How is it different from other fruits and what studies have shown so far about its effects on our health.
Avocado is a fruit with a completely different nutritional composition from the rest, as it is high in fat while most other fruits contain mostly carbohydrates. However, its fats are mostly beneficial, while it also contains many other ingredients that make it a real nutritional treasure.
In fact, the nutritional value of avocados is so high that:
It is a traditional component of healthy eating habits, such as that of the Mediterranean diet
It can be included in a balanced nutritional program, aimed at managing body weight
It provides essential nutrition for young and old, especially children
Boosts and nutritionally improves the breakfast or post-workout snack for athletes (combined with carbohydrates and proteins, as part of sports nutritional support)
It is a fasting and vegetarian dietary option, suitable even for strict vegetarians
These remarks are made by Dietitian-Nutritionist and Biologist Ioanna Adamidou, MS, RD, Head of Bioiatriki+ Nutrition and Scientific Associate of BioClinic Thessaloniki, and Clinical Dietitian-Nutritionist Melina Tsagkataki-Tsiringa, MSc, Scientific Associate of BioClinic Athens and Bioiatriki+ Nutrition . BIOIATRIKI Group.
As the two experts explain, avocados have been introduced into the diet of most Greeks in recent years, becoming a new dietary trend. In some parts of the country (eg Crete, Rhodes), their consumption has been common since ancient times, because the climate fully favors their cultivation and the presence of trees even in gardens.
Their origin is believed to be from Mexico and Central America, with Mexico now being their main producer.
High nutritional value
Avocado is rich in many nutrients. These include:
healthy fatty acids
An abundance of valuable micronutrients
Its micronutrients include antioxidant vitamins E and C, polyphenols, vitamins B6 and K, potassium, magnesium, and folic acid.
Compared to other fruits, avocado is more energy dense (more calories), which is due to its high fatty acid content. In particular, per piece of 200 grams, each fruit provides:
322 calories (energy)
29.5 g. fat (19.7 g is monounsaturated and 4.28 g is saturated)
4.02 g. protein
17.1 g. carbohydrates
13.5 g. fiber
As its nutritional analysis shows, most of the fats it contains are monounsaturated. This fact makes it a very healthy source of fats and in general a completely nutritious food.
It is no coincidence that the corresponding oil is also produced from avocado, which maintains the beneficial content of good fats and vegetable fibers providing better satiety. At the same time, however, it is low in sugar.
Due to its high nutritional value, the fruit offers multiple health benefits when consumed regularly. In more detail it is related to:
Better cardiovascular health
Avocado is rich in oleic acid, which belongs to the group of monounsaturated fatty acids. Their consumption has been associated with:
Optimal endothelial function
Better blood lipid levels (increase in “good” cholesterol or HDL)
Less risk of developing cardiovascular disease
Recent studies have shown that, compared to a simple low-fat diet, avocado has anti-inflammatory, anti-thrombotic and anti-hypertensive effects. It also exerts a beneficial effect on cardiometabolic risk factors, due to its particular nutritional composition and its additional content of bioactive components (eg phytosterols).
Improved digestion and gut microbiota
Due to its fiber and fat content, it promotes gastrointestinal health. Among other things, it contributes to the development of the normal microflora (microbiome) of the intestine and to its good motility.
Gentle increase in sugar
The avocado contains little sugar but is rich in fiber. This combination contributes to a regular and not sudden increase in blood sugar (sugar) after eating (postprandial blood sugar).
The carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin) it contains have a beneficial effect on the eyes. These two antioxidant substances help protect eye tissue from damage that can be caused by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. They also help prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.