Avocados can differ in size, colour and shape. They are usually round or pear-shaped, come in different shades of green. The most popular type of this fruit is Hass avocado, which is round and has a black skin. Avocados can be eaten raw, or added as an ingredient in foods like salads and dips. This smooth and creamy textured fruit, avocado is rich in monounsaturated fats. It contains much more fat than most other fruits. Avocado flaunts a unique nutrient profile and contains plenty of fiber, vitamins B, C, E, and K, and minerals like copper and potassium. Avocado fruit offers multiple health benefits like lower risk of cardiovascular diseases and effective weight loss. Read to know more about the nutritional facts of Avocado, its health benefit, & how much avocado should you eat in a day.
What is the Nutrient Profile of an Avocado?
Avocado consists of 73% water, 8.5% carbohydrates, 15% fat, and 2% protein. 68 g, i.e. around half an avocado, contains around 109 calories.
Carbs in Avocado: Avocados contain very less sugar, compared to other fruits. About half-an-avocado contains 0.5 g of sugar, as fructose, galactose and glucose. About 100 g of avocado contain only 1.8 g of net digestible carbs. Avocado fruit has a very low glycemic index score due to its low sugar content and does not raise the blood sugar levels much.
Fats in Avocado: Avocado is one of those rare fruits, which boost of high monounsaturated fatty acids, mainly oleic acid content. Oleic acid has been associated with decreased inflammation and has positive effects on cancer. The high amount of healthy fats in avocado is believed to protect against diabetes and heart diseases too.
Fiber Content in Avocado: About 79% of the total carbohydrate content of avocado is made of fiber. Only half an avocado provide as high as 4.5 g of fiber. Fiber is a vital dietary component as it offers many health benefits like regulating appetite, promoting the growth of gut-friendly bacteria, and reducing the risk of many diseases.
Avocados also contain FODMAPs, which are short-chain carbohydrates that few people cannot digest. It can cause unpleasant digestive symptoms like irritable bowel syndrome.
Vitamins in Avocado: Avocado is a storehouse of many essential vitamins. Vitamin B6 in Avocado helps to convert food into energy; Vitamin E in Avocado helps to improve skin and hair health, and Vitamin B9 or folate in Avocado promotes normal cell functioning and tissue growth. Avocado is especially useful for pregnant women. The antioxidant and vitamin C present in Avocado boosts immune function and helps to prevent diseases, while vitamin K1 supports blood clotting and benefits the bone health.
Minerals in Avocado: The essential mineral, potassium in avocado helps to regulate and control blood pressure and improve the heart health. Avocados actually contain more potassium than bananas. Copper present in avocado also helps to keep the heart healthy.
Other Plant Compounds in Avocado: The main plant compounds in avocados are carotenoids, Persenones A and B, and D-Mannoheptulose. Avocados contain many carotenoids, like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are important for maintaining good eye health and decreasing the risk of age-related eye disorders. Persenones A and B are powerful antioxidants present in avocado, which help to protect the body against inflammation and cancer, while D-Mannoheptulose in avocado is a type of sugar which aides in controlling sugar levels in the blood.
What are the Health Benefits of an Avocado?
Enriched with antioxidants and many vital nutrients, avocado helps in:
Good Heart Health Benefits of Avocado
Research has shown that avocado can help to significantly lower blood cholesterol and triglycerides level, reduce the LDL and increase the HDL level in the body. Avocado can thus help to decrease the risk of heart diseases significantly.
Weight Loss Benefits of Weight Loss
Even though avocado is known for its high fat content, this fruit is still a good addition in the diet of a person trying to lose weight. Avocado makes one feel more satiated, reduces their desire to eat at frequent intervals, and thus helps in weight loss. Also, avocado is high in fiber, which helps to improve digestion, prevent bloating, control the blood sugar level and thus support weight loss.
Avocado Reduces Symptoms of Arthritis
Arthritis is a common condition characterised by progressive degeneration of the joint cartilage. Regular consumption of avocados can help to suppress the symptoms of arthritis, especially in the hips and knees.
What are the Risks of Avocado Consumption?
Although Avocado is mostly considered safe for consumption, it can however cause certain problems in individuals with irritable bowel syndrome or allergy. People suffering from latex allergy can have an allergic reaction on consuming avocado and can experience symptoms like stomach cramps, upset stomach, and headaches. FODMAPs in avocado can cause problems in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Avocados can adversely affect the individual’s digestion and cause symptoms like cramping, gas, stomach ache, bloating, constipation or diarrhea.
How Much Of Avocado Should Be Eaten In A Day?
A single, 1 ounce portion of medium sized avocado can yield around 2 to 3 slices of the fruit. Factors like a person’s gender, age, weight, height, present medical condition, and family medical history play an important role in ascertaining their daily fat and calorie needs. However, one can at the max have 1 to 2 servings of avocado, which is around 2-5 slices of avocado 2-4 times a week. This serving size of avocado is enough to provide them with many health benefits without negatively affecting their weight loss efforts. But this; however, is not a fixed rule and can be adjusted to meet the specific needs of people.
Avocado is an incredibly filling and nutritious fruit which tastes really good. Avocado is an excellent source of several vitamins, minerals and plant compounds, which can offer multiple health benefits. So, avocados are definitely a wonderful addition to a healthy diet.