Avocados – properties and nutritional values

Avocado is a fruit that is very easy to eat, and in addition has many medicinal properties and nutritional value. Avocado thanks to the content of oleic acid lowers cholesterol, and the potassium contained in it regulates blood pressure. But beware – avocados are the most caloric of fruit. Read or listen and you will learn how to eat avocado, how to prepare an avocado so that it does not darken after peeling, is the avocado seed poisonous and can it be eaten?

Avocado is a fruit that is very easy to eat, and in addition has many medicinal properties and nutritional value. They were already appreciated by the inhabitants of south-central Mexico, where they came from. The name avocado comes from the word Ahuacuatl, which in the Aztec language means “the tree on which the testicles grow.” The genesis of this name is closely related to the shape of the fruit and its supposed properties of aphrodisiac. However, due to its rough, green skin, it is sometimes referred to as an alligator pear. In Poland it is also called tasty.

Table of Contents

  • Avocados – how many calories do they have? Nutritional values ​​in 100 g
  • Avocados and slimming. Does avocado make you fat?
  • Avocados – health promoting properties
  • Avocados – varieties
  • How to buy a good avocado?
  • Avocados – how to peel and eat
  • Poisonous avocados for animals

Avocados – how many calories do they have? Nutritional values ​​in 100 g

  • Energy value – 160 kcal
  • Total protein – 2.00 g
  • Fat – 14.66 g
  • Carbohydrates – 8.53 g (including simple sugars 0.66)
  • Fiber – 6.7 g

vitamins

  • Vitamin C – 10.0 mg
  • Thiamine – 0.067 mg
  • Riboflavin – 0.130 mg
  • Niacin – 1.738 mg
  • Vitamin B6 – 0.257 mg
  • Folic acid – 81 µg
  • Vitamin A – 146 IU
  • Vitamin E – 2.07 mg
  • Vitamin K – 21.0 µg

Minerals

  • Calcium – 12 mg
  • Iron – 0.55 mg
  • Magnesium – 29 mg
  • Phosphorus – 52 mg
  • Potassium – 485 mg
  • Sodium – 7 mg
  • Zinc – 0.64 mg

Fatty acids

  • saturated – 2.126 g
  • monounsaturated – 9,799 g
  • polyunsaturated – 1.816 g

Avocados and slimming. Does avocado make you fat?

avocados
Although there is little sugar in avocado, due to this fat, avocado is the most caloric fruit: 100 g is 160 kcal (i.e. the average fruit is about 430 kcal), and e.g. an extremely calorific banana is 95 kcal in 100 g. Theoretically, it is not advisable on a slimming diet. However, the answer to the question – is avocado fat? – is a bit more complicated.

Researchers at Loma Linda University in California (USA) have found that avocados can help control appetite. Eating half of the avocado for lunch means that satiety lasts longer and the desire for snacking between meals decreases, according to a study published in the Nutrition Journal. Researchers conducted an experiment on a group of 26 overweight people.

The subjects had to eat half a fresh avocado at lunch – either replacing another product, or adding what they planned to eat. It turned out that thanks to this they had 40 percent less desire to eat something within three hours after a meal and by 28% less desire in five hours compared to a standard lunch without avocado. They also admitted to feeling greater satisfaction.

Avocados – health promoting properties

Unlike most popular fruits, there are few simple sugars in avocados. Avocados are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids. The content of omega-9 in avocados reaches an average of 20-30%. It also contains a good proportion of unsaturated omega -3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are necessary for the proper functioning of the body.

Because of their consistency and presence of fats, they were also called ” butter of the gods “. Thanks to fats, valuable ingredients from other products are better absorbed, e.g. the body absorbs 4 times more anti-cancer lycopene from tomatoes, if we also eat avocados, e.g. in a salad.

There is also a lot of potassium in avocados (more than in bananas), which regulates blood pressure, watches over the proper functioning of the heart, and also has a positive effect on the nervous system.

This fruit contains a lot of vitamins C, E and A – strong antioxidants that have anti-cancer effects, as well as B vitamins, among them folic acid is particularly valuable, which prevents fetal malformations.

Eating avocados also has good effects on the eyes, because it contains lutein and zeaxanthin.

Avocados and cholesterol

In medium-sized avocados (270 g) there is approx. 40 g fat. Other fruits contain it only in trace amounts (0.2-0.4 g). However, it is health-beneficial fat.

Beta-sitosterol found in monounsaturated fats reduces the level of “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

It also helps maintain normal levels of “good cholesterol” HDL. This means that avocados will also be a good choice for people with atherosclerosis.

Avocados and diabetes
Monounsaturated fatty acids have the effect of preventing or reversing insulin resistance, which is one of the causes of type 2 diabetes.

Avocado for cancer?

In addition to maintaining normal cholesterol levels, fatty acids in avocados also have anti-cancer effects.

Canadian scientists have identified an avocado lipid that helps treat acute myelogenous leukemia, according to Cancer Research. Lipid was given the name avocatin B. Laboratory studies on human cells have shown that it works by selective control of cancer stem cells (they are the main cause of leukemia development and recurrence in many patients), without affecting healthy cells.

Scientists count on the fact that the drug containing avocatin B will help in the future increase survival and improve the quality of life of patients with acute myeloid leukemia. They also emphasize that the possibilities of using this lipid in medicine go beyond oncology.

Avocado slows down aging?

Relationship concluded, among others in avocados reduces the signs of aging in mice – informs the journal “Cell Metabolism”. Scientists from the University of Washington in St. Louis noticed that nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) dissolved in water and administered to healthy rodents compensates for this decrease in energy, thanks to which it is possible to reduce such symptoms of aging as weight gain, decrease in physical activity or decrease in insulin sensitivity.

Nicotinamide mononucleotide occurs naturally including in broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers or avocados. The administration of NMN to older mice brought many positive results, including bone density, skeletal muscle strength, liver function, as well as immune system function, vision and insulin sensitivity. “Given that energy production processes take place in a similar way in human cells – we hope that this research will help us create methods to grow healthier,” says research author Dr Shin-ichiro Imai.

Avocados support the absorption of provitamin A

Adding fresh avocado to a tomato or carrot significantly improves the absorption of carotenoids and their transformation into the active form of vitamin A – according to research published in the “Journal of Nutrition”.

Researchers from Ohio State University conducted a study on a group of 12 healthy women and men. During the first round, it was checked whether eating 150 grams of fresh avocado together with beta-carotene-rich tomato sauce would facilitate the absorption of carotenoids. During the second round of research, tomato sauce was replaced with fresh carrots.

It turned out that in the first case, avocados increased beta-carotene absorption by 2.4-fold and 4.6-fold increased its conversion to vitamin A. When avocado was combined with carrot, beta-carotene absorption increased by 6.6-fold and absorption alpha-carotene – 4.8 times. Conversion of carotenoids into the active form was 12.6 times higher.

Avocados – varieties

Avocados have well over 100 varieties and new ones are still being made, e.g. seedless avocados. Among the more popular ones available in Poland, the following deserve attention:

  • Pinkerton avocado – has a pear-like shape and easily peels off the flesh with a rough, dark green skin. Pinkerton has an exceptionally intense flavor, and its flesh has a creamy, pale green texture
  • Bacon avocado – is oval, its skin is green and quite thin, and the flesh is yellow-green
  • Hass avocado – draws attention to the dark – brown and even black, rough skin. The light green flesh has a nutty flavor and a creamy texture
  • Gwen avocado – it looks like the Hass variety, but is much larger, despite the thick skin, it peels very well and the flesh is smooth and definitely green
  • Lamb Hass avocado – has an extremely large size – the largest avocado of this variety weigh up to half a kilo, with a small seed. Lamb Hass has a characteristic, very uneven, hard skin, but the flesh is creamy, with a strong nutty flavor.
  • Reed avocado – has characteristic round, medium-sized (up to 400 g) fruit, uneven, dark green skin that easily peels off the creamy flesh
  • Fuerte avocado – is quite large, has a pear shape, green, smooth skin and light green flesh with an extremely subtle taste

How to buy a good avocado?

Buying a good avocado when you have no practice can be difficult. Avocados should be properly ripe, especially if you want to eat them right away. Of course, if you buy an unripe avocado, then you can just wait for it to mature, but it continues. So the rule is one – if you want to eat immediately – buy soft, if it will last a few days – choose harder. However, do not choose very hard, because it can happen that before it ripens, it breaks down.

How to recognize a ripe avocado?

Ripe avocados have a slightly darker skin (depending on the variety, it may be greener or more brown or even black). You need to look at it carefully – it should not have darker spots or stains – they show that there will also be discoloration inside, and the fruit is not suitable for food.

It is also soft – with light pressure, the skin should bend slightly, but at the same time put light resistance. If it permanently deforms when pressed with your finger – put down the fruit and look for another. Some additionally check maturity and suitability for food by gently opening the stalk. If the pulp visible under it is the color of the fruit, then everything is ok and you can buy it, if you see discoloration, it is better to give up the purchase.

Avocados – how to peel and eat

How to peel an avocado?

To cut the avocados, cut them along (the knife will stop on the stone). Then we grab the fruit on both sides, turn each half in the opposite direction and remove the stone – this can be done by sticking a knife into it. Then remove the pulp with a spoon. You can also cut it with a knife up to the skin (so that a chessboard is formed), and then gently transfer it to a bowl with a spoon – this is a way to get fruit cut into cubes for salads.

How to eat avocado

We eat avocados primarily raw. Avocados are suitable for spreads – we treat them like butter or margarine – we put what we usually put on a sandwich – cold cuts, cheese, vegetables.

We can also put whole slices of avocado on bread or prepare a paste from it. What? There are infinite possibilities here – the only limit is our imagination and taste preferences. For example, Brazilians add avocados to ice cream. Filipinos make a drink made of mixed avocado, sugar and milk.

Cut into avocado salads.

How to store avocados?

Mature sheep should be refrigerated. Unripe fruit can be placed in a paper bag or kept for several days at room temperature.

If the avocado is not used immediately, you can sprinkle it with lemon or lime juice so that it does not change color.

Avocado seed is edible

Do not throw away avocado seeds, just eat! It should be dried for several days. When the stone is dry, put it in a plastic bag and break it with a meat pestle or a hammer. The crushed stone was then ground in a blender into a fine powder that can be added, e.g. to yogurt.

Poisonous avocados for animals

Avocados contain a toxin called persin, which can cause gastrointestinal irritation in herbivores such as cattle, horses, rabbits, and rodents. Persin is especially dangerous for birds, in which it causes circulatory and respiratory failure and can lead to sudden death. Not only the pulp is toxic, but also the leaves, branches, bark and seeds of the plant.

Does avocado harm dogs and cats?

Yes, eating a large amount of fruit can cause diarrhea and vomiting. We do not know clinical studies that would confirm the opinions on this topic of avocado toxicity to dogs and cats. However, everyone agrees that avocados should not be given in large quantities to these animals.

According to Dr. Justine A. Lee (a veterinary doctor and toxicologist associated with the Animal Poison Control Center in Minneapolis for years), avocados in small amounts are not harmful to dogs because dogs are not sensitive to persin. A greater risk for dogs may be swallowing avocado stone, which can get stuck in the esophagus, stomach or intestines and then surgery is needed.

Avocados are better than cocaine. They even want to grow… drug cartels

The popularity of avocados has caused an increase in demand and prices for this fruit. It turns out that it is such a profitable business that even Mexican drug cartels got interested in it. They try to take over plantations using blackmail and even kidnappings.

The enormous demand has also caused farmers in South America to cut more and more forests for new plantations of “butter of the gods”. According to The Mail On Sunday, some British restaurants have decided to withdraw avocados from their offer, including Tincan Coffee in Bristol and Wild Strawberry from Buckinghamshire, England, despite the fact that avocado dishes were very popular there. All because of cartels and the harmful effects on the environment of growing this fruit.

Victor Bigler

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