This pear shaped fruit, also known as “Alligator pear” grows on a tree that is native to Central Mexico. Avocados provide close to 20 essential nutrients, among which there are Vitamin E, potassium, fiber, folic acid, B-vitamins, Zinc and many other.
And despite being high in fat, avocado is one of the most beneficial fruits you can eat.
Avocado Nutrition Facts
Just 100g of avocado, or a half avocado provides around 1-2g of protein, 7-8 grams of carbohydrates, about 15 grams of fats and about 155-165 calories.
Like we mentioned avocados are a great source of some vitamins and minerals like zinc, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Vitamins from the B group as well as fiber and healthy fatty acids.
Calories: ~ 155-165
Fat: 15 g
Carbohydrates: 8g (of which sugar sugar <1g)
Vitamin E: 2.1mg
Vitamin C: 10mg
Fiber makes the majority if carbs in an avocado. A whole avocado provides about 16-17 grams of carbohydrate and 13 grams of fiber. There is very little sugar in an avocado (less than one gram) and the rest of the carbohydrates in the fruit come from starch, which makes this fruit low glycemic index.
A whole avocado provides around 30 grams of fat, of which 4 grams of saturated fat, almost 20 grams of monounsaturated fat, and around 4g of polyunsaturated fat.
A whole avocado provides about 4 grams of protein, which is on the lower side. That’s why this fruit is usually consumed with other protein sources, such as eggs and cheese.
8 health benefits of eating avocados
1. It has anti Inflammatory properties
Avocado has high content of carotenoid antioxidants, including beta-carotene and alpha-carotene, lutein, neoxanthin, neochrome, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, violaxanthin , beta-carotene and alpha-carotene.
Avocados are also rich in minerals like zinc, manganese and selenum as well as Omega 3 fatty acids. This makes it a highly anti inflammatory fruit that helps in reducing the risk of inflammatory and degenerative disorders.
2. Heart health benefits
High level of homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Avocado contains folic acid and vitamin B6, which are known to regulate homocysteine levels.
Vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for maintaining a healthy heart.
3. Lowers high blood pressure
Shortage of potassium in our body can have negative effects on our health. One of those negative effects is high blood pressure which can cause harm to the heart and kidneys long term.
Potassium helps in balancing high sodium levels in our body as well as helping the blood vessels relax and normalize blood flow. This is why, because of its high content of potassium, the avocado can help in lowering high blood pressure.
4. Lowers cholesterol levels
Beta-sitosterol is a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and it’s found in avocados. In one study, 45 volunteers experienced an average drop in cholesterol of 17% after eating this fruit for only one week.
5. Better Nutrient Absorption
Research has found that certain nutrients are absorbed better when eaten with avocado. This is the case with fat-soluble phytonutrients that require a certain combination and amount of dietary fats to be absorbed.
6. Balances hormone levels
Certain fats are necessary for fat metabolism and fat breakdown as well as for hormone production.
Essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6) in their organic state benefit us in numerous ways, and one of these ways is the production of hormones; primarily steroid hormones such as testosterone, cortisol, estrogen and progesterone. Avocado is high in fats, and yes those are the “good” fats.
7. Controls blood sugar
The good (monounsaturated) fats in avocados that we mentioned above can help in keeping your blood sugar in check by improving insulin sensitivity.
Another benefit is the high presence of dietary fiber that increases the time of carbohydrates digestion.
8. Helps your body fight free radicals
Being rich in antioxidants, avocado helps the body fight free radicals and prevent aging symptoms. The glutathione in avocado may boost immune system, it may also slow down the aging process, and encourages a healthy nervous system.