Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. They have a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical. Commercially, they ripen after harvesting. Avocado trees are partially self-pollinating and often are propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit.
A typical serving of avocado (100 g) is moderate to rich in several B vitamins and vitamin K, with good content of vitamin C, vitamin E and potassium (right table, USDA nutrient data). Avocados also contain phytosterols and carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin.
About 75% of an avocado’s energy comes from fat, most of which (67% of total fat) is monounsaturated fat as oleic acid:
- Other predominant fats include palmitic acid and linoleic acid.
- The saturated fat content amounts to 14% of the total fat.
- Typical total fat composition is roughly (rounded to digits): 1% ω-3, 14% ω-6, 71% ω-9 (65% oleic and 6% palmitoleic), and 14% saturated fat (palmitic acid).
And here are 15 health benefits of avocados:
Maintain a healthy heart
Avocado contains vitamin B6 and folic acid, which help regulate homocysteine levels. High level of homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Avocado also contains vitamin E, glutathione, and monounsaturated fat, which help in maintaining a healthy heart.
Lower cholesterol levels
Avocados are rich in a compound called beta-sitosterol which has been shown to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels. According to a study, patients with mild hypercholesterolemia who included avocados in their diet for 7 days had 17 percent decrease in total blood cholesterol levels, a 22 percent decrease in both LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels, and a 11 percent increase in HDL (good cholesterol) levels.
Control blood pressure
Avocados are also a great source of potassium, which helps in controlling blood pressure levels.