Avocado is a great fruit to add to your diet, but not so many people will look its way when they do their shopping.
Sometimes people do not like the fruit because of the dark colour it has when it is ‘ready to eat’.
Another reason also is that people with sweet-tooth (sweet-mouth as described in Nigeria) consider avocado as a fruit that is not sweet.
But this should not be so, because fruits are meant to help you meet your daily nutrient requirement.
This is necessary, as they help to keep your body healthy.
For instance, fruits aid digestion and absorption of other foods you eat. “You are what you digest”.
These nutrients are needed to help you withstand oxidative stress and effects of the daily hustle you do.
More so, these nutrients help you maintain a worthy productivity level even at work.
However, for you to reap these benefits they offer, you have to know the right things to eat.
Above all, you have to also make further effort by getting them.
To make it easy for you, we have devoted some shelves in our outlets to fruits and other healthy foods you need.
Interestingly, plants offer human the best of nutrients because they were given to human as food.
It is time to look in the direction of plant-based nutrient for your body and avocado cultivars are some of the nutrient-dense plants that are available to you.
Avocado contains a variety of essential nutrients and important phytochemicals – compounds that are produced by plants (“phyto” means “plant”).
Phytochemicals are found in fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, and other plants.
This compounds are believed to protect cells from damage that could lead to cancer.
Categorically, the official avocado serving is one-fifth of a fruit which is about 30 gram.
This 30 gram quantity provides a nutrient and phytochemical dense food as under-listed.
- Dietary fiber (4.6 g)
- Total sugar (0.2 g)
- Potassium (345 mg)
- Sodium (5.5 mg)
- Magnesium (19.5 mg)
- Vitamin A (43 μg)
- Vitamin C (6.0 mg)
- Niacin (1.3 mg)
- Vitamin E (1.3 mg)
- Folate (60 mg)
- Vitamin K1 (14 μg)
- Vitamin B-6 (0.2 mg)
- Pantothenic acid (1.0 mg)
- Riboflavin (0.1 mg)
- Choline (10 mg)
- Lutein/zeaxanthin (185 μg)
- Phytosterols (57 mg)
You can use avocado as a spread on bread, add to rice. In the east, some persons add it in red oil and used it to eat yam. Some others scoop with spoon and eat.
Furthermore, avocado is high-Monounsaturated Fatty Acids (MUFA) (6.7 g) and 114 kcals or 1.7 kcal/g.
The avocado oil also consists of 71% MUFA, 13% polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and 16% saturated fatty acids (SFA).
Meanwhile, the oil helps to promote healthy blood lipid profiles. It also enhances the bioavailability of fat soluble vitamins and phytochemicals from the avocado.
There are several researches on Avocado that have identified what these nutrients could do.
A 2013 study identified some of the components that make the fruit rich for you.
1. Avocado Lowers Cholesterol, Triglyceride Levels
Bad cholesterol has been associated with cardiovascular (heart) diseases.
Also, the 2013 study highlighted the results of an exploratory avocado clinical study.
As stated in the study, the consumption of 0.5–1.5 avocados per day may help to maintain normal serum total cholesterol in men.
According to the report, half the subjects experienced a 9–43% reduction in serum total cholesterol.
Also, another study had a crossover study of 12 women with type-2 diabetes.
After 4 weeks, the avocado-rich diet offered to the women resulted in significantly lowered plasma triglycerides.
It also helped in maintaining blood lipids and glycemic controls.
2. Contains Antioxidants
One of the phytochemicals in avocado is xanthophylls (a carotenoid subclass) and it is an oxygen-containing fat-soluble antioxidants.
Xanthophylls, such as lutein, are more polar than carotenes, so they have a much lower propensity for pro-oxidant activity.
On the other hand, avocados have the highest lipophilic total antioxidant capacity among fruits and vegetables.
“Avocados are one of the few foods that contain significant levels of both vitamins C and E,” the 2013 study stated.
Vitamin C plays an important role in recycling vitamin E to maintain circulatory antioxidant protection.
This potentially slows the rate of LDL-cholesterol oxidation.
3. Avocado May Prevent Cancer
With the increasing cases of cancer around the world, avocado has become a must-add to our diet.
Basically, the phytochemicals in avocado are of great benefits to human and are considered anti-carcinogenic.
The fruit contains a number of components (bioactive phytochemicals, carotenoids, terpenoids, D-mannoheptulose, persenone A and B, phenols, and glutathione).
These components have anti-carcinogenic properties.
The concentrations of some of these phytochemicals in the avocado may be potentially efficacious, the NCBI report stated.
4. May Help Relief Symptoms Of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and it is characterised by progressive deterioration of joint cartilage and function.
Sadly, this affects most people as they age or become overweight or obese.
Stress in form of oxidative and inflammation have been identified as the major causes of this joint deterioration.
Furthermore, this condition could cause an imbalance in the joint that could lead to loss of function.
Some studies have reported that fruits and vegetables rich in lutein and zeaxanthin can bring relief or reduce the risk of this cartilage defect.
These components are the primary carotenoids in avocados.
5. Can Help In Weight Loss
One thing that people have been made to believe is that any food rich in fat would aid weight gain.
Avocado is fatty, but a study showed that subjects did not gain weight when avocados were added to their habitual diet.
Several preliminary clinical studies suggest that avocados can support weight control.
The first trial studied the effect of including one and a half avocados (200 g) in a weight loss diet plan.
In this study, sixty-one healthy free-living, overweight, and obese subjects were randomly assigned into either a group consuming 200 g/d of avocados (30.6 g fat) substituted for 30 g of mixed fats, such as margarine and oil, or a control group excluding avocados for 6 weeks.
Both groups lost similar levels of weight, body mass index (BMI), and percentage of body fat (p < 0.001), confirming that avocados can fit into a weight loss diet plan.
6. Avocado Can Help Protect The Eyes
Also, one area that avocado has showed potency is in protecting the eyes which is an essential organ of the body.
According to observational studies, a low dietary intake and plasma concentration of lutein may increase age-related eye dysfunction
Avocados may contribute to eye health since they contain a combination of Monounsaturated Fatty Acid and lutein/zeaxanthin.
7. Helps The Body Absorb Nutrients From Other Foods
Again, the Monounsaturated Fatty Acid (MUFA) in Avocado helps improve carotenoid absorption from other fruits and vegetables.
Avocados contain 185 μg of lutein/zeaxanthin per one-half fruit, which is expected to be more highly bioavailable than most other fruit and vegetable sources.
8. Promotes Heart Health
The fruit contains potassium and clinical evidence suggests that adequate potassium intake may promote blood pressure control in adults.
Meanwhile, the daily recommended intake of potassium is 4700 mg.
Avocados contain about 152 mg and 345 mg of potassium per 30 gram and one-half fruit, respectively.
Also, the fruit which is of Mexican origin is naturally very low in sodium.
It has just 2 mg and 5.5 mg sodium per 30 gram and one-half fruit, respectively.
Therefore, avocado is appropriate to be included in a meal to help improve heart health.
You May Also Read: Pomegranate: Boosts Fertility, Memory And More
On the other hand, as stated earlier, avocados contain a MUFA-rich fruit oil with 71% MUFA, 13% polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and 16% saturated fatty acids (SFA).
Also, it has vitamin C and other composition that are similar to tree nuts that have been associated with heart health.
Interestingly, the fruit also contains phenolics components and evidence suggests beneficial effects of fruit phenolics on reducing CVD risk.
The components also reduce oxidative and inflammatory stress, enhance blood flow and cell health.
They also inhibit platelet aggregation to help maintain heart health.
Kindly share this article with your friends and loved ones so they could know the health benefit of avocado.
OUR SOCIAL SERVICE AT IBEJU-LEKKI GENERAL HOSPITAL GLADDENS MOTHER