Even though some people turn their noses up at avocados because they are considered “high in fat,” the truth is that, since they contain over 20 essential vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, they are one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Here’s a breakdown of the nutrition in an avocado.
Avocados are a great source of Vitamin E, which prevents cancer, has skin protective and anti-aging benefits, is an anti-inflammatory, boosts the metabolism, and may protect the brain from degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. For this reason, avocado isn’t just good for you when eaten but can also be rubbed directly on the skin to moisturize and replenish it.
One medium avocado contains 15 grams of monounsaturated fats, which help to lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol, which in turn helps to prevent cardiovascular disease. Instead of eating saturated fats, choose monounsaturated fats such as those found in avocado.
Avocados are a good source of vitamin K. The fat-soluble vitamin K assists the body in blood clotting functions and it is necessary to have enough vitamin K to prevent excess bleeding in the case of an injury. Vitamin K is also good for strengthening bones, especially for older people.
Not surprisingly, avocados are high in vitamin C, an essential antioxidant that is important for our immune system, lowers blood pressure, protects against colds, ensures proper dilation of blood vessels, fights cataracts, and much more. One medium avocado contains 20% DV of vitamin C.
Avocados are one of the best natural sources of potassium. Getting enough potassium in your diet is an important part of maintaining metabolic functions, protein synthesis, and heart health. One medium avocado has about 20% DV of potassium.
They also contain a lot of magnesium, which is essential for maintaining heart health, preventing type 2 diabetes, keeping blood pressure levels normal, preventing osteoporosis, and more. One medium avocado contains 20% DV of magnesium.
Avocados are rich in copper, which is essential for a myriad of functions in the body. Copper is a powerful antioxidant. It is also a key player in bone formation and connective tissue maintenance. In addition, it is crucial for pigmentation of the skin and hair, functioning of the nervous system, and maintenance of the myelin sheath around nerves. Copper is also a powerful anti-inflammatory. One medium avocado has about 10% DV of copper.
Many people, especially women, don’t get enough iron, which the body needs to produce red blood cells and prevent anemia. One medium avocado contains 10% DV of iron.
They are rich in pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), which helps the body with wound healing, weight management, the prevention of acne, maintaining healthy hair, and much more. One medium avocado contains about 20% DV of pantothenic acid.
They are rich in B6, which is essential for normal cellular growth. It’s also essential for processing carbohydrates, maintenance of healthy lymphoid glands, nervous system function, synthesis of serotonin and melatonin, the production of hemoglobin, and sulfur and methyl metabolism. In addition, B6 is a powerful anti-inflammatory.
Avocados contain a lot of fiber, which helps to regulate the colon and keeps the digestive system functioning correctly. One medium avocado has 10 grams of fiber.
Avocados are high in folate (the synthetic form is know as folic acid). Folate is essential for certain elements of development of the brain and nervous system. Pregnant women should be careful about their folic acid intake from conception through pregnancy in order to be sure that the baby develops correctly. One medium avocado has about 30% DV of folate.