Avocados are a type of stone fruit, and they are otherwise called alligator pear or butter fruit. They grow well in warm climates and have a creamy texture. It is a super fruit that comes in different varieties, and all of it has a creamy taste. This wonderful fruit serves as a nutrient-dense food that is packed with numerous vitamins, minerals, fibers, and antioxidants. Avocado is a versatile fruit treated as a luxury for its amazing health benefits.
Types of Avocado
Avocados are available in different shapes, sizes, colors, and types. Here are some well-known avocado types:
- Haas avocado – Pear/oval in shape, has a thick skin that turns from green to dark purple as it ripens.
- Bacon avocado – Oval in shape, medium-sized, green skin with a bright yellow flesh that tastes light.
- Maluma avocado – Pear-shaped, large fruit with dark purple-colored skin that is pebbly and rough.
- Choquette avocado – Oval in shape, have smooth and glossy skin, quite large with a high-water content.
- Fuerte avocado – Pear-shaped, medium-sized, green skin of medium thickness, which is easy-to-peel.
- Mexicola avocado – Pear/oval in shape, black colored, smaller fruit with fragile skin that is smooth and shiny.
- Sharwil avocado – Pear-shaped, medium size with rough green skin and a yellowy-green flesh.
Among these types, Haas avocados are popular all over the world (1).
|Nutritional value per 100 g|
|Energy||670 kJ (160 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||6.7 g|
|Saturated Fat||2.13 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||9.80 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||1.82 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.||7 μg|
|lutein zeaxanthin||271 μg|
|Thiamine (B1)||0.067 mg|
|Riboflavin (B2)||0.13 mg|
|Niacin (B3)||1.738 mg|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||1.389 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.257 mg|
|Folate (B9)||81 μg|
|Vitamin C||10 mg|
|Vitamin E||2.07 mg|
|Vitamin K||21 μg|
Here are a Few Health Benefits of Avocados:
1. Lowers the Risk of VKDB
Deficiency of vitamin K leads to a severe disorder known as Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding (VKDB). It mainly occurs in infants due to less consumption of vitamin K by the mother during pregnancy. This condition causes the newborns to bleed uncontrollably as their blood does not contain enough vitamin K (2). Hence pregnant women are advised to take a sufficient amount of vitamin K rich foods. A single avocado contains 40% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K. Inclusion of avocado may lower the risk of VKDB in newborns.
2. Maintains Cholesterol
Avocado contains a better amount of beta-sitosterol, which helps to maintain a good cholesterol level. It also helps in regulating LDL and HDL cholesterol levels (3). Avocado is an excellent source of antioxidants and monounsaturated fats, which promote heart health and reduce the risk of stroke. So consuming 100 grams of avocado per day may protect you against some heart diseases.
3. Improves Eyesight
Avocados are the well-known source of lutein and zeaxanthin; these two phytochemicals act as antioxidants in the eye and minimize eye damage. It inhibits the formation of cataracts and improves vision clarity. The inclusion of avocado in the regular diet may reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration. In order to improve vision, you may need to add some avocados in the diet pattern to keep your eyes healthy.
4. Reduces Cancer Risk
Avocados contain the proper amount of folate, which acts as a protective barrier against the cancer cells. Similarly, glutathione is a major compound that reduces the formation of cancer cells (4). This sacred fruit protects you from colon, stomach, oral, breast, cervical, and pancreatic cancers due to its carotenoid and monosaturated fat content. Several researches show that avocado plays a vital role in cancer treatment as it inhibits the growth of cancerous cells and encourages the proliferation of immune system cells. Drink a glass of avocado juice to attain enough benefits.
5. Enhances Bone Strength
Avocado is a good source of minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, sodium, and zinc. It is rich in vitamin K, which is essential for bones. But when it comes to bone health, vitamin D, and calcium surpasses vitamin K. However, vitamin K is significant in maintaining healthy bones. It supports bone health by increasing calcium absorption and decreasing urinary excretion of calcium. The presence of a wide range of phytochemicals, flavonoids, carotenoids, and omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the inflammation in the muscles, tissues, and joints. They also prevent hip or knee osteoporosis (5).
6. Aids in Digestion
It is necessary to consume fiber-rich foods to prevent constipation and maintain a healthy digestive tract. Avocado contains enough fiber and water content that helps to ease digestion. Additionally, the presence of essential nutrients may reduce the acidity of kids. Hence adequate intake of fiber enhances regular bowel movements, and it helps to excrete toxins through stools.
7. Nourishes Skin and Hair
Avocados are rich vitamins and minerals which are essential to maintain healthy skin. Carotenoids are responsible for reducing the inflammation caused due to UV-rays and sunburns (6). This superfruit with its packed nutrients provides you a glowing skin texture and also nourishes your hair. Beta-carotene and lycopene found in avocado prevents premature aging and gives you well-nourished skin. Drink avocado juice to avoid dry skin and hair.
8. Helps to Lose Weight
Avocado is a wonderful fruit that also aids in weight loss. It curbs your appetite and stops you from constant munching and crunching, which may lead to weight gain. It has fewer calories and thereby makes you quite full. Hence adding this fruit in a regular diet will improve weight loss for obese individuals (7).
Avocado is a stone fruit which is also known as alligator pear or butter fruit. This fruit comes in different varieties, and Hass is the most popular around the world.
It is packed with all essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, which help to promote a healthy heart, provide greater vision, and reduce cancer risk.