Many people and studies constantly mention that eating avocado is healthy, contains some goodies that our body will be thankful for, but I never knew what the real benefits of eating avocado are. I’ve heard about the good fats, fiber, and the incredible nutritious that avocado contains, and finally, I decided to ask the nutritious cooks for more facts.
Nowadays, avocado has become a very popular food among health-conscious individuals, and it often referred to as a superfood that provides a variety of goodies your body needs. There are many types of avocados that vary in color, shape, and size. From pear-shaped to round, from green to black. They can weight anywhere between 8 ounces (220 grams), to 3 pounds (1.4 kg). However, the most popular variety is the Hass avocado, also known as pear-shaped green avocado, or ‘alligator pear’.
Avocados are a great source of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals. Here are some of the most abundant nutrients, in a 3.5-ounce (100 gram) avocado:
- Vitamin K: 26% of the daily value
- Folate: 20% of the daily value
- Vitamin C: 17% of the daily value
- Vitamin B5: 14% of the daily value
- Potassium: 14% of the daily value
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): 13% of the daily value
- Vitamin E: 10% of the daily value
- It also contains small amounts of copper, iron, zinc, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin).
The same size avocado contains around 160 calories, 15 grams of healthy fats, 2 grams of protein, 9 grams of carbs (around 7 of those are fiber, only 2 net carbs), making this a low-carb friendly plant food. Furthermore, this special plant food does not contain any cholesterol, sodium, and is very low in saturated fat.
Another benefit from the avocados is that it can help your body better absorb fat-soluble nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, and K. This means that when you are choosing foods high in these nutrients, adding a little avocado can help your body hang on to them.
CONTAIN GOOD FATS
Avocados are one of the fattiest plant foods in existence. In fact, 77% of the calories in it are from fat. But they don’t just contain any fat! The majority of the fat in avocado is oleic acid, which is also known as monounsaturated acid that is the major component of olive oil. Indeed, it is believed that is the reason for some of its health benefits. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in avocados are also known as ‘’good fats’’, which are good for balanced diets and can significantly lower the level of bad (LDL) cholesterol.
LOADED WITH FIBER
Fiber is another nutrient the avocados are relatively rich in. Consuming fiber is very important for sustaining our health and for optimal body function. High fiber diets have been lauded for lowering blood sugar, cutting cholesterol, and potentially preventing some kinds of cancer (like colon cancer). Therefore, the recommended daily intake of fiber is 35 grams for men, and 25 grams for women and most of us are falling short of those goals. In fact, avocado packs about 1 gram per tablespoon, with around 10 grams of fiber in an entire fruit. Avocados are just a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which are feeding the friendly gut bacteria in your intestine and provide good metabolic health.
SATIETY AND WEIGHT LOSS
Probably you have heard that avocados are great for weight loss and very useful to keep the current shape, but you never knew the logic behind that. Well, of course, avocados don’t have the ‘’ magic’’ for losing weight, but they contain the perfect combination of fat and fiber will help you feel full longer and cut the desire to eat. In one study, people eating avocado with a meal felt 23% more satisfied and had a 28% lower desire to eat over the next 5 hours, compared to people who did not consume this fruit. While, you feel full after eating 1 avocado, be sure that you have consumed only around 160 calories, which is almost equal to 1 tablespoon peanut butter, and 1 tablespoon Strawberry Jam. Including avocados in your diet may help you naturally to eat fewer calories, and make it easier for you to stick to healthy eating habits. Without a big effort, this may result in losing weight.
Not only do avocados increase antioxidant absorption from other foods, but they are also high in antioxidants themselves. Avocados contain carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are extremely important for eye health. This can lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Arthritis is a common problem in Western countries. Multiple studies suggest that soybean and avocado oil extracts, also called unsaponifiables can significantly reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis.
Indeed, there is limited evidence that avocado may be beneficial in cancer treatment and prevention, but based on laboratory experiments and testing, it has been shown that avocado inhibits the growth of prostate cancer cells. Also, test-tube studies suggest that it may help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy in human lymphocytes. However, keep in mind that these studies were done in isolated cells and don’t necessarily prove what may happen inside human bodies.