Avocado: Nutrition Value, Health Benefits, Recipes
- Avocados contain a variety of vitamins, such as C, E, K, and B6
- You can also get lutein and beta-carotene from avocados
- Avocados are a source of healthy fats that can help you feel full between meals
Trendy health food lists and fad diets come and go with every passing year, but most of them feature one fruit consistently—avocado! Also known as butter fruit, it is considered a superfood by health experts across the globe. Very few other natural foods can compare with the avocado, meaning, based on the nutritional value and health benefits of avocado alone, it outdoes several other healthy choices. To add to that, it is also quite unique in flavor and texture, with some chefs even using avocado oil for cooking and as a dressing for fresh dishes.
The avocado fruit is loaded with essential nutrients, plant compounds, and minerals, all of which play different roles when it comes to wellness. In fact, not only is it a low-carbohydrate fruit, but it is also low on saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium, all of which are ideal for a range of health goals. These factors combined speak volumes for its value in a healthy diet and to help you understand this better, here are a few science-backed avocado benefits you should know about.
Nutrition Value of Avocado Fruit
Avocados are a nutritional powerhouse, packing plenty of healthy fats, fiber and vitamins into each bite. But what about the calories in an avocado? Here's a look at the nutrition facts for avocado, including the calorie count.
One avocado provides:
- Calories: 322
- Fat: 29 grams
- Saturated fat: 3.5 grams
- Unsaturated fat: 25 grams
- Protein: 4 grams
- Fiber: 13 grams
- Sugar: 1 gram
- Vitamin C: 14% of the daily value
- Vitamin E: 21% of the daily value
- Folic acid: 11% of the daily value
- Potassium: 14% of the daily value
As you can see, avocados are high in calories, but most of those calories come from healthy fats. In fact, avocados are one of the best sources of healthy fats in the fruit world. One thing to keep in mind is that the calorie count of avocados will vary depending on the size. For example, a large avocado can have up to 400 calories, while a small avocado might have 250 calories.
A Good Source of Fiber
With around six grams of fiber per half avocado, these fruits can help you reach your daily fiber goals. Fiber is important for gut health and may also help reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions.
High in Healthy Fats
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, which are the "good" type of fats that can help lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health. These healthy fats can also help promote satiety and prevent weight gain.
Packed with Vitamins and Minerals
Avocados are a good source of vitamins C, E, and K, as well as potassium and folate. These nutrients are important for maintaining overall health and preventing chronic disease.
Help to Improve Cognitive Function
The healthy fats in avocados can help to protect the brain and improve cognitive function. One study found that avocados may help improve memory and reduce the risk of age-related cognitive decline.
Help to Protect Against Cancer
The antioxidants and nutrients in avocados may help to protect against some types of cancer, including breast and prostate cancer. More research is needed, but avocados may be a promising addition to a cancer-prevention diet.
Packed with Nutrients
They’re a great source of vitamins C, E, and K, as well as folate and potassium. Avocados are also high in fiber, which is important for keeping you regular.
Avocado Good For Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss, not only is important to watch what you eat but, how much you eat as well. With avocados, you can do both as it packed with nutrition and fiber. Fiber helps keep the body fuller for longer, thus ensuring that you aren’t as hungry during your waking hours. Moreover, the monounsaturated fats in avocadoes have been found to help promote weight loss as well. However, the hero is the high fiber and low-carbohydrate combination of the avocado that makes it excellent at keeping weight in check.Also Read: Food that help in Weight Loss
Minimises Macular Degeneration
Vision problems are quite common, especially as you get older, and there are studies that show that the carotenoids zeaxanthin and lutein are important for eye health. Avocados contain these antioxidants and, as such, reduce the risk of a person developing cataracts. Further, they also reduce the risk of macular degeneration that is brought on by age. There is also research that suggests the added absorption of beta-carotenes facilitated by consuming avocados can help protect the eyes from UV damage too, making the fruit quite beneficial for long-term eye care.
Protects Against Cancers
There is research that backs the fact that butter fruit benefits extend to preventing certain types of cancers. For instance, folate is an essential mineral needed by the body and it is known to protect the DNA and RNA against undesired mutations during cell division. It is for this reason that you must get an adequate intake of folate from foods and avocados are loaded with it. In fact, half a raw avocado gives you about 80mcg of folate, over 20% of the daily value (DV). Folate has the potential to protect the body from cervical, colon, and stomach cancers.
Additionally, avocados also have the phytochemical plant compound, avocation B, which is known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells while simultaneously causing the death of tumors. Other studies have also found that phytochemicals in avocado may also help combat prostate cancer too!
Maintains Healthy Bones
When it comes to healthy bones, having an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D is crucial. However, the same applies to vitamin K, as it not only supports bone health but also helps by increasing the body’s ability to absorb calcium and decreasing its urinary excretion. Avocados are rich in vitamin K and just half of this fruit provides for 25% of the daily recommended intake. What’s more, the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin minimise the risk of cartilage damage, especially that characteristic with osteoarthritis.
Aids Absorption of Nutrients
Butter fruit is well known for its high-fat content and this has its own benefit for your body. This is because many of the essential nutrients, such as vitamins K, E, A, and D are fat-soluble. Meaning, they require to be paired with fat in order to get properly absorbed and utilised by the body. Avocados provide the body with fat and a study has found that avocado or avocado oil can increase antioxidant absorption, specifically of carotenoid, by up to 15-fold. This makes any nutrition gained from plant food that much more valuable, which is why you should be adding it to your salads.
Lowers Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels
Besides being a low-cholesterol fruit, avocados are also great for lowering LDL cholesterol levels in the body. In fact, studies have found that you can reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 22% and increase HDL cholesterol by 11% with the help of avocados. Additionally, avocados also contain beta-sitosterol which has been found to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Given the obvious nutritional value of avocado, it comes as no surprise that there are seemingly endless avocado uses across difficult countries and cuisines, be it as a topping or a main ingredient. Butter fruit uses range from a simple salad dressing to elaborate dips or even as a key part of healthy smoothies.
Add Avocados To Your Diet
Adding avocados to your diet is a great way to improve your overall health. Avocados are packed with nutrients that can help boost your metabolism, improve your skin and hair helth, and even help to reduce the risk of some chronic diseases. Plus, they're delicious! There are so many different ways to enjoy avocados, from simple avocado toast to more creative dishes like avocado-stuffed chicken or salmon. Avocados are packed with vitamins and minerals, including potassium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and more. They are also a good source of healthy fats. All of these nutrients are essential for good health. Including avocados in your diet can help you reach your daily nutrient goals. They can be enjoyed in many different ways, such as in salads, sandwiches, or simply on their own.
Avocado Healthy Recipes
1. Chicken avocado skillet
This dish is packed with nutritious ingredients like chicken, avocado, and tomatoes, and it's easy to make. Plus, it's a great way to use up any leftover chicken you have. To make this recipe, start by heating some olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Then, add in the chicken and cook it until it's browned. Next, add in the avocado, tomatoes, and onion, and cook for a few more minutes. Finally, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve. This chicken avocado skillet recipe is a great option for a healthy and hearty meal. It's packed with protein and healthy fats, and it's sure to leave you feeling satisfied. Give it a try the next time you're looking for a new chicken recipe to try!
2. Kale and avocado salad
This salad is packed with nutrients and is perfect for a light meal or side dish. And it's so easy to make!
To start, you'll need the following:
- One bunch of kale washed and dried
- One avocado, diced
To start, you'll need the following:
- One bunch of kale washed and dried
- One avocado, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup diced roasted almonds
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup diced dried apricots
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Start by massaging the kale with a bit of olive oil. This will help to soften it and make it more palatable. Then, add the remaining ingredients and mix everything together. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then serve. This salad is best enjoyed fresh, but leftovers will keep in the fridge for a day or two. Enjoy!
3. Shrimp avocado quesadillas
To make the quesadillas, start by heating a skillet over medium heat. Then, add some oil and the shrimp. Cook the shrimp for a few minutes until they're pink and opaque.
Next, add in the avocado and some seasonings. I like to use salt, pepper, and chilli powder. Mix everything together and cook for another minute or so until the avocado is nice and soft.
Then, it's time to assemble the quesadillas. Start by placing a tortilla in the skillet. Add in some of the shrimp mixtures, and then top with another tortilla. Cook for a few minutes until the tortillas are golden and crispy.
Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling. Serve the quesadillas hot, with salsa or guacamole for dipping. Enjoy!
4. Avocado pasta
This simple yet delicious recipe is sure to please the whole family.
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- Two2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup avocado, mashed
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.
3. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
4. Add mashed avocado and Parmesan cheese, and season with salt and pepper.
5. Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the avocado sauce.
6. Toss to combine and serve warm.
While most of you may know of guacamole, a Mexican dip that celebrates avocado, chefs also use it to make pasta sauces. Even avocado juice benefits you, whether you drink it plain or mixed with a fruit-like raspberry. Thanks to the internet and easy access to recipes, learning how to eat avocado is quite easy and this may be among the many reasons for its popularity. To add to that, it is a key ingredient in many fitness diets mainly due to its healthy fat and fiber content. However, even with all the avocado fruit benefits, the fruit may not a viable choice for everyone.
In such cases, consulting a nutritionist is the smartest approach when adding avocado to your diet and with the platform provided by Bajaj Finserv Health, you can find the best health professionals in your vicinity. With it, you can book appointments conveniently online and even sign up for an online consultation via video to address your health without stepping out of your home. Another helpful feature is the app’s ‘Health vault’, which helps you track your fitness levels and vital information digitally and even share the records with a doctor online. Get started on a journey towards a fitter life!
Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.
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