From salads to salsa and from toasts to burritos, avocados can make just about anything tasty. The buttery, subtle-flavored flesh and the strong seed are both believed to be treasure troves of nutrients. Although there have been a few recent reports on how the avocado pit may contain toxins, there has been no conclusive evidence to prove that yet. As the fruit, a native of South America but presently grown extensively in North America as well, is getting a bad rap from a few pockets, we decided to give you a peek into the many proven nutritional facts about avocado. So here’s why you should include more of this fruit in your diet:
According to statistics released by the United States Department of Agriculture, avocados contain 73 percent water, 2 percent proteins, 8.5 percent carbohydrates, and 15 percent fat.1 An avocado weighing 100 g contain about 160 calories.
It Has Fats, But They Are The Helpful Kind
They have anti-cancer properties. One of the things that set avocados apart from other fruits is its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids. The fruit contains high levels of oleic acid,2 which is known to have anti-cancer properties3 and helps reduce inflammation.4.
They’re good for your heart and liver. Avocado oil, too, is considered a good source of healthy fats, with many studies conducted on rodents proving its positive effects against diabetes, cardiovascular disease,5 and liver diseases.6
They can manage your bad cholesterol. Incorporating the fruit into your daily diet will also help keep your bad cholesterol in check.7
Unlike other fruits, avocados contain only a small amount of sugar. On an average, half an avocado (or approximately 68 g) contains only 0.5 g sugar, stored in three forms: fructose, glucose, and galactose.8 Thanks to such low levels of sugar, avocados have a very low glycemic index, which means that their consumption does very little to hike your blood sugar levels.9 Rather, D-mannoheptulose, a kind of sugar alcohol present in avocados, has been proven to regulate blood sugar levels.10
Also Carbs, But Mostly As Healthy Fibers
Avocado is one of the most fiber-rich fruits, with most of its carbohydrate content (almost 79 percent) coming from fiber. Dietary fiber lends the fruit many health benefits that help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease,11 regulates appetite,12, reduces inflammation, and increases the ability of the body to absorb calcium to help the bones.13
It’s Chockablock With Vitamins And Minerals
Avocados are rich in many essential vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for the body.14 Some of them are:
Vitamin B6: This is part of the group of B vitamins that help the body turn food into fuel or glucose. They are known to have anti-cancer properties15and is commonly administered for better bone health.16
Vitamin C: This vitamin is proven to be beneficial for inflammation, skin health, and immune function.17
Vitamin E: Known to be a powerful antioxidant, vitamin E is a good anti-inflammatory agent and increases metabolism.18
Vitamin K1: Studies have shown that this vitamin is essential for bone health19 and blood coagulation.20
Potassium: According to the USDA, avocados contain more potassium than bananas. The mineral is known to keep the body protected against strokes and cardiovascular diseases.22
It Packs A Punch Of Healthy Plant Chemicals
According to a study published by The American Society for Nutrition, the carotenoids present in avocado make it easier for the body to absorb antioxidants.23 The fruit also contains unique antioxidants called persenones A and B, which protect the body from inflammation-related diseases, including cancer.24
Not only are avocados nutritious, they are extremely easy to add to your diet and with a pleasant taste to boot. They go well with most food and can even be scooped out with a spoon and had raw. What more can you ask of a fruit?