Generally fruits and vegetables are nutrients packed; that is why you should eat them regularly; incorporate them into your daily meals. Our special focus today would be on avocado. Avocado is a very nutritious fruit. It contains a wide variety of nutrients, both vitamins and minerals which include: folate (which is crucial for cell repair and during pregnancy), potassium (which helps control blood pressure, lutein (which is good for the eyes), B vitamins, which help fight off disease and infection. It also contains vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K; trace amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous and other plant chemicals that may help prevent cancer.
Avocado contains fiber which is very filling. Studies show that people who eat avocado as part of their lunch are less likely to eat any meal during the next three hours.
Avocado is high in fat; over 70% of the calories in it are from fat. However, the fat is healthy and beneficial. The majority of the fat in avocado is oleic acid which is a monounsaturated fatty acid. It is also the type found in olive oil. Studies show that oleic acid reduces inflammation and helps prevent cancer. Avocado oil is very resistant to heat-induced oxidation, making it a healthy choice for cooking.
Avocado contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that are good for the eyes. These two carotenoids act as antioxidants in the eye and can reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration.
Avocado contains vitamin K which strengthens the bone by increasing calcium absorption and reducing urinary excretion of calcium. Low intake of vitamin K has been associated with a higher risk of bone fracture. A half portion of avocado provides approximately 25% of the daily-recommended intake for vitamin K.
Avocado contains folate which may help protect against cancers of the colon, stomach, pancreas, and cervix. A half portion of avocado provides approximately 20% of the daily-recommended intake for folate.
Folate is also very important for pregnant women. Adequate intake protects against miscarriage and neural tube defects.