At a glance......
Avocado (Persea Americana) is a tree long that classified as a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae. The fruit of the plant also called an avocado (or avocado pear or alligator pear), is botanically a large berry containing a single large seed. Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. They have a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical. Commercially, they ripen after harvesting. Avocado trees are partially self-pollinating and are often propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit.
Nutritional Value of Avocado
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||670 kJ (160 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||6.7 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database
|Nutrient||Hass avocado 1 fruit (136 g)||Almonds 1.5 oz (42.5 g)||Pistachios 1.5 oz (42.5 g)||Walnuts 1.5 oz (42.5 g)|
|Calories (kcal) (insoluble fiber adjusted)||201||239||235||269|
|Total fat (g)||21.0||22.1||19.1||27.7|
|Monounsaturated fat (g)||13.3||13.8||10.1||3.8|
|Polyunsaturated fat (g)||2.5||5.5||5.7||20|
|Saturated fat (g)||2.9||1.7||2.3||2.6|
|Total Carbohydrate (g)||11.8||9.0||12.2||5.8|
|Dietary fiber (g)||9.2||4.6||4.2||2.9|
|Vitamin C (mg)||12.0||0.0||1.4||0.6|
|Vitamin B-6 (mg)||0.4||0.05||0.5||0.2|
|Pantothenic acid (mg)||2.0||0.1||0.2||0.2|
|Vitamin K (ug)||28.6||0.0||6.3||1.2|
|Vitamin E (α-Tocopherol) (mg)||2.7||10.1||0.9||0.3|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin (ug)||369||0.0||494||4.5|
|Total phytosterols (mg)||113||54||123||30|
Health Benefits of Avocado
- Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases – A large body of evidence indicates that oxidative stress is involved in the pathophysiology of these diseases. Oxidative stress can induce neuronal damages and modulate intracellular signaling, ultimately leading to neuronal death by apoptosis or necrosis. There is evidence for increased oxidative damage to macromolecules in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Thus, antioxidants have been used for their effectiveness in reducing these deleterious effects and neuronal death in many in vitro and in vivo studies. The critical review results indicate that compounds in avocado are unique antioxidants, preferentially suppressing radical generation, and thus may be promising as effective neuro preventive agents. The diverse array of bioactive nutrients present in avocado plays a pivotal role in the prevention and cure of various neurodegenerative diseases
- DNA Damage Protection – Several clinical studies suggest that xanthophylls, similar to those found in avocados, may have antioxidant and DNA protective effects with possible healthy aging protective effects. One study was conducted involving 82 male airline pilots and frequent air travelers who are exposed to high levels of cosmic ionizing radiation known to damage DNA, potentially accelerating the aging process (Yong et al., 2009). There was a significant and inverse association between intake of vitamin C, beta-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, and lutein-zeaxanthin from fruits and vegetables and the frequency of chromosome translocation, a biomarker of cumulative DNA damage (p < 0.05). In another trial, lipid peroxidation (8-epiprostaglandin F2a) was correlated inversely with plasma xanthophyll levels (Haegele et al., 2000). In other studies, inverse correlations were found between lutein and oxidative DNA damage as measured by the comet assay, and in contrast to beta-carotene. NHANES analysis suggests that xanthophylls intake decreases with aging.
- Promotes Healthy Heart – Beta-sitosterol, which is found in avocados, helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Research studies showed that laboratory rats who were given avocado for 5 weeks as a part of their daily meal had about 27% lower triglycerides plasma levels and their HDL cholesterol was 17% higher as compared to a control group who did not have avocado. This is why eating avocados daily can help in protecting the heart from atherosclerosis.
- High in Potassium – The significant levels of potassium make avocados a powerful fruit in the fight against hypertension. According to a research published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, potassium-rich foods can reduce pathogenic vascular calcification, which is the hardening of arteries. Dr. Paul Sanders from the University of Alabama at Birmingham led the research which concluded that eating potassium-rich foods like avocados and bananas reduces the tension of blood vessels and arteries, regulating blood pressure. This, in turn, reduces the chances of clotting, heart attacks, and strokes.
- Aids in Digestion – Avocados are soothing for the intestine and aid in digestion. They contain soluble and insoluble fibers that help to keep the digestive system running smoothly. These types of fiber are very important for digestion because they bulk up stools and help ensure the smooth passage of food through the intestinal tract. Furthermore, they stimulate gastric and digestive juices so nutrients are absorbed in the most efficient and rapid way. Finally, they reduce the symptoms from conditions like constipation and diarrhea. All in all, the huge amount of fiber found in avocados (40% of daily requirement per serving) makes this a very important food for optimizing your digestive health.
- Improves Vision – Avocados help keep your eyes healthy. They contain carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which help to protect your eyes against cataracts, eye diseases related to age, and macular degeneration. These conditions are often caused by free radicals that accumulate in the tissues of the eyes. The antioxidant activity of these special carotenoids in avocados neutralize the effects of those dangerous free radicals.
- Skin and Hair Care – Avocados are packed with nutrients that are beneficial for maintaining healthy skin. It enriches skin that is dry, chapped or damaged. They are added to a variety of cosmetics due to their ability to nourish the skin with essential vitamins and make it glow. It is also used for nourishing dry and damaged hair. Many people use avocados to prepare skin and hair masks. Above all, avocado oil helps in treating plaque psoriasis. Beta-carotene and lycopene are two organic compounds found in large quantities in avocados. Both of these have been connected to improving the health and tone of your skin and eliminating signs of premature aging.
- Treats Arthritis – The anti-inflammatory properties of avocados are perhaps its most valuable attribute, and between the wide range of phytochemicals, flavonoids, carotenoids, phytosterols, fatty alcohols, and omega-3 fatty acids it contains, avocados are one of the best foods for reducing the inflammation in tissues, joints, and muscles. A research study led by Dr. Blaine Christiansen, UC Davis Health, showed that 300 mg of avocado and soybean-based nutritional supplement appears to be beneficial for patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis.
- Prevents Bad Breath – Consumption of avocados also helps in preventing bad breath, which is primarily caused due to indigestion or an upset stomach. Halitosis can be eliminated by improving digestive health, and the antibacterial and antioxidant flavonoids found in avocados also kill the bacteria in your mouth that can result in bad breath. Avocados have also been connected with preventing oral cancers!
- Liver Care – Avocados are very good at reducing liver damage. It has certain organic compounds that help in improving liver health. Liver damage is normally caused due to Hepatitis C. Findings of a recent research study suggest that avocados may play a major role in toning up and protecting your liver from a wide variety of conditions.
- Kidney Health – Diet plays a very important role in maintaining the balance of minerals and fluids in those who suffer from chronic kidney disorders. Potassium is one of the minerals that help in maintaining a normal heart rate. Avocados are a good source of potassium and their inclusion in your diet may provide other benefits as well. It is important to make sure that potassium levels are not too high as that can also be dangerous for the heart. Potassium is a key aspect of maintaining fluid balance through chemical channels for cells and organs. This balance of fluid is also vital for the functioning of the kidney, which handles the movement of fluid and toxins through the body.
- Vitamin K Deficiency – A vitamin K deficiency is not very common but is frequently seen in neonatal care. It may lead to a bleeding disorder known as vitamin K deficiency-related bleeding (VKDB). This occurs mostly due to an insufficient intake of vitamin K during pregnancy. The inclusion of avocado in the diet of a pregnant woman may help in lowering risk of VKDB in the newborn child since avocados are one of the rare fruits that have a very high amount of vitamin K (almost 40% of the daily requirement in a single serving!)
- Morning Sickness – During pregnancy, morning sickness is very common. Avocados help overcome nausea and queasiness during pregnancy since it contains vitamin B6, which is commonly connected to reducing nausea and vomiting.
- Anti-cancer Properties – Avocados contain a number of bioactive phytochemicals including carotenoids, terpenoids, D-mannoheptulose, persenone A and B, phenols, and glutathione that have been reported to have anti-carcinogenic properties. The concentrations of some of these phytochemicals in the avocado may be potentially efficacious. Currently, direct avocado anti-cancer activity is very preliminary with all data based on in vitro studies on human cancer cell lines. Cancer of the larynx, pharynx, and oral cavity are the primary area of avocado cancer investigation. Glutathione, a tripeptide composed of three amino acids (glutamic acid, cysteine, and glycine) functions as an antioxidant. The National Cancer Institute found that avocado’s glutathione levels of 8.4 mg per 30 g or 19 mg per one-half fruit are several folds higher than that of other fruits Even though the body digests glutathione down to individual amino acids when foods are consumed, a large population-based case-controlled study showed a significant correlation between increased glutathione intakes and decreased risk of oral and pharyngeal cancer (Castillo-Juarez et al., 2009).
- Antioxidant Properties – Avocado contains both vitamin C and E, which help enhance the antioxidant properties of the human body. Vitamin C recycles vitamin E and helps reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. Avocado also contains antioxidants like epicatechin, violaxanthin, neochrome, and about a dozen others. Antioxidants neutralize the effects of free radicals, the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism. They are responsible for dozens of serious conditions in the body, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, vision problems, premature aging, cognitive disorders, and many more.
- Healthy Skin – Avocados contain many vitamins and minerals that help in maintaining healthy skin. Carotenoids found in avocados are associated with reducing UV-induced inflammation of the skin due to exposure to the sun. Skin often shows the first visible indication of aging. Topical application or consumption of some fruits and vegetables or their extracts such as avocado has been recommended for skin health. The facial skin is frequently subjected to ongoing oxidative and inflammatory damage by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) and visible radiation and carotenoids may be able to combat this damage. A clinical study found that the concentration of carotenoids in the skin is directly related to the level of fruit and vegetable intake. Avocado’s highly bioavailable lutein and zeaxanthin may help to protect the skin from damage from both UV and visible radiation (Roberts et al., 2009). Several small studies suggest that topical or oral lutein can provide photo-protective activity.
- Anti-aging – Consuming avocados and applying to the skin is also associated with healthy aging. It contains compounds such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which has antioxidant properties. Research studies by Dr. Richard L. Roberts et al. show that lutein and zeaxanthin may decrease signs of the aging process by protecting the skin from damage from both, UV rays and radiation.
- Strengthens Bones – Avocados contain zeaxanthin and lutein, which are associated with a reduced risk of cartilage defects, which is the symptom of osteoarthritis. Furthermore, the levels of essential minerals in avocados are significant, including zinc, phosphorous, copper, and trace amounts of calcium and selenium. All of these are connected to lowered risks of osteoporosis and improvements in bone mineral density.
- Nutrient Absorption – Avocados are best eaten along with other fruits and vegetables. According to a research study by Ohio State University, the fat in avocado helps the body absorb carotenoids such as beta-carotene and converts them to vitamin A. Lead researcher Dr. Rachel Kopec, in the study, found that the absorption of carotenoid antioxidant molecules, which helps protect the body against free radical damage, increases three to five times when a salad is eaten along with avocado. Therefore, adding sliced avocado to a mixed salad is a good way to make a healthy meal even better. This makes avocado a great element as an appetizer since it prepares the digestive tract to function at its highest level during the meal to come!
- Blood Glucose Level – Apart from the fruit, the leaf extracts of avocados also provide health benefits. A study conducted on non-diabetic and diabetic rats suggest that the leaf extracts may help in lowering blood glucose levels. For diabetic patients, the metabolism of starch-based foods into simple sugars like glucose can cause the spikes and plunges that are dangerous for diabetics. Fiber helps to slow the breakdown of food into usable sugars, so it is absorbed by the body in a more balanced way. Furthermore, the majority of carbohydrates in avocados are made up of 7-carbon sugars, a relatively rare form of sugar that actually inhibit the enzyme, hexokinase. This helps avocados control the way that glucose is metabolized by the body, thereby protecting the overall health of diabetic patients.
- Useful for Athletes – Athletes require a lot of energy and must maintain optimal nutrition to fuel their body. Avocado provides vital nutrients to athletes to maintain required energy levels and good health. Moreover, they contain phytochemicals that are a natural fuel source for your body.
- Improved Cognitive Function – Avocados can help improve the cognitive function in healthy older people by increasing the lutein content in the body. According to a 2017 study done by Tufts University, having a fresh avocado a day showed increased lutein levels in the brains and eyes of healthy older adults, which in turn enhanced their memory and problem-solving skills. Lutein is a carotenoid found in fruits and vegetables which has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Are Rich In Proteins – Butter fruit contains the finest quality of proteins. The proteins they contain are far superior to the proteins of bread or any other cereals.
- Are A Good Source of Vitamin E – Butter fruit is rich in Vitamin E, which is an essential antioxidant and also helps in the proper functioning of the body. Vitamin E also protects the polyunsaturated fatty acids from free radicals.
- Promotes Heart Health – Butter fruit contains folate at high levels, which prevents the risk of strokes. It also helps in protecting good cholesterol that reduces the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases. Avocados contain polyunsaturated fat, potassium, monounsaturated fat, linoleic and oleic acids, which lower the LDL cholesterol and increases the HDL (good) cholesterol. It has high amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber, which lowers the risk of cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, and obesity.
- Regulates Blood Pressure – Butter fruit contains more potassium and other important minerals than any other fruits and thus helps in lowering the blood pressure level.
- Improves Eyesight – High in fiber and carotenoid lutein, avocados can help protect the eyes from cataracts, eye diseases related to age, and vision problems. Its consumption also improves the eyesight.
- Controls Bad Breath – Bad breath is embarrassing. But the persistent use of mouthwashes and mouth freshener may result in disastrous health effects such as cancer. Instead, you may choose this fruit as a remedy for bad breath. It removes intestinal decomposition that is the actual cause of bad breath.
- Baby Food – Butter fruits are the first nourishing fruit that babies can enjoy. This fruit contains monounsaturated fats, which play an integral part in the baby’s development. The creamy consistency of the fruit is ideal for the babies. Its consumption provides niacin, potassium, folacin, Vitamin B1and B2, and magnesium. Its regular intake would make the body physically and mentally strong.
- Antibacterial And Antifungal Properties – Butter fruit contains antifungal and antibacterial properties, which would benefit women in menopause. It aids in insomnia, constipation, ulcer and nervous problems. It also helps in restoring any deficiency in your body.
- Effective For Weight Management – Butter fruits help in controlling weight effectively. They have a high-fat content, which quickly gives a feeling of fullness and reduces overeating. The monounsaturated fat increases the metabolic rate. Studies have found a small amount of weight loss with the consumption of this fruit. A few people have noticed a rapid weight loss with the increased intake of avocado.
- Arthritis – Butter fruit is an excellent food supplement for arthritis along with soya bean. It helps to stimulate cartilage growth. With anti-inflammatory properties, it helps in treating the symptoms of hip and knee osteoarthritis.
- Heart Health – Avocados are extremely helpful when it comes to maintaining a hale and hearty heart. They are rich in folate – an ingredient essential for a healthy, problem-free heart. One cup is enough to satisfy your body’s 23% of the daily folate requirement alone. Additionally, the monounsaturated fats, glutathione, and vitamin E in the avocado are also very beneficial for the human heart. Not only this, the avocado’s high folate content also makes it an ideal food for preventing strokes.
- Better Nutrient Absorption – Avocados are found to be very effective in boosting the absorption of certain nutrients plus they also improve the human digestive system. Likewise, they also help in preventing constipation and facilitate immediate weight loss.
- Glutathione Source – Avocado is a rich source of glutathione, an antioxidant important in preventing aging, cancers, and heart disorders. Furthermore, the abundance of vitamin E makes it an amazing ingredient to keep numerous health issues bay.
- Boosts Immunity – Many beauticians and skincare experts also recommend the use of avocado oil over the face daily to keep up the moisture level and hence maintain the juvenile glow for long. Moreover, because of high dietary vitamin E, it also helps in boosting the immunity of the skin against stress and other environmental hazards.
- Increased Resistance Against Free Radicals – A study conducted in the recently concluded year found that avocado can help in boosting the cell’s ability to fight the free radicals. The research was done on yeast that was exposed to free radicals; the oil multiplied the resistance of the yeast cells against the free radicals by many folds. So, on the basis of the results, medical experts believe that these benefits of avocado oil could apply to human cells as well.
- Removes Ulcers – Avocados are quite bland to taste. If you are wondering what their blandness has to do with any health benefit, you should know that this blandness is quite calming and comforting to some sensitive areas in the stomach and duodenum. Avocados can help treat stomach ulcers and provide relief from these conditions.
- Increases Phytonutrient Absorption – Avocado juice helps boost phytonutrient absorption. Phytonutrients are essential to plant nutrients that can help boost many of the body’s processes. Avocadoes have been found to instigate phytonutrient absorption, making avocado juice an ideal addition to your diet.
- Removes Kidney Stones – Avocado juice can help dissolve kidney stones by lowering the amount of urinary calcium that is excreted. This, in turn, helps lower the risk of kidney stones.
- Helps Cure Morning Sickness – Avocado juice contains high amounts of Vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is a natural emetic, which reduces nausea and queasiness that is usually associated with pregnancy.
- Detoxifies The Body – Avocado oil is rich in chlorophyll, which is an excellent natural source of magnesium. It is also one of the best natural substances to help in the removal of metals like lead and mercury from the brain, kidneys, liver and other vital organs. By detoxifying these vital organs, the avocado oil ensures they function properly, your body is healthy, and any risk of illness is significantly lowered. To make sure that the power of chlorophyll is boosted in your body, add this wonderful oil as a dressing for salads and other foods that have cilantro.
- Prevents Periodontal Disease – According to research, avocado oil may help in the prevention of periodontal disease, which is a progressive disease that can cause damage to jawbones as well as result in tooth loss. Its anti-inflammatory properties reduce inflammation in the gums, thereby preventing this disease. A study found that the oil in low doses could effectively inhibit enzymes that cause degradation of tissues, indicating that it might have the ability to stunt damage to tissues that is brought on by gum disease.
- Helps In Weight Loss – Avocado oil has a high concentration of oleic acid, which is great when you want to lose weight, especially when you combine it with regular exercise and a healthy diet. The thickness of the oil and its richness in powerful nutrients make it highly effective in making you feel full faster and satisfying your appetite for a longer duration. Also, the essential fatty acids and vitamins in avocado oil aid in digestion, and due to this, you will be able to get more energy from the foods that you consume with it. This makes it easier for you to work out and train during your weight loss journey.
- Avocado Beauty Treatments – One can also create their own beauty treatments with this inimitable fruit. Avocado provides great hair treatment in combination with egg yolk, olive oil, and yogurt. It nourishes your hair and moisturizes it from the inside out, leaving it rejuvenated and well-revitalized. To prepare the treatment, pulverize the avocado first and then add some olive oil, yogurt, and egg yolk to it. Stir well to get a consistent paste and work it over your strands evenly, covering them with a plastic wrap afterward. Let the mixture sit in your hair for almost half an hour and then rinse thoroughly with a mild shampoo normally.
- Avocado Body Butter Recipe – To create avocado body butter, take one fully ripped avocado and, after removing its pit and skin, mash it up in a small bowl. Apply the paste onto your skin, paying enough attention to the rough skin areas like knees, heels, and elbows. Let the butter exercise its magic over your skin for almost half an hour and then wash off with cool water.
- Avocado Facial Cleanser Recipe – This recipe cleanses the skin pores and frees your skin from any dirt, grime, excess oil and other impurities. While a variety of such cleansers are available in the market, you can also prepare your own at home. For making an avocado facial cleanser, you’ll be in need of one egg yolk, half cup milk, and half avocado. First of all, beat the egg until it is frothy and then add mashed avocado and milk to it. Stir the concoction to get a lotion-like consistency. Use the resultant mixture to cleanse your face regularly. It removes the harmful toxins from your skin and leaves it looking younger and radiant.
- Avocado Hand Scrub – This blend makes use of lemon for scent; oats help in the quick and easy absorption of avocado oil and provide gentle exfoliation, making your hands soft and smooth. To get the treatment, simply take some mashed avocado in a bowl and add to it egg white, oats and a little amount of lime juice. Stir the mixture well and massage your hands with the resultant paste. Hold on for 20-25 minutes and wash your hands finally with tepid water.
- Oily Skin Avocado Mask – The avocado mask for oily skin involves the use of lemon, egg white and ripped avocado. Lemon acts as a natural astringent and controls the production of oil by the skin whereas egg white strengthens and nourishes your skin with high protein content. Avocado oil balances the mixture. To prepare the pack, you need to combine avocado, egg white and lemon juice in a blender and whirl until you get a smooth paste. Use the mask onto your skin for twenty minutes and rinse with warm water at the end.
Avocado Moisturizing Mask
The moisturizing avocado oils join forces with a natural antiseptic agent, honey, and relieving yogurt to gently cleanse, eliminate redness and soften up the skin while firming and refining the skin pores. Take two fully ripped avocados and mash them after pitting and peeling. Now, add yogurt and honey to it and stir well. Apply the paste over your face and leave it on for almost fifteen minutes. Rinse with tepid water.
Moisturizing Eye Mask
The avocado moisturizing eye mask is the best for relieving eye dehydration and irritation. The preparation of the mask doesn’t involve any intricate steps. Just mash a fully ripped avocado and combine it with aloe vera gel. Stir well and spread evenly on pre-cleansed under eye skin. Let it sit virtually for ten minutes and then wipe away. Splash tepid water over your face finally.
- Avocado Face Mask – Before we rave and rant about the top benefits of avocado face masks, let’s look at how to make an avocado face mask.
- ½ an avocado
- 1 tablespoon of unprocessed honey
- 1 tablespoon of unprocessed and non-pasteurized yogurt
- 1 ½ cucumber
Making The Mask
To make the avocado face mask, you need to follow these simple steps.
- Take the ½ avocado and mash it to a creamy pulp.
- Add the tablespoon of unprocessed honey to the avocado pulp.
- After you have added the honey, add the yogurt to the mix and stir well.
- Peel the cucumber and cut two slices.
- Splash some warm water over your face, and pat dry with a towel. Using your first two fingers apply a thin coating of the avocado-honey-yogurt mix on your face and neck. Wash your face gently with warm water and pat dry. Apply a thin layer of the avocado face mask to your face and neck. Place the pre-cut cucumber slices on your eyes and sit back. Leave the mask on for a minimum of 15 minutes before you rinse it off with warm water.