What is Avocado?
Avocado (scientific name: Persea Americana) is a flowering plant grown in tropical regions. This green – colored pear-shaped fruit or plant was first discovered in South Central Mexico. Avocado has a large seed inside it and is the only seed in the only seed in this fruit. A suitable temperature is needed to grow and cultivate avocado fruit. Frost-free and very slight windy climate is what is required to grow an avocado.
Such temperatures and subtropical climate are usually found in some areas of the USA like Texas, California, Hawaii, Florida, Puerto Rico, etc. Also, the climatic conditions found in southern India, New Zealand, South Africa, Peru, Australia, Malaysia, Vietnam, etc are quite suitable for cultivating Avocado. This fruit is of great use to one’s health and it can be eaten with a variety of things in multiple ways. It can be used in milkshakes, sweet and savored dishes and also as an ingredient in vegetarian and non-vegetarian food items.
How many calories are there in an Avocado?
The table given below shows the calories present in different servings of avocado:
Avocado Calories and Nutrition
|Avocado Serving Size||Calorie Intake|
|150 Grams (1 cup)||240|
|Whole Hass avocado||250 to 289|
|½ Avocado (Medium)||130|
|1 Whole Avocado||322|
How to eat Avocado?
Avocado can be eaten in multiple ways, either raw or by mixing it with eggs or some other fruit or by eating it as a snack. This fruit tastes the best when taken with anything but the mystery revolves around avocado pits (seed).
People are always in a dilemma whether or not to eat the seed of an avocado. You can eat avocado otherwise by making some of the best recipes using this fruit. Some ways are mentioned below in which you can include avocado in your diet:
How do you Prepare Avocado Seeds for Eating
Avocado seeds should be eaten with much care as these are quite bitter but it is also known to have some benefits. The seed should be dried first and then its powder can be added to smoothies or milkshakes. Cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure levels are believed to be under control if avocado seeds are included in the diet.
How to Eat Avocado for Breakfast
Avocado is a nutritious fruit that can make for a very healthy and wholesome breakfast meal. You can use avocado paste/guacamole on a bread slice or include it in your green leafy vegetable or fruit salad. You can also make smoothies or shakes using avocado as a primary ingredient along with other fruits like kiwis, lemon, pineapple, etc.
Eating avocado with eggs
Eggs can be scrambled and put together with avocado in your breakfast or a pizza with bacon on the base. You can also make a sandwich using eggs, sliced avocado or guacamole, few other vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, etc.
Eggs and avocado can be a great meal to have in breakfast or as a snack. Even poached eggs on toast with finely chopped avocado will make for a very healthy recipe. An omelet with avocado or an egg salad with sliced avocados in it will serve for a quick to make hunger fulfilling meal.
Avocado Toast Recipe
There are numerous ways to make an avocado taste good but nothing can beat an avocado put up on a toast. If you don’t like to eat a raw avocado, then the best way to try it is, eating it with a toast. If you’re a vegan, then you can put several toppings on a toast such as onions, radish, lettuce, jalapeno, cherry tomatoes, etc. Along with this, you can use your favorite sauces. This will make you love avocado. The non– vegetarians or eggetarians can use bacon, scrambled or poached eggs on their avocado toast.
Avocado low carbs and high protein snacks
This highly nutritious fruit can be served as a snack as well. Combine it with few other dishes and a healthy snack is ready to gorge on.
The most interesting and healthy snacks that one can make using avocado are – Citric Mint Salad, Sushi Avocado Salad, Chicken Mayonnaise Salad, Pita Bread Chips or Tortilla Chips with Avocado Dip, Smoked Salmon Tartines and lots of other dishes. Avocado eaten with anything can make for a rich, fibrous meal.
What are the nutritional benefits of an Avocado?
Before we talk about the various health benefits that this very nutritious fruit, avocado offers, you can look at some nutrition facts about avocado. The table given below shows some Nutritional Information about Raw and Mashed Avocado:
Whole (1 & 1/2), Medium Avocado Nutrition Facts
|Nutrients||Raw Avocado (100 grams)||Mashed Avocado ( 1 cup puree)|
|Fat||15 grams (23%)||34 grams (52%)|
|Cholesterol||0 mg (0%)||0 mg (0%)|
|Sodium||7 mg (0%)||16 mg (1%)|
|Potassium||485 mg (13%)||1116mg (32%)|
|Carbohydrate||9 grams (3%)||20 grams (7%)|
|Protein||2 grams (4%)||4.6 grams|
How many Calories are in one serving of Avocado?
|1 Serving = Tablespoons|
|0.5g staturated Fat|
|0g Trans Fat|
|0.5g Polyunsaturayed Fat|
|3g Monounsaturated Fat|
Most people are deprived of Potassium as a nutrient. Potassium maintains the electrical gradients in cells and performs important functions in the body. Avocados are highly rich in potassium. In 100 grams of serving it contains 14% of RDA which is 10% as compared to bananas.
Various studies have proven that potassium intake is vital for the human body and reduces the risk of several diseases such as heart attacks, kidney failure, and strokes.
The Fact – Avocados are rich in Potassium content that people do not get in enough amounts. It is highly recommended to maintain blood pressure levels.
Avocado is the plant with the highest fat content that makes it a high-fat fruit. 77% of calories are from fat. But the truth is that it does not have fat. Maximum fat is in the form of oleic acid. Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid and is a major component in olive oil. Olive oil has health beneficial effects. Oleic acid is also linked to concentrated inflammation and studies proved that it has a great impact on the genes that are associated with cancer. Fats present in avocado are resistant to heat-induced oxidation that makes avocado oil healthy and safe for cooking.
The Fact– Avocados and avocados oil have monounsaturated fat- oleic acid that has healthy benefits.
Fiber is present in large amounts in avocado. Fiber reduces the risk of various diseases and is linked to weight loss and reduced blood sugar. However, there is a distinction between soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber feeds the friendly gut bacteria in the intestine that is very important for the optimum function of the body.
A serving of 100 grams amount of avocado has 7 grams of fiber. It is 27% of the recommended amount of daily dose. 25% of the total fiber is soluble fiber while rest is insoluble in avocado.
The Fact- Avocados are rich in fiber that helps in weight loss and balance the metabolic rate.
Lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride Level
Heart disease causes the maximum death rate worldwide. It is a hard fact that several blood markers are connected to an enhanced risk.
It inculcates cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammatory markers, triglycerides, and various others.
These impacts are based on the studies of 8 human controlled trials and the risk factors were observed. Studies are based on the groups of people that are divided into two groups- the one who is asked to eat avocados and the other is not. Then the observations are made on blood markers. The impacts are listed as-
- Cholesterol levels are reduced significantly.
- Blood triglycerides are reduced by 20%.
- LDL cholesterol is reduced by 22%.
- HDL cholesterol is increased by 11%.
If avocado is eaten in low fat vegetarian diet then it improves the cholesterol profile. However, the studies were carried out over small subjects and for short term and the consequences were impressive.
The Fact- Including avocados in your diet reduces the heart disease risk factors such as LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and blood triglycerides.
Avocados Takers are Healthier
A study was conducted over the people who take avocados in their diet.
The avocado eaters were observed to be healthier than the people who did not take avocados. The avocados consumers were having high nutrient intake and were observed half to have symptoms of metabolic syndrome that is the major risk of diabetes and heart diseases.
Avocados consumers were also seen with less weight lowered BMI and reduced belly fat. Those people had more HDL cholesterol which is good.
The studies also said that this correlation does not show causation and does not give guarantee of better health.
The Fact – The studies showed that the people who ate avocados were healthier and lesser risk of metabolic syndrome.
Fat Absorbing Nutrients in Avocado
The amount of nutrients that we intake is not the only thing. The ability to absorb them is the matter concerned. The nutrients that are fat soluble must be paired with fats so that they get utilize. It involves Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K with some anti oxidants such as carotenoids.
A study showed that having avocado or avocado oil to salad or salsa enhances the antioxidant absorption multifold. So, it can be illustrated that not only avocado itself is nutritious but also enhance the nutritious value of other food that you eat.
That is one of the prime reasons to add it into your diet while having vegetables otherwise the nutrients of those plants will be wasted.
The Fact- Studies observed that the avocados intake with vegetables increases the antioxidants amount.
How Avocado Helps to Protect your Eyes
Avocados are rich in antioxidants. The nutrients Lutein and Zeaxanthin are extremely important for eye protection. Studies also show that some of these nutrients are associated with reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration that are widely common in elder.
So, avocados consumers should have great benefits for eyes for a long time.
The Fact – Avocados are rich in antioxidants and have nutrients- Lutein and Zeaxanthin that are important for eye health and reduce the risks of mucal degeneration and cataracts.
How Avocado helps in Preventing Cancer
However there is not much evidence of avocados in preventing the cancer. But a study showed that could help in reducing the impact of chemotherapy in lymphocytes. The extract also inhibits the growth of cancer cells. These studies were performed in isolated cells, so it really does not prove.
The Fact- Studies have shown that avocados help in reducing the growth of cancer cells and also reduce the impacts of chemotherapy.
Using Avocado Oil for Treating psoriasis
Psoriasis can be treated using avocado oil. According to a study, vitamin-B12 cream containing avocado oil can play an effective role in treating psoriasis. Also, monounsaturated acid present in this particular fruit can help in the treatment of psoriasis by reducing inflammation.
Avocado for Relieving Arthritis
Arthritis is a common problem in inhabitant of Western countries. Arthritis is of many types and is a chronic problem that people face for the rest of live.
There are different studies that show that avocado extracts and soybean oil, called Avocado and Soybean unsaponifiables reduce the risks of bone arthritis, known as osteoarthritis.
However, it is still not clear whether avocados have this effect or it is just the extract.
The Fact – Various studies have shown that avocados extract and soybean oil helps in reducing the osteoarthritis.
Benefits of Eating Avocado
Recent studies have shown that avocado has some elements which provide immunity and nutrition to one’s body and help a person in being healthy and fit. Some benefits of eating avocado are mentioned below:
Avocado Benefits for Weight Loss
- Studies conducted on overweight people have highlighted the significance of eating an avocado in order to reduce weight. Avocado contains monounsaturated fatty acids which help tremendously in losing weight.
- The fruit is highly fibrous and contains fatty acids which make for a wholesome satisfactory diet. Studies depict that eating half an avocado for 6 – 7 weeks along with your breakfast or lunch can really help in losing weight.
- Also, if you eat an avocado in excess, then it can be fattening as well because avocados are high in calories. Minimal intake of avocado can help reduce weight but with a higher consumption, you will only end up gaining weight.
Avocado Benefits for Skin and Hair
- Avocado is packed with some great nutrients and antioxidants that can work wonders for one’s body, health and skin. Applying avocado oil or its pulp or consuming the whole fruit is way too advantageous for oneself.
- Using avocado oil can treat your chronic problem of acne; it can moisturize your skin and prevent your skin from any sun damage or sunburn.
- Avocado oil can also help cure psoriasis (a skin disease which makes the skin cells grow faster and form dry, itchy patches). This oil is also very effective in removing any face wrinkles from skin collagen.
- Massaging this oil onto your hair can make them shinier, smoother and longer. Avocado oil is very good for scalp. It nourishes and strengthens one’s hair so much better than any other shampoo, conditioner or oil.
Avocado Benefits for Teeth
- Some fruits have high acidic content and some have low acid in them. The fact that foods with high levels of acid in them damage the tooth enamel leading to tooth cavities, is what makes avocado a tooth savior.
- Avocados are very low acidic content, it’s almost neutral. This is what protects one’s teeth from getting affected. Avocado can certainly be counted as one of the best foods for dental or oral health.
- This is a natural way of strengthening your teeth and gums because an avocado contains lots of nutrients such as potassium, folate, vitamin C, B5, B6. Avocados serve as a great natural diet for one’s teeth. So, if you want to strengthen your gums, avocado is the best and healthy option.
Avocado Benefits for Men
- Eating an avocado alone can serve a lot of purposes at one point of time only. Men can also derive a lot of benefits from this rich in appetite food. Avocados can benefit men’s health s*xually, in bodybuilding, weight loss, in increasing sperm count etc.
- Avocados boost men’s s*xual drive as they are high in monounsaturated fats and vitamins crucial for maintaining energy. Also, avocados are rich in Omega – 3 fatty acids which are again an efficient source of creating a mood for a great s*x.
- Including avocados in your diet meal plan can stabilize one’s blood pressure levels, be it a man or a woman, this highly nutritious fruit has a lot to keep you fit and healthy.
Avocado Benefits for Babies
- Avocados are generally good for people of all ages, thus, babies can also be fed with this fibrous fruit. This helps in development of their young minds and any kind of allergies can be kept at bay.
- If your baby is suffering from constipation, then you can feed them fiber rich purees such as avocado puree, orange, dates, peach, fennel and pear purees.
- Since baby’s first solid foods hold quite a lot of importance in their growth and immunity, therefore, parents really need to look at what they should feed their child with. Avocados are a good option and these can be mix matched with other healthy foods to make the baby gain weight and has healthy early years of life.