Avocado: Properties, Benefits And Recipes

Fruits can aid in the weight loss process and provide satiety at inopportune times. Although most are rich in carbohydrates, avocados are mainly made up of fat.

At first, this characteristic may seem bad, so many people avoid its consumption and do not include it in the list of fruits allowed in a diet, just for a reputation based on its high caloric value, do not give up the various benefits that avocado can bring to your health and fitness.

The lipids present in avocado are very healthy and the fruit can be a great option in structuring a balanced diet.

Now we are going to explain the benefits of avocado for our health. What is it? What are its main properties? And you will understand that as a villain he has nothing, quite the opposite, he can improve your quality of life and even help you maintain good form.

What is avocado?

The avocado is a native fruit of Mexico and Central America that belongs to the Persea americana species . Today, thanks to hybridizations and thousands of years of cultivation, there are numerous varieties. The main producers are Mexico, Chile, the United States, Indonesia, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, China and Guatemala.

Externally, the avocado is bright green in color and ripens as it gets darker, almost black . The pulp is light green or yellowish and has a creamy texture, inside we find a seed.

Avocado properties

A small avocado with 150 g of pulp (about 1 cup) provides 210 calories, 18 grs. fat, 9 g. of carbohydrates, 2.25 grs. of proteins and 2.7 grs. fiber. We can understand, therefore, that

avocado is not low in calories, but its difference lies in the composition of fats, since almost 70% of the fat found in avocados is monounsaturated , most of it made up of oleic acid and the rest of polyunsaturated fats (omega-6 and omega-3) and saturated (palmitic acid).

Its omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is more than 10: 1 . An imbalance in these proportions is believed to be responsible for causing inflammation and some diseases. Health authorities in several countries recommend a ratio of 5: 1 to 2: 1. Therefore, despite the benefits of avocados and monounsaturated fats, to compensate for the intake of omega-6 fatty acids present in avocado it is important to include rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids in the diet.

The amount of fibers present in avocados is also impressive: 10 grams, corresponding to 44% of the recommended daily amount.

In addition to macronutrients, avocado contains a very wide variety of vitamins and minerals. They include the vitamins A , group B, C and E; copper, manganese, magnesium , phosphorus, potassium, and zinc .

Avocado nutritional information

Avocado is rich in monounsaturated fats such as omega-6 fatty acids, fiber, antioxidants, magnesium and folic acid, we leave you the information from the Spanish Nutrition Federation , since there are many sites on the internet that have the wrong nutritional measurements.

Components (edit) Amount per 100g of avocado
Energy 160 calories
Protein 2 g
Total fat 15 g
Monounsaturated fats 10 g
Carbohydrates 9 g
Fibers 7 g
Vitamin C 10 mg
Vitamin A / carotene 156 UI
Vitamin E 3.2 mg
Folic acid / folate 11 mcg
Potassium 485 mg

The avocado fattening if consumed in excess , since it is one of the fruits rich in fat, despite its good quality, have many calories.

Caloric values ​​of avocado

Is the calorific value of avocado high? Yes, but it is important to reflect on the decisions made in your meals, review the foods selected for your diet and look for functional substitutes for your body.

Avocado contains an average of 160 calories in 100 grams. Do you have fat? Yes, but they are good fats . They are monounsaturated, essential fats to control cholesterol and reduce triglycerides. It is indicated for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

Antioxidant carotenoid

Avocado aids in the absorption of lycopene and beta-carotene , like carotenoid, which is fat soluble. They can help preserve the cells in your body. This benefit can be obtained by adding at least 150 grams of avocado to your traditional salads, although the result can also be achieved with avocado oil , which you can buy in herbalists or online .

Here are the main antioxidant carotenoids contained in avocado :

  • Alpha carotene;
  • Beta-carotene;
  • Betacryptoxanthin;
  • Lutein;
  • Neoxanthine;
  • Violaxanthin;
  • Zeaxanthin.

Rich source of nutrients and vitamins

The avocado is a treasure trove of vitamins and nutrients important for the balance of the organism. It is rich in minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, and magnesium. You can enjoy the many benefits of avocado, which you will see below, through vitamins A, C, E, K and group B.

Avocado benefits for health and fitness

1. Increases the absorption of carotenoids

Many foods have red or orange pigments in their composition, which are called carotenoids. Examples are sweet potatoes, papaya, carrot, mango, spinach, chard, and broccoli.

In the human body, carotenoids act as antioxidants and precursors to vitamin A , which is essential for eye health. Being soluble in fat, the absorption of these substances is enhanced by the presence of fat in food, however, foods that contain them are very low in lipids. Therefore, the researchers studied the association between the absorption of carotenoids naturally present in food with the combined intake of avocado.

Avocado is rich in healthy fats and improves carotenoid absorption 2 to 6 times more compared to other foods . Due to this absorption, avocado is also indicated to improve the conversion of carotenoids into vitamin A.

On the other hand, avocado itself contains carotenoids, the most abundant being chrysanthemummaxanthin, but neoxanthin, transneoxanthin and lutein are also found, as seen above.

We can conclude, therefore, that in addition to their intrinsic properties, avocados can help to achieve the absorption of these plant compounds more efficiently than other foods.

2. Anti-inflammatory power

If you live with swelling, redness, and discomfort due to arthritis, rheumatism, and drops, your doctors often advise a regular diet to aid treatment, right? Then try adding avocados to your meals. The results will be very efficient.

The benefit can be recognized by the positive effect of avocado on HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), considered responsible for the protection and dilation of the arteries and in various beneficial body changes for the balanced functioning of your body. This benefit is provided by the vitamin E in the avocado, which induces the fats to take on an anti-inflammatory power.

Arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects many people and causes severe joint pain and other problems. The components of avocado, such as monounsaturated fats, phytosterols, vitamins E and C, in addition to carotenoids, help fight inflammation caused by arthritis and improve the quality of life of these patients.

3. Reduce stress

Avocado contains a substance called glutathione, which reduces the effects of cortisol, the well-known stress hormone , which in excess hinders the weight reduction process. Glutathione also detoxifies the body and improves liver function, thus achieving better elimination of toxins.

4. Improves cardiovascular health

Adding avocado to a balanced diet has been shown to be effective in preventing and fighting various cardiovascular diseases, by improving levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and reducing the level of oxidative stress in the bloodstream.

One of the factors that contribute to these benefits is the lipid composition of the avocado, such as monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid, which is 68% of the fat in fruits and many studies have associated it with beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, brain function and growth, and cell renewal. This concentration in avocado oil is close to the composition of other very healthy oils, such as olive .

Other very important constituents are phytosterols , which include beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol. They have an anti-inflammatory action that also benefits the prevention of vascular complications.

Avocado contains antioxidants such as carotenoids, vitamin E, C and other components with anti-inflammatory effect, flavonoids, which are procyanidins and catechins.

It is believed that these benefits can be obtained through the regular consumption of about a cup or a small avocado, always associated with a proper diet.

5. Fight cancer

The substance responsible for this energy is glutathione, as described above, it is capable of blocking at least 30 different carcinogens.

6. Control cholesterol

Avocado provides HDL cholesterol, considered good, and reduces LDL (bad) cholesterol . It reduces the amount of the hormone beta-sitosterol and is capable of inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol from the diet.

7. Regulate bowel flow

We know that a smooth-flowing gut is maintained with the use of many functional foods. The proper functioning of the intestine is one of the benefits of avocado due to its fibers.

8. Inhibits appetite and helps to lose weight

The benefits of avocado extend to weight loss. It is extremely rich in fiber: a 150 g serving contains 10.5 g of this nutrient, which is essential in weight loss diets as it helps in intestinal function, provides a feeling of fullness for a long time and also helps reduce glucose spikes and blood cholesterol levels.

Research published in the Nutrition Journal showed that people who ate half an avocado with lunch had 40% less desire to eat a few hours later . The inclusion of guacamole in the main dishes also seems to have that effect.

Monounsaturated fats, which are abundant in avocados, are associated with the reduction of abdominal fat , which is the most dangerous in terms of risk factor for the development of diseases related to being overweight.

Avocado contains a low amount of carbohydrates and has a very low glycemic index , this prevents the increase in blood glucose and insulin spikes, the result of which rebound, after the glucose is stored in the form of glycogen or fat, is to be hungrier.

Therefore, despite the high concentration of fat and calories, adding avocado to a proper diet will help you lose weight . But be careful when consuming it: the maximum is half an avocado a day .

9. Regulates menstruation

You can use avocado to regulate your menstrual cycle. One way is with teas made with avocado flowers , for example; It can be consumed about 2 to 4 times a day. A controlled menstrual cycle will also provide a reduction in the effects of PMS (premenstrual syndrome) .

10. Improves vision

The vitamin A contained in avocado has benefits for your eye health.

11. Improves hair health

You can get rid of dandruff, strengthen your hair and prevent its loss with avocado, see how to do it in this article with natural recipes to hydrate and strengthen hair .

12. Guarantees better sleep

Avocado can be the ally you were looking for to conquer the perfect nights sleep you need. Vitamins of the B complex, such as B3, are able to balance the hormones responsible for the brain’s sleep activity. Folic acid also fuels the neurotransmitters responsible for healthy sleep.

13. Prevents premature aging and treats the skin

The power of antioxidants can reduce the damaging effects of free radicals on the skin. The constant renewal of cells provides more vitality and health to the tissues. Your skin can be more hydrated and full of nutrients. Avocado oil is highly sought after for these benefits.

You’ve probably even seen recipes for homemade avocado face masks for more beautiful skin. This is because the nutrients present in this fruit, such as good fats and vitamins, help maintain hydration, vitality and elasticity of the skin. Oleic acid helps reduce skin irritation and redness and improves its ability to repair itself. Adequate consumption of this fatty acid regulates the production of sebum, improving acne and oily skin.

The vitamin E and carotenoids help prevent oxidative damage that leads to the formation of wrinkles and lines, and vitamin C participates in the production of elastin and collagen , the main structural components of the skin.

We have an article that will help you prevent premature aging , check how easy it is to stay young longer.

14. Contributes to muscle mass

Compared to other fruits, avocados stand out for offering 2 grams of protein per 100 grams. As we know, proteins are essential for gaining lean mass and promoting hypertrophy.

A study monitored two groups of people for 3 weeks who followed two types of diets: one rich in saturated fat (palmitic acid) and the other rich in monounsaturated fat (oleic acid), with the same amount of calories. The results showed that the disposition for physical activity was almost 14% higher in the group that followed the diet rich in oleic acid . These people maintained a faster metabolism after meals, therefore avocado can also provide extra energy from healthy fat sources, ideal for intense training and muscle building.

Regular consumption of this type of fat is also associated with an improvement in the synthesis of testosterone and growth hormone , two important factors for protein synthesis in muscle, even in women.

If you are looking to gain lean mass, incorporate avocado into your eating plan, but remember that you must control its consumption.

15. Helps regulate glucose metabolism

As we already said, avocado contains a low carbohydrate load and a low glycemic index, which minimizes the generation of glucose and insulin and their peaks, factors that make it an ideal food for people with diabetes or even for non-diabetics who wish to benefit from maintaining low blood sugar levels. The presence of high amounts of fiber is also a factor that helps in this control.

Further studies are still required, but some research indicates that after a meal with avocado there is a reduction in insulin levels and better regulation of blood sugar.

Also under investigation is the action of a polyol present in avocados called perseitol, which unlike common sugars leads to a suppression of insulin release into the bloodstream.

Also, avocados are rich in vitamin K , which plays an essential role in blood clotting. Studies indicate that people who eat more of this vitamin are 19% less likely to develop diabetes. The volunteers were studied for 10 years.

Some tips for consuming avocado

  • The concentration of phytonutrients in avocado is higher in the parts that are not generally eaten, such as the peel and the seed or core. In the peel closest to the pulp we can find more nutrients than in the central part , so it is recommended that the peel be squeezed and scraped as much as possible when separating the meat. One way to do this is to peel the avocado with your hands, like a banana. You just have to cut the avocado lengthwise into four pieces and then pull the skin with your index finger and thumb. This will preserve most of the pulp which is darker in color and rich in the phytonutrients also present in the rind.
  • If you have a latex allergy, you should consult a doctor before consuming avocado, as there is a risk of hypersensitivity to the fruit.
  • You should keep the green avocado at room temperature . To speed up the ripening process, place it in a paper bag or wrap.
  • When ripe, the avocado skin turns darker and softer when you press it lightly.
  • You should keep the ripe fruit in the refrigerator . If you have already cut it, store it in a closed container with several drops of vinegar or lemon on its surface to avoid oxidation of the pulp, also try to store it with the seed / core , you will also avoid oxidation.
  • If you are adding avocado in hot recipes, take care that it is at a low temperature and that you consume it in the shortest possible time, to avoid damage to its healthy fatty acids .
  • In general, smaller avocados tend to be higher in fat than large ones.

Avocado recipes

Guacamole

Ingredients

  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • 1 tomato, peeled and chopped without seeds
  • 1 chilli or cayenne
  • 1/2 small onion
  • pepper, lemon, salt and coriander to taste

Preparation mode

Chop the onion into brunoise and set it aside in a large bowl. Peel the tomato and remove the seeds , then cut it into very small squares, as much as possible, put it in the same container as the onion, we also put a chopped cayenne (the spicy to taste that each one is very special for it) , a little coriander, salt and ground pepper.

To clean the avocado it is very simple , we make a longitudinal cut along the avocado, as the seed / heart is in the center we will have to turn the knife around the fruit, you turn one of the parts of the avocado 90º and with this movement it is They separate the two halves, to remove the heart you stick the knife in and then you also make another 90º turn.

I remind you that avocado is a fruit that oxidizes very quickly, so it is preferable to wait to remove the core of the other half after having cut the first one.

To separate the pulp from the peel, we make cuts in the form of a grid without penetrating the skin , we turn the inner skin outwards and with the help of a spoon we scrape the remains of pulp that have remained inside, we pour them into the bowl of the onion and tomato and add a dash of lemon or lime to prevent oxidation. We perform the same gesture with the other half of the avocado.

Many recipes come without the lime or lemon, and we are really adulterating the flavor of the guacamole with the citrus, but we should eat it very quickly so it does not oxidize, as well as being quite skilled with the knives.

Now we only have to grind the content that depends on our tastes, we prefer that they look more rustic and we mash the avocado with a fork on the bowl where all the ingredients are, but if you like much finer textures it is necessary that you use one mixer or similar .

The more ripe the avocado, the creamier and tastier the guacamole will be, plus it will have much better color.

Avocado Mousse

Ingredients

Preparation mode

Beat all the ingredients in a blender until you get a homogeneous mixture and leave it to rest in the fridge to get a firm consistency. Serve very cold.

Vegetable salad with avocado

Ingredients

  • tomato diced
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • cucumber diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
  • Chopped coriander, salt, olive oil and lemon to taste

Preparation mode

Mix everything carefully so that the avocado does not fall apart. Season with cilantro, salt, olive oil and lemon and serve the salad cold.

Avocado Reader Resources

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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