Avocados are a rich source of essential fatty acids, but the avocados health benefits come from many other important nutritional properties. Avocado is a fruit belonging to the Lauraceae family, alongside with other flowering plants such as camphor, cinnamon, or laurel.
The thick consistency of the pulp and the specific flavor of the avocado make it similar to oleaginous fruits such as the nuts and the seeds. The scientific name of the fruit is American Persea.
The avocado fruit becomes dark green or dark purple when it is ripe, and inside it has a brown seed. Each fruit weighs around 500 grams.
Avocados: Health Benefits
Scientists have found, during some recent studies on the benefits of the avocado fruit, that the avocados have a protective role against cardiovascular diseases, help the consumer to easily control the body weight, and improve the body’s ability to absorb important nutrients from food, in optimal parameters.
Specialists recommend to those who follow a low protein diet to increase the consumption of healthy fats found in avocados, coconut oil, olives, olive oil, butter, or nuts.
An avocado fruit contains about 22.5 grams of fat, of which two-thirds are monounsaturated fats which are beneficial to health. An important quality of the avocado fruit is that it contains very little fructose and about 20 essential nutrients such as fiber, potassium, vitamin E, vitamin B-complex, and folic acid.
In the context of a large number of substances that promote the health of the body, it is easy to understand why avocado fruit has such a long list of benefits, once they are introduced into the diet:
- have strong antioxidant properties, helping to prevent the onset of various types of cancers
- have the ability to protect the liver against cirrhosis and viral hepatitis, according to Japanese researchers, coordinated in a study by professor Hirokazu Kawagishi
- contain certain compounds that inhibit and destroy oral cavity cancer cells
- help raise the level of the good cholesterol in the body (HDL) and reduce the bad one (LDL)
- lower blood triglycerides
- maintain the health of the cardiovascular system by the content of vitamin B6 and folic acid, two substances that regulate homocysteine which is a compound associated with an increased risk of heart diseases
- because they contain Vitamin E, glutathione, and monounsaturated fats, avocados protects the heart and supports the cardiac activity
- regulates high blood pressure through rich potassium content
- protects the healthy cells of the body from free radicals by the phytonutrients content, so they reduce the risk of developing inflammatory and degenerative diseases
- improves vision, preventing and even stopping the macular degeneration associated with aging and cataract
- regulates the blood glucose levels and controls diabetes, reducing insulin resistance of the body
- prevent congenital malformations, such as neural tube defects or Spina Bifida, thanks to the folic acid content
- reduces the risks of stroke
- prevent prostate and breast cancer, as they are rich in oleic acid, a compound that inhibits the development of malignant tumors in these two organs
- delaying the body’s aging process by the antioxidants in their composition that strengthen the immune system, protect the cells, and balance the functions of the nervous system
- combat halitosis, cleansing the intestinal system and regulating a number of toxins in the body, as well as removing the dry mouth phenomenon
- increase the body’s ability to absorb important nutrients
- cure various dermatological conditions through the significant effect of skin hydration
- enhances the aspects of skin and hair, giving them brilliance and vitality
- helps underweight people putting on some weight in a healthy and harmonious manner
- maintain the health of the digestive system, clean the colon and prevent constipation and colorectal cancer
- increase bones’ density through their high Vitamin K content, so preventing osteoporosis and helping the bone system of children to optimally develop
- accelerates metabolism because of the Vitamin B complex
- prevent memory loss and the acceleration of the mental illness in patients diagnosed with Alzheimer.
Clinical studies, conducted on animals, concluded that possible risks in the case of high avocado consumption include:
- weight gain – although avocados are often praised for the weight loss benefits, the high-calorie content can offset the benefits of a diet as a whole.
- hepatic risks – medical studies on lab rats show that a large intake of avocados can cause a fatty liver and a tendency to fibrosis by increasing the hepatic collagen level.
- hemorrhagic effect – presenting high content of Vitamin E, which is anticoagulant, avocados higher the risk for hemorrhage in people under an anticoagulant therapy.
- the emphasis of the symptoms in gastroesophageal reflux disease.
- non-infectious mastitis and the lactation discontinuation can be caused by the usage of the avocado leaves.
- modify the absorption of some drugs.
Avocados: Nutrition Facts
According to the USDA’s National Nutrient Data Base in the US, 100g of fresh avocados contain nutrients, fats, vitamins, and minerals in the following quantities.
- Energy – 160 Kcal
- Carbohydrates – 8.53 g
- Protein – 2.0 g
- Total fat – 14.66 g
- Cholesterol – 0 mg
- Dietary fiber – 6.7 g
- Folic acid – 81 micrograms
- Niacin (B3) – 1.738 mg
- Pantothenic acid (B5) – 1.389 mg
- Pyridoxine (B6) – 0.257 mg
- Riboflavin (B2) – 0.130 mg
- Thiamine (B1) – 0.067mg
- Vitamin C – 10 mg
- Vitamin A – 146 IU
- Vitamin E – 2.07 mg
- Vitamin K – 21 micrograms
- Sodium – 7 mg
- Potassium – 485 mg
- Calcium – 12 mg
- Copper – 0.190 mg
- Iron – 0.55 mg
- Magnesium – 29 mg
- Manganese – 0.142 mg
- Phosphorus – 52 mg
- Carotene-a – 24 micrograms
- Caroten-SS – 62 micrograms
- Criptoxantin-SS – 28 micrograms
- Lutein-zeaxanthin – 271 micrograms
Avocados health benefits are more important than the risks of avocados consumption, and these risks can occur only in the case of consuming very large quantities of avocados. Avocados are maybe the healthiest fruits when it comes to the benefits they bring to humans health, and especially in the cases of people who already suffer from cardiovascular diseases.