The avocado is a nutritional powerhouse providing us with lots of potential health benefits.
It’s probably most well known for being a key ingredient in the Mexican dip “guacamole”.
So why is this fruit sometimes called “alligator pear” so nutritious?
Fats account for about three quarters of the calorie count of an avocado. Most of it is monounsaturated fat, in the form of oleic acid. Monounsaturated fat is considered to be a “good fat” which reduces levels of bad cholesterol in the blood and lowers the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Avocados are a great source of potassium. They are also rich in vitamin K, vitamin B9, vitamin B6, vitamin B5, vitamin C and vitamin E2.
A medium avocado contains 11 grams of fiber, which is close to half of the daily recommended minimum intake.
A study published in the Archives of Medical Research found that an “avocado enriched diet can improve lipid profile in healthy and especially in mild hypercholesterolemic patients, even if hypertriglyceridemia is present”. After a week of following the avocado enriched diet the patients experienced a 22% decrease in bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels and an 11% increase in good cholesterol.
Avocados are rich in phytochemicals, which have been reported to help prevent the development of certain cancers.
New research suggests that one-half of a fresh avocado with lunch may satisfy hunger in overweight people, reducing their need to snack after a meal. This is according to a study published in the Nutrition Journal.
While being very rare, avocado allergies do exist. According to a case in the journal Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology avocado allergies are associated with coughing, wheezing and nasal stuffiness. Check with your doctor if you begin to experience any side effects after eating avocado.