Nutritional Value of Avocados

Avocados are packed with monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. About 70% of the antioxidants in avocados are found in the pit, which can be dehydrated, ground into powder and added to other foods, or can be pulverized in a powerful blender and included in your smoothies.

Avocados - Image of Avocado Halves with Seed

This superfood is said to reduce total cholesterol, (by reducing “bad” cholesterol and increasing “good” cholesterol) boost heart health, fight free radicals, protect against osteoporosis and cancer, aid vision and strengthen the immune system.  Since avocados have anti-inflammatory properties, they should be useful in decreasing arthritis symptoms. Some of the vitamins and minerals in this nutrient-dense food include:

  • 18 different amino acids
  • Beta-carotene
  • Biotin
  • Boron
  • Calcium
  • Choline
  • Copper
  • Fiber
  • Fluoride
  • Folate
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Lutein
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Niacin (B-3)
  • Pantothenic Acid (B5)
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Pyridoxine (B6)
  • Riboflavin (B2)
  • Selenium
  • Thiamin (B1)
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Zinc

The healthy fats in avocados help improve carotenoid absorption, as well as conversion of beta-carotene into active Vitamin A.  Add avocados to your salads.  Most of the phytonutrients are found in the seed and the dark green outermost flesh, closest to the skin. Other claims, based on animal studies using extracts, include blood sugar regulation (help with diabetes), antioxidant properties, and help in fighting certain bacteria and fungi.

Don’t go on an all-avocado diet.  Not only is the avocado high in fat, but the fats are not well-balanced between O-3 and O-6 content.  It is best to use them as an accompaniment to an otherwise balanced meal.  You can trust that you are getting many of the kinds of fats that provide important anti-inflammatory benefits as well as a host of other nutrients.

A ripe avocado is slightly soft.  If the fruit has a slight neck, it may have ripened more on the tree and have a better flavor.  You can ripen firmer fruits at home in a paper bag or at room temperature for a few days.  Don’t refrigerate until they are ripe and then eat within a week.  When storing a cut avocado, sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent browning and store in a covered container.

The West Indian avocado contains far less oil than a Hass avocado—up to 50% less! The Hass variety has a bumpy skin while the West Indian avocado is smooth. There are many varieties of avocado but these are the most common.

If you have Latex-Fruit Syndrome, consult with your physician about eating avocados.

Based on serving size 1/3 of a medium fruit or ½ of a small fruit:

% Daily Value
Calories per serving 84
Total fat per serving 8g 10%
Saturated fat 1g 5%
Trans fat 0g
Polyunsaturated fat 1g
Monounsaturated 5g
Cholesterol 0g
Sodium 0g
Total Carbohydrate 4g 1%
Dietary fiber 4g 11%
Total sugars 1g
Protien 1g
 
Calcium 10mg 8%
Iron 0.3mg 2%
Potassium 250mg 2%
Vitamin C 4mg 4%
Vitamin E 1mg 6%
Vitamin K 11mg 10%
Niacin 1mg 6%
Vitamin B2 0.1mg 6%
Folate 45mcg DFE 10%
Pantothenic Acid 0.7mg 15%
Phosphorus 30mg 2%
Magnesium 15mg 4%
Zinc 0.3mg 2%
Copper 0.1mg 10%
Manganese 0.1mg 4%
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