Avocados are a cool, creamy fruit grown in warm regions of the world. Nutrient dense, they can be a delicious part of a healthy diet as they are packed with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that energize and protect the body.
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Avocados provide a combination of 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. These nutrients include the following recommended daily values for adults, based on a 2000 calorie per day diet: vitamin E, 4 percent; vitamin C, 4 percent; folate, 4 percent; fiber, 4 percent; iron, 2 percent; potassium, 4 percent; lutein, 81 micrograms; and beta-carotene, 19 micrograms.
Avocados are sodium-free and cholesterol-free. They provide a nutrient boost when eaten with other foods by supporting the body's absorption of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein.
Calories and Fat
One serving size of avocado, about one-fifth of the fruit, has approximately 50 calories and 3 1/2 grams of unsaturated fats. Unsaturated fats are crucial to brain and nervous system development, thereby making this an ideal fruit for babies. According to a report from The Franklin Institute, the brain's protective layer, or Myelin sheath, is 70 percent fat and contains oleic acid. The fat in avocados is a rich source of oleic acid.
Unlike most fruit, avocados contain monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to increase desirable cholesterol (HDL) and reduce undesirable cholesterol (LDL).
Avocados have a mild, nutty taste and creamy texture. This makes them suitable as a substitute for unhealthy fats you might normally add to foods. For example, spreading a bagel with 1 ounce of mashed avocado rather than butter can save 18 grams of fat and nearly 150 calories.