Avocado is a fruit that should be introduced regularly in the diet due to its qualities.
Avocado, the fatty fruit par excellence, is particularly appreciated for its beneficial properties. Scientifically known as Persea americana, it is a fruit tree species that belongs to the Lauraceae family, native to Mexico and Central America.
There are several qualities of avocado that vary in size, shape, color, skin texture and of course taste, but perhaps the most popular and appreciated is the Hass type. Rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants, avocado is a fruit that must not be discriminated against for the amount of fat it contains but must be introduced regularly in our diet to keep the heart healthy, reduce the waistline and improve both fertility. male and female. Let’s now see the properties and nutritional values of this fruit.
Avocado: calories and nutritional values
In spite of the other fruits, avocado has a truly unique nutritional profile: it is particularly rich in good fats, fiber, B vitamins, vitamin K, potassium, vitamin E and vitamin C, substances that give the avocado excellent properties. for health and its consumption is associated with several beneficial effects such as the reduction of cardiovascular risk, an increase in the sense of satiety with consequent weight loss and an increase in fertility. The protein and carbohydrate content is also discreet.
Avocado calories are much higher than other fruits, due to its high fat content. Specifically, 100 grams of avocado develops around 160 calories. Taking into account that a medium-sized avocado weighs from 250 to 400 grams (but can even reach a kilo!), A whole medium-sized fruit can provide even more than 500 kcal, while the recommended amount of half an avocado can provide 200- 250 calories, so it is best not to consume large quantities.
Nutritional values per 100g of avocado:
- Waterfall: 73 g
- kcal: 160
- Proteins: 2 g
- Fat: 14.7 g
- of which saturated: 2.13 g
- Carbohydrates: 8.5 g
- of which sugars: 0.7 g
- Fibers: 6.7 g
- Potassium: 485 mg
- Soccer: 12 mg
- C vitamin: 10 mg
- Vitamin E: 2.1 mg
- Vitamin K: 21 µg
- Vitamin B3: 1.7 mg
- Folate: 81 µg
What does avocado contain
Unlike other foods rich in vegetable fats, avocado contains many good fats, the monounsaturated ones which are useful for keeping the heart healthy. So, contrary to popular belief, there are good fats that it is important to prefer and this fruit can and must be an integral part of our diet, especially if you suffer from hypercholesterolemia, if you have a few extra pounds or simply if you want to choose one. healthier eating style.
To underline the properties of avocado is the fact that the most abundant fat it contains is oleic acid which is also the main component of olive oil . As we have seen, therefore, avocado pulp and seed are rich in various nutrients, including vitamins and minerals. Let’s now see together what are the beneficial properties of these elements.
- Vitamin B9 (folate): avocado contains high amounts of folic acid (81µg per 100g) which is very important daily for normal cell function and for tissue growth and which plays a main role in a particular phase of a woman’s life, pregnancy;
- Vitamin K: this vitamin, contained in good quantities in avocado, is important for blood clotting and to prevent bone fragility and osteoporosis;
- Potassium: Potassium is an essential mineral involved in blood pressure control, heart health and hydro-saline exchange at the cellular level. 100g of avocado contains more potassium than 100g of banana (450mg vs 350mg);
- Vitamin E: very powerful antioxidant, protects cells from environmental toxins and fights male infertility;
- Vitamin C: important antioxidant in immune functions, in the health of the skin and bones, promotes the absorption of iron, preventing anemia;
- Carotenoids: Avocado contains many carroteinoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin which are important for eye health and for fighting oxidative stress. Furthermore, the bioavailability (assimilation) of carotenoids is greater thanks to the presence of the fats of this fruit.
Avocado: properties and health benefits
✓ Avocado and heart health
Regular consumption of avocados promotes the reduction of bad cholesterol and triglycerides, increasing good cholesterol (HDL) and thus keeping the heart healthy. Moreover, thanks to the good presence of potassium, avocado helps regulate blood pressure.
✓ Satiety and weight loss
Contrary to popular belief, avocado does not make you fat, on the contrary, several studies have shown that it is enough to add half an avocado to our meals to increase the sense of satiety between meals and consequently also regulate body weight.
✓ Avocado for women’s health
Perhaps you have never noticed it but the shape of the avocado unmistakably recalls that of the uterus, rounded and a little pear-shaped. Also inside the “belly” there is a large seed and to complete the maturation takes 9 months .. strange isn’t it? Not too much if we think that this fruit is rich in folate, nutrients that promote the development of tissues and new cells, particularly important in certain stages of life such as pregnancy, breastfeeding and the very first years of life.
✓ Reduction of symptoms of arthritis
Avocado is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds: phytosterols, carotenoids, polyphenols, flavonoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, selenium and, finally, omega-3 fatty acids. Regular consumption of foods with anti-inflammatory action plays a crucial role in protecting our body from the action of free radicals, thus preventing inflammatory joint diseases.
✓ Increased libido
Considered the fruit of love and fertility, it is no coincidence that in addition to remembering a uterus, the Aztec translation of avocado is “testicle tree”.
✓ For the health of sight
Avocado is rich in antioxidants such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which specialize in protecting the eyes from damage caused by oxidative stress, cataracts and macular degeneration.
✓ Antioxidant properties of avocado
As we have seen above, avocado is rich in substances that give the fruit antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is therefore useful to counteract the excess of free radicals and cellular aging. Also, regular avocado consumption is part of the anti-inflammatory diet.
✓ Avocado: the benefits for the skin
Incredibly nourishing for the skin, avocado absorbs quickly, giving relief to those with particularly sensitive or dry skin. Being also rich in vitamin E, a very powerful antioxidant that protects against the action of free radicals, avocado is a perfect ally not only for the skin but also for the hair, protecting them from aging and dryness caused by the sun’s rays.
How much avocado to eat
First of all, as mentioned above, remember that a medium-sized avocado weighs about 250 to 400 grams, also considering the stone and skin, while an ideal portion corresponds to about 50 grams of pulp. This quantity brings about 80 kcal and is sufficient to offer the body all the benefits of this fruit.
How to choose and consume avocado
To choose an avocado at the right degree of ripeness it is important to check its external appearance and feel its consistency by touch. Although there are several varieties of avocado, the general indications to understand if the avocado is ripe remain the same for all types: if the outer skin has many dark and soft parts it means that the avocado is too ripe or that it may have been damaged in transport, while if it is too firm to the touch, the avocado is still unripe (unripe avocado can be eaten but will have a hard texture and a slightly bitter taste, which may not please everyone). A ripe avocado should be fairly uniform in color and shouldn’t be too firm to the touch.
Once we have chosen and purchased the avocado, we can use it in many different ways. The simplest is to cut it in half, remove the core (which we can keep and use, as we will see shortly) and the peel, then cut it into cubes. It can then be eaten alone, seasoned with oil, pepper, salt and lemon, or added to salads. Avocado can also be used as an accompaniment to wraps or sandwiches, or be used for making desserts.
Avocado seed is edible and rich in properties
Although the number of people who appreciate this exotic fruit is constantly increasing, few know that avocado seed is also edible, containing several bioactive substances and almost 70% of the antioxidants of the whole fruit!
Avocado seed, in addition to being completely safe for our health without any toxic activity, is used in traditional medicine to treat a wide range of ailments thanks to its richness in nutrients.
How to eat avocado seed?
- First, remove the brown film that covers the avocado seed;
- Now put the seed in a plastic bag and then crush it with a hammer. The fragments will be added to smoothies or centrifuged;
- Or, alternatively, instead of crushing it, it is possible to grate the seed directly into the dish, adding it to salads, soups, stews or in guacamole;
Another way to enjoy the benefits of avocado seed is to consume it in the form of herbal tea : boil the chopped avocado seed for 30-40 minutes, strain and enjoy.