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Avocados

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Avocados Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 73.2 g
Calories: 160 kcal
Protein: 2 g
Carbohydrate: 8.5 g
Dietary fiber: 6.7 g
Sugars: 0.7 g
Fat: 14.7 g
Saturated fat: 2.1 g
Monounsaturated fat: 9.8 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 1.8 g
Vitamin C: 10 mg
Vitamin B1: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B2: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B3: 1.7 mg
Vitamin B6: 0.3 mg
Vitamin B9: 81 μg
Vitamin A: 7 μg
Vitamin E: 2.1 mg
Vitamin K: 21 μg
Calcium: 12 mg
Iron: 0.6 mg
Magnesium: 29 mg
Phosphorus: 52 mg
Potassium: 485 mg
Sodium: 7 mg
Zinc: 0.6 mg

Avocados are a versatile, nutrient-dense and delicious addition to your diet. They are a fruit native to Mexico and Central America, with a wide range of culinary uses and a host of health benefits to go along with them.

Avocados are extremely nutrient dense; meaning that for every calorie consumed, a high number of your essential vitamins and minerals are consumed along with it. 100 grams of Hass avocado (the most commonly cultivated avocado) contains 15% of your daily value (DV) of vitamin B6, 14% of your DV of vitamin C, and more potassium than a banana!

In addition, avocado is one of the most abundant protein containing fruits. It is also very high in monounsaturated fats (and comparatively low in saturated fats), containing 10g per 100g of avocado. Finally, 100 grams of avocado contains 28% of your DV of dietary fibre.

Aside from the exceptional benefit in terms of nutrients, avocados also have a number of concrete health benefits. They help with weight control – despite their bad reputation, as a result of being a high calorie food. Avocados help with weight loss in four main ways: (see this review)

First, monounsaturated fat has been shown to have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels and blood sugar. Avocado, along with olive oil, is extremely high in this kind of fat.

Second, its high fat content gives it a high satiety (fullness) rating. Third, the high fat content could possibly reduce the temptation to binge on unhealthier high-fat foods, hence the classic diet tip to replace butter with avocado when making toast.

Finally, the nutrient density of the avocado means that, although it is fairly high in calories, the rich supply of vitamins and minerals will lead to people feeling healthier and thus more energetic and satisfied, helping them to stick with weight loss programs.

Another major benefit of eating avocados is its importance in preventing serious (and common) health issues like strokes, heart disease, and cancer. These three are all in the top five causes of premature death in the UK and US.

The nutrients present in avocado have health benefits in this regard: the high level of potassium in an avocado is a plus, as research links potassium deficiency with an increased risk of strokes. Potassium and monounsaturated fats in an avocado may also be the reason behind its ability to lower blood pressure; further reducing the risk of strokes.

Avocadoes have been linked to low cholesterol, improving your cardiovascular health generally, and decreasing your risk of heart disease.

Finally, avocados have strong antioxidant properties. Antioxidants prevent damage by ‘free radicals’, particles linked to DNA and cell damage, possibly leading to mutations & cell death. The antioxidant properties of the avocado could conceivably lower the risk of cancer, and perhaps reduce some of the negative effects of aging.

Overall, avocado is an extremely versatile and delicious fruit that your body could really benefit from. It is nutrient dense, it promotes weight loss, it may help you live longer, and it can even be used as a cosmetic!