The avocado trees are native to Central America and Mexico, and the fatty fruit this tree bears is called avocado or alligator pear; often misspelled as ‘avokado.’ The scientific name of the tree is Persea Americana.
There are people often asking, ‘Is avocado a fruit or vegetable?’. It is 100% fruit.
There are many different verities of avocados in varying shades of green color, size, and shape; but it turns black when fully ripe. The most popular variety of this fruit is called Hass avocado that is round with black skin.
Unlike the other fruits, avocado has low carbohydrate content but rich in healthy monounsaturated fat.
The high-fat content makes this fruit very delicious and gives a creamy texture.
Avocado Nutrition Facts
The nutritional value of avocado is unique and better than almost all fruits.
This fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals such as B-Vitamins, Vitamin K, copper, potassium, Vitamin E and also it contains a lot of fiber.
About 73% of the fruit is water, 15% fat, 8.5% carbohydrates, and about 2% protein.
Below given chart shows the percentage of all the nutrients contained in avocado per serving (30 grams).
Because of the FODMAPs in this fruit, some people might experience unpleasant digestive symptoms.
This fruit contains many essential vitamins and minerals, and some of the major ones are as discussed below:
- This fruit can supply to our body the Folate (B9 Vitamin) essential for healthy cell functioning and tissue growth.[4,5]
- The blood clotting enabler Vitamin K1 is amply present in avocado. Vitamin K is also essential for the good health of the bones.[6,7]
- The health of the heart and healthy blood pressure control in the body is aided by the mineral potassium; thankfully the avocados contain a healthy amount of potassium.[8,9]
- Another mineral that also contributes to the health of the heart is the copper. This trace element is a rare mineral in most vegetables and fruits, but the alligator pears have it in a good amount.
- Like all other fatty plant foods, this fruit too has a good amount of Vitamin E that is a powerful antioxidant and essential for the good health of skin and hair.
- The avocado fruit is good for promoting healthy metabolic activities because of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) contained in it.
- This fruit is also good for maintaining the good functioning of the immune system and for healthy skin because of the good bit of Vitamin C found in it.
- The avocados also contain carotenoids such as zeaxanthin and lutein that help in improved eyesight and preventing eye disease that happens with the aging of a person.[14,15]
- The blood sugar level can be well managed by the D-Mannoheptulose, a type of sugar present in this fruit.[16,17]
- This fruit also contains two powerful antioxidants Persenones A and B. These two antioxidants particularly beneficial for preventing inflammation and cancer.[18,19]
All weight conscious people are curious to know how many calories in an avocado.
Half an avocado (68 grams) contains 109 calories, corresponding to 160 calories per 100 grams.
Avocado calories in 1 cup of this sliced fruit (146 gram/5.1oz) are about 229 calories.
The amount of sugar contained in this fruit is comparatively much less than that is in most other fruits. Only 0.5 grams of sugar is contained in half an avocado (68 grams), in the form of glucose, fructose, and galactose.
The low calories in avocado are mainly because of the low sugar and carbohydrate present in this fruit.
This fruits also scores very low on glycemic index score because of the low sugar content in it. It is safe to consume ‘alligator pear’ without the fear of a rise in blood sugar levels.
Carbs In Avocado
The carbs in avocado are very little in comparison to other fruits. Only 12-gram carbohydrate is present in 1 cup of sliced avocado fruit (146 gram/5.1oz).
The avocado carbs are mostly in the fibrous form that won’t be absorbed by the body in most parts.
As fiber occupies most of the carbohydrate content (79%) of avocados, the net digestible carbs are only 1.8 grams for every 100 grams of this fruit.
One avocado contains about 9 grams of fiber that is generally very high for fruits.
The avocado fruit is called by many as the ‘superfood’ for the several health benefits derived from this fruit.
The benefits of avocado extend from its efficiency to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease to its effectiveness in keeping the body weight under control.
The powerful antioxidants in this fruit bring added advantage to the good health of a person by preventing deadly diseases like cancer and stroke.
This fruit has very low calories with a high amount of healthy monounsaturated fats and nutrients. As for all these reasons, it is not at all surprising to know about the several major health benefits of avocado.
Below explained are 12 major health benefits of avocado.
1. Improves Heart Health
At our time when the poor health of the heart has become the major cause of death in the world, there is some solace to this issue to be found in this fruit.
There are studies that have proven the benefits of avocado in lowering the LDL cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. At the same time, this fruit helps to increase the good HDL cholesterol in the blood.[23,24,25]
It is actually the healthy monounsaturated fat amply present in this fruit that makes this fruit healthy for the heart. The folic acid and Vitamins B6 contributed by this fruit is also beneficial for the health of the heart.[26,27]
One of the studies published in 2013 in Nutrition Journal explained the effectiveness of avocado in neutralizing the bad effects of metabolic syndrome, and also it helps in averting the risk of coronary artery disease, diabetes, and stroke.
2. Weight Loss And Appetite Suppression Aided By Avocado
Despite high-fat content, this fruit is very low on calories and does NOT contribute to weight gain. Overweight people may not necessarily lose weight with this fruit, but they will not put on extra weight because of it.
One of the direct impacts of this fruit on weight loss is its effectiveness in suppressing the appetite. It is found that people who have avocados, before or along with the meal, attain faster satiation and the amount of food intake is also reduced.[29,30]
The high fibrous content in this fruit is also helpful in restricting the carbohydrate absorption by the body and reduces the blood sugar level. The metabolic activities also improve because of the good amount of fiber in it.[31,32]
3. Helps In Preventing Arthritis
One of the most effective natural supplements used today to fight arthritis is a mixture of avocado oil (33%) and soybean oil (66%) which suppress the preliminary symptoms that give rise to arthritis.
4. Useful For Regulating Blood Sugar Level
The healthy monounsaturated fats and fibrous content in the avocado help in regulating the blood sugar level.
Unlike the other fruits, there is a very little amount of sugar and digestible carbohydrate present in the fruit; this is ideal for preventing the rise in blood sugar level.
5. Avocado Is An Anti-Inflammatory Agent
These antioxidants and fatty acids help in preventing rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. It is also good for preventing the various types of cancer that arise out of cellular inflammation.
6. Useful For Regulating Blood Pressure
A right amount of potassium is required for maintaining the blood pressure at a healthy level.
7. Improves Vision
8. Creates a Healthy Immune System
Vitamin C and the glutathione antioxidant present in this fruit are good for creating a healthy immune system in the body.
9. Helpful During Pregnancy And For Preventing Birth Defects
The avocado is often considered to be the best fruit that should be regularly consumed by the pregnant woman.
This fruit contains several essential vitamins and nutrients required for expecting mothers. The folic acid in this fruit is known for its efficacy in preventing birth defects like neural tube defects and spina bifida.
10. Beneficial In Preventing Cancer
The avocados are one of the best natural sources of powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances.
This fruit also contains phytochemicals that are excellent for preventing the growth of cancer cells and destroying the same.
11. Improves the Digestive Processes
The rich fibrous content in avocado is very helpful in improving the digestive process in the body.
All fibrous foods also help in regular bowel movements and optimizing the function of intestines. This is also good for improving the metabolic rate and preventing excess absorption of carbohydrates and sugar by the body.
12. Good For Healthy Skin
The health and beauty of the skin receive an internal boost with the regular consumption of avocado fruits.
The Vitamin C and Vitamin E provided by this fruit nourishes and rejuvenates the skin and slows down the aging of the skin.
It is also found that creams and skin masks made with avocado oil and B12 are good for treating psoriasis and getting rid of other skin blemishes.
Side Effects Of Avocado On Health
Generally, most of the people will not find any adverse effects from avocado fruit.
The short-chain carbohydrates (FODMAPs) present in avocado can cause irritable bowel syndrome in some people. The adverse effects of irritable bowel syndrome, some of the users of this fruit might experience stomach pain, diarrhea, constipation, bloating or cramping.
However, some people might experience allergy or irritable bowel syndrome by consuming this fruit.
One kind of avocado allergy that is commonly experienced by some of the users is called the latex-fruit syndrome.
The latex-fruit syndrome occurs when the immune system of the body wrongly attacks the fruit proteins that are similar to the allergy-causing proteins in latex.
People who have bad digestive issues are more prone to be affected by the side effects of avocado and other fruits.
The Bottom Line
The avocado is a ‘superfood’ in true sense for the wholesome nutrients and the many health benefits associated with this fruit.
This fruit is very filling and incredibly nutritious with awesome taste.
The nutritional value of avocado is great as it contains several essential vitamins, minerals and plant compounds in good amount.
Going by the several benefits, the avocados are undoubtedly a healthy fruit that deserves to be included in your daily diet.