You can find Avocado trees from Central Highlands of Mexico to the rainforests of northwest Columbia. Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world.
Avocados contribute to the nutrient quality of your diet. According to Food Development Authority eating too much fat, cholesterol, or sodium may increase the risk of certain chronic diseases like heart diseases, cancer, or high blood pressure.
Health experts recommend that you keep your intake of saturated fat, Trans fat, and cholesterol as low as possible as a part of the nutritionally balanced diet.
However avocados, due to their mono and polyunsaturated fat content, are a great substitution for foods rich in saturated fats. As already mentioned earlier, Avocados contribute nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds that can contribute to the nutrient quality of your diet.
Nutritional Value Of Avocado
Avocados are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals. Here are some of the most abundant nutrients, in a single 3.5 ounce (100 gram) serving (3):
- 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, B2 and B3.
Health Benefits Of Avocado
The avocado is a unique type of fruit. Most fruits consist primarily of carbohydrates while avocado is high in healthy fats. Numerous studies show that it has powerful beneficial effects on health.Here are 12 health benefits of avocado, that are supported by scientific research.
1. Avocado Is Incredibly Nutritious
What we refer to as “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 flavour and rich texture.It is the main ingredient in guacamole.
These days, the avocado has become an incredibly popular food among health conscious individuals. It is often referred to as super food which is not surprising given its health properties.
There are many kinds of avocados, and the shape (from pear-shaped to round) and colour (from green to black) can vary between them.They can also weigh anywhere from 8 ounces (220grams) to 3 pounds (1.4kg).
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, including 20 different vitamins and minerals. Then it contains small amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1, B2 and B3.Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium and are low in saturated fat. It is loaded with healthy fats, fibre and various important nutrients.
2. They Contain More Potassium Than Banana
Potassium is a nutrient that most people aren’t getting enough of. This nutrient helps maintain electrical gradients in the body’s cells and serves various important functions.
Avocados are very high in potassium with a 100-gram 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. It supports healthy blood pressure levels.
3. Avocado Is Loaded With Heart-Healthy Monosaturated Fatty Acids
Again, avocado is a high-fat food. In fact, 77% of the calories in it are from fat, making it one of the fattiest plant foods in existence. But they don’t just contain any fat; the majority of the fat in avocado is oleic acid.
This is a monosaturated fatty acid that is also the major component in olive oil and believed to be responsible for some of its beneficial effects.
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.
4. Avocados Are Loaded With Fibre
Fibre is another nutrient found in relatively large amounts in avocado. Fibre 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.
A distinction is often made between soluble and insoluble fiber. 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 serving of avocado contains 7 gram of fiber, which is 27% of the recommended daily amount. About 25% of the fibre avocado is soluble while 75% is insoluble.
5. Eating Avocados Can Lower Cholesterol And Triglyceride Levels
Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the world. It is known that several blood markers are linked to an increased risk. This includes cholesterol, triglycerides, inflammatory markers, blood pressure and various others. Avocados reduce total cholesterol levels significantly.
They reduce blood triglycerides by up to 20% and lower LDL by up to 22%. Moreover, avocados increase HDL (good cholesterol) by up to 11%. One of the studies showed that including avocado in a low-fat vegetarian diet led to improvements in the cholesterol profile.
People Who Eat Avocados Tend To Be Healthier
A study was conducted at the dietary habits and health of people who eat avocados. They analysed data from 17,567 participants in the NHANES survey in the USA. Avocado consumers were found to be much healthier than people who didn’t avocados.
They had a much higher nutrient intake and were half as likely to have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that are a major risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.
People who ate avocados regularly also weighed less had a lower BMI and significantly less belly fat. They also had more HDL (good) cholesterol. Thus, from a dietary survey, it is found that those who ate avocados had a lower risk of metabolic syndrome.
6. The Fat In Them Can Help You Absorb Nutrients From Plant Foods
When it comes to nutrients, the total amount of them is not the only thing that matters. We also need to be able to absorb them, move them to form the digestive tract and into the body where they can be used. Some nutrients are “fat soluble” meaning that they need to be combined with fat to be utilized.
This includes Vitamins A, D, E and K along with antioxidants like carotenoids. One study showed that adding avocado or its oil to either salad or salsa can increase antioxidant absorption by 2.6 to 15 fold.
So not only is avocado highly nutritious, it can dramatically increase the nutrients value of other plant foods that you are eating.
7. Avocados Are Loaded With Powerful Antioxidants That Can Protect The Eyes
Not only avocados increase antioxidant absorption from other foods, but they are also high in antioxidants themselves. This includes 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.
8. Avocado May Help Prevent Cancer
There is limited evidence that avocado may be beneficial in preventing cancer. One study showed that it may help reduce side effects of chemotherapy in human lymphocytes. The avocado extract has also been shown in inhibiting the growth of prostate cancer cells.
However, keep in mind that these studies were done in isolated cells and didn’t prove anything about what happens in a living, breathing human. Some study in isolated cells has shown that nutrients in avocados may have benefits in preventing prostate cancer, and lowering side effects of chemotherapy in some cells.
9. 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 unsaponifiable, can reduce symptoms of arthritis of the bones, called osteoarthritis.
Whether avocados themselves can have this effect, and not just the extract, remains to be seen.
10. Eating Avocado May Help, You Lose Weight
There is some evidence that avocados are a weight loss friendly food. In one study, people were split into groups. One group was instructed to eat a meal that contained avocado, the other a similar meal without avocado. Then they were asked a series of questions related to hunger and satiety.
The people eating the avocado felt 23% more satisfied and had a 28% lower desire to eat over the next 5 hours. If this holds true in the long- term, then including avocados in your diet could help you naturally eat fewer calories and have an easier time sticking to a healthy diet.
Avocado are also high in fibre, and very low in carbs, two attributes that should also help promote weight loss, at least in the context of a healthy, real food based diet.
Side Effects Of Avocado
1. No Avocado In Hypersensitivity
If you are suffering from hypersensitivity, you should avoid eating avocado. It may cause a skin reaction or vomiting.
2. Avocado Causes Allergy
Avocado effects on the skin are adverse leading to terrible skin issues with allergies being the major effect. Symptoms of allergy are hives, itching, redness in skin or eczema.
3. Liver Damage
There are certain types of avocado oil which may cause damage to your liver. If you are suffering from compromised liver function and to avoid avocado oil side effects, stop eating this fruit.
4. Gastrointestinal Irritation
If you consume avocado in a large amount, then you will have an upset stomach. It sometimes causes gastrointestinal irritation.
GOING TO BUY AN AVOCADO?
Here Are Some Tips On How To Select An Avocado
To select an avocado you should check the color of the skin of the fruit. As already mentioned Avocados do not ripen on trees, they ripen after they have been harvested so the color of skin will tell you how many days it will take to ripe fruit.
How To Ripe Avocado Fruit At Home?
To ripe the Avocado fruit at home select the unripe fruit from the market and place the fruit with an apple or banana in a plain brown paper bag at a temperature of 65-70 degree Celsius at least for two to five days or until they become ready to eat. You should not use the microwave to accelerate the ripening process.
How To Store Ripe Avocados?
Once the fruit is ripe it can be refrigerated until it is eaten, but not for more than two or three days. When you cut avocado, it turns brown because while cutting avocado you break the cellular walls which causes oxidation to occur.
You can prevent this oxidation process by adding an acidic agent and limiting the surface area exposed to the air. After you cut the avocados, sprinkle lemon or lime juice on it and place in an airtight container or tightly covered plastic wrap in refrigerator for a day.
How To Cut, Slice, Peel And Pit Avocados?
To cut the avocado, you should wash it properly under running water before cutting or slicing. Place the avocado lengthwise and slice down the center lengthwise around the seed starting at the narrower end.
To remove the seed or pit of an avocado, you must use slide spoon between the seed and fruit and gently take the seed out of the fruit. To peel the avocado make wedges of it and grasp the outer dark layer or skin and pull it away from the inner green flesh of the fruit. You should not consume the peel.
Thus, it is quite explanatory by the article that avocados are such a treasure trove of nutrients. Avocados are a wonderful fruit containing a range of vital nutrients needed for a healthy body and must be consumed by one and all.