Avocados are an incredibly versatile fruit and most definitely a superfood. I would consider it to be one of the top five healthiest foods in existence.
It has not been long since we as a society really started appreciating the avocado. For years many were scared off by a high-fat product and overlooked the nutrients that came along with it.
Today, thanks in part to many people embracing a higher fat diet (I’m looking at you keto people), avocados have taken over as one of the trendiest foods around. You can find avocados as burger buns, egg boats, shaped as roses, and simply on toast in cafes across the world. Its no wonder more and more people seem to be drawn towards them each and every day.
Before we go into each and every benefit, lets quickly get some history behind the avocado.
Avocado is the fruit of the avocado tree, known scientifically as Persea americana.
Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. They have a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical. Commercially, they ripen after harvesting.
A typically avocado takes two to six weeks to grow, once a tree has been established. Once picked avocados ripen in one to two weeks at room temperature
Serving Size: For a typical 1/2 of an avocado, you can expect the following nutrition facts.
- 114 calories
- 6g carbohydrates
- 1g protein
- 10.5g total fat (16% DV)
- 1g saturated fat
- 5g fiber
- 0g sugar
- 345mg potassium (10% DV)
- 20mg magnesium (5% DV)
- 6mg vitamin C (10% DV)
- 0.2mg vitamin B6 (10% DV)
Nutrients Found in Avocados
Avocados contain essential nutrients that help you. We decided to break down each one/
Monounsaturated fats — Shown to reverse insulin resistance and regulate blood sugar levels, avocados and avocado oil are some of the richest sources of monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) in the world! Unlike saturated, or “bad,” fats, MUFAs are actually good for you and help the heart and brain. MUFAs are the main dietary form of fat in the Mediterranean diet, which for decades has been linked to protection against heart disease, cancer, cognitive decline and many other disorders.
Carotenoids — Avocados contain oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that can improve memory and brain activity. (3) Oleic acid in turn helps the body with carotenoid absorption. Carotenoids are chemical compounds that give certain fruits and vegetables their bright yellow, orange or red color. Beta-carotene is one of the most common carotenoids. Carotenoid benefits include lowering inflammation, promoting healthy growth and development, and boosting immunity, among others.
Fat-soluble vitamins A, E and K — Our bodies not only require these vitamins to function properly, but they also work together in an integrated way with essential minerals (such as magnesium and zinc) to impact metabolic factors (such as carbon dioxide and thyroid hormone).
Water-soluble vitamins B and C — I’m not sure if you knew this, but B-complex vitamins and vitamin C are not stored in your body. This means that you need to replenish them every day. Avocados are one of the better vitamin C foods and sources of B vitamins, which reminds me of my mantra: “An avocado a day keeps the medical doctor away!”
Important trace minerals (like magnesium, potassium, iron and copper) — One interesting fact many people are unaware of is that you would need to eat two bananas to meet the potassium content in just one whole avocado, which makes avocados an excellent source to prevent low potassium.
Loads of fiber – Avocados contain more soluble fiber than most foods and help stabilize blood sugar levels, facilitate proper bowel regularity and maintain proper weight control.
Protein — Avocados are on the list of top protein foods. Having the highest protein and lowest sugar content of any fruit, avocados offer a unique balance to building lean muscle mass and burning fat.
Antioxidant phytochemicals (such as beta-sitosterol, glutathione and lutein) — To help protect against various diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts, it’s a good idea to eat a diet rich in phytochemicals like avocados. Antioxidant phytochemicals prevent oxidative damage (also called free radicals) that have the power to change DNA and result in cell mutations.
Folate — Because of its high supply of the crucial nutrient folate, avocado benefits include preventing certain birth defects like spinal bifida and neural tube defects. Research has even suggested that folate-rich foodscan help prevent strokes!
Phytonutrients (polyphenols and flavonoids) — Anti-inflammatory compounds like phytonutrients are key to reducing the risk of inflammatory and degenerative disorders that can affect every part of the body — including joints, the heart, brain, internal organ systems, skin and connective tissue.