Avocado: Health Benefits and Nutritional Facts

Avocadoes are nutritious, delicious and versatile, and have become a kitchen staple in many homes all around the world. We constantly nosh on avocado toasts and flaunt our trendy avocado smoothies on social media, but do we even know what an avocado is? Is it a fruit or a vegetable? Weight loss or just the diet type? Admit it- you have no idea.

Avocadoes
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While some people refer to avocados as fruits and some people say they’re a vegetable, they (Persea Americana) are actually berries. They’re a member of the Lauraceae plant family, which also includes the cinnamon tree.

Avocados are native to Mexico and Central America, but they are cultivated in many parts of the world, including North America. These fruits are an important part of traditional Mexican, Central American, and South American cuisine and are also used in a variety of dishes like guacamole, tacos, salads and more. They are extremely popular in the health and wellness world because they’re highly nutritious and have been linked to several health benefits.

nutritional facts

They have a lot of calories. The recommended serving size is smaller than you would expect: 1/3rd of a medium avocado (50grams or 1.7ounces). One ounce has 50 calories.

According to the National Centre of Biotechnology Information (NCBI), these are the nutrition facts for about 68gms of an avocado:

Calories 114
Dietary fibre 6g
Total sugar 0.2g
Potassium 345mg (milligrams)
Sodium 5.5mg
Magnesium 19.5mg
Vitamin A 43 micrograms
Vitamin E 1.3mg
Vitamin K 14 micrograms
Vitamin B6 0.2mg
Monounsaturated fatty acids 6.7g

Overall, they contain quite a bit of potassium, dietary fibre and fats. Its oil alone is almost 71 per cent monounsaturated fatty acids, also known as the “good fats” which is shown to lower LDL, or the “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL, or “good cholesterol”. These important contents add to a number of health benefits.

Avocadoes Health benefits

A healthy lifestyle that includes nutritious food can help prevent and reverse disease. Avocados are a healthy food you can add. The vitamins, minerals and healthy fats you get from it help prevent diseases and keep your body in good working condition. Avocados can help ward off:

Cancer

The folates you get from it may lower the risk of certain cancers, such as colon and prostate cancer. Nutrients present in it may also treat cancer.

Depression

Research shows that depression is linked with low levels of folate. Folate helps block the build-up of a substance called homocysteine in your blood. Homocysteine slows down the flow of nutrients to the brain and ramps up depression. The high levels of folate in avocados may help keep depression symptoms at bay.

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Inflammation

Chronic inflammation can kick off many diseases, including arthritis, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease. The vitamin E found in avocados lowers the inflammation in your body.

Arthritis and Osteoporosis

Studies on oil extracts from avocados show they can reduce osteoarthritis symptoms. Vitamin K in it boosts your bone health by slowing down bone loss and warding off osteoporosis.

nutrients in avocado can also help in

Weight maintenance

Studies have shown that people who eat fruits and vegetables tend to have lower body weight as compared to their meat-eating counterparts. One study showed that those who ate avocados tended to have more nutrient-rich diets, a lower risk of metabolic syndrome, and a lower body weight than those who didn’t eat. It may help prevent weight gain and promote weight loss.

Digestion

Avocados are packed with fibre. They’re especially high in insoluble fibre, which is the kind that helps move waste through your body. Fibre keeps you regular and can prevent constipation.

Heart

Most of the healthy fat in avocado is oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid. This fat lowers cardiovascular inflammation. They also have beta-sitosterol, which is the plant version of cholesterol. Beta-sitosterol helps lower your cholesterol levels.

Vision

Lutein and zeaxanthin are two antioxidants present in it that are good for your eyes. They help protect the tissues in your eyes from ultraviolet light damage and help prevent both cataracts and macular degeneration.

Pregnancy

A woman who is pregnant needs at least 400 micrograms of folate a day during pregnancy to help prevent birth defects in the baby’s spine and brain. One avocado gives you around 41% of that.

Blood pressure

They are rich in potassium. Potassium helps level out your blood pressure by lowering sodium levels in your blood and easing tension in your blood vessels.

Bottom line

Avocados are nutrient-rich and are full of fibre and healthy fats, which may help reduce inflammation and your risk of heart disease. Limited evidence suggests that eating it regularly can help you feel more satisfied after eating and may help prevent weight gain. They may also help improve weight loss though research on this is limited. Eaten in reasonable amounts is a health-promoting addition to a weight-loss-friendly diet.

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