Avocados Speak Out!
Happy Wednesday, tea lovers! This week we have a special treat. We've interviewed a Hass avocado to find out what they really do (from the source) ... and if we should believe the hype. Enjoy!
Abbé Tea Co. (Us): Let's jump right in, shall we? Would you mind being as specific as possible about the fatty acids you contain?
Avocado: One of us contains roughly 13g of oleic acid, known as Omega-9 to some of you. We are comprised of 71% monounsaturated fatty acids, 13% polyunsaturated fatty acids, and 16% saturated fatty acids. So, pretty great in that department.
Us: Yeah, impressive! But doesn't all this fat affect cholesterol levels?
Avocado: Actually, if your diet has a moderate fat intake, we've actually been proven to lower cholesterol levels.
Us: What other nutrients (vitamins/minerals) do you contain?
Avocado: This might take awhile.
Us: We've got the time.
Avocado: Alright, so just half of me contains: 43mg Vitamin A, 6mg Vitamin C, 1.3mg Vitamin E, 14mg Vitamin K, 60mg Folate, 345mg Potassium, 5.5mg Sodium, 19.5mg Magnesium, .2mg Vitamin B-6. (Takes deep breath) Shall I continue?
Us: We're all ears.
Avocado: Alright. As I was saying, half of me contains 1.3mg Niacin, 1mg Panthothenic Acid, .1mg Vitamin B-2, 10mg Choline, 185mg Carotenoids which are Antioxidants, 57mg Phytosterols, 4.6mg Fiber, .2g Sugar and 1mg Carnitine.
Us: Fantastic. And very detailed. Can you explain to us non-avocados how all of that translates to health benefits for us?
Avocado: Sure, as you now know we are considered a healthy fat source, as we primarily contain Omega-9, not to mention all those vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, plant sterols, and dietary fiber I just name-dropped. My fat profile paired with dietary fiber is beneficial in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, heart disease, obesity, and insulin resistant diabetes. Consuming me as a healthy fat source aids absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. Increasing absorption of these vitamins, as well as consuming the vitamins and minerals that avocados contain contribute to energy production, healthy cell and tissue development, optimal metabolism, hormone synthesis, utilization of oxygen, regulation of blood pressure, and immune function.
Antioxidants such as vitamin E, vitamin C protect the body and the heart from oxidative damage caused by free radicals, as well as repair tissue, generate new growth, and benefit the skin, hair, collagen, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels. Avocados are rich in the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which contribute to healthy eyesight throughout the aging process, aiding in the prevention of cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye disease. Carnitine benefits heart function and improves ability to exercise by aiding in the utilization of fatty acids as an energy source.
Us: What would you recommend about eating you?
Avocado: I would recommend having one half to one full portion of me per day to kick in those (pretty impressive) health benefits reported above! I would recommend eliminating unhealthy fats, such as trans fats, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats, and polyunsaturated fats (yuck!), and replacing them with healthier fat sources such as me, myself, and I to aid in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and to promote overall health and homeostasis.
Us: Thanks so much! We appreciate you taking the time for us on your busy Wednesday afternoon.
Avocado: The pleasure really is all mine!
Photo by: @foodbites (check 'em out on Instagram!)
Carnitine. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/carnitine. Accessed October 14, 2017.
Wang L, Bordi PL, Fleming JA, Hill AM, Kris‐Etherton PM. Effect of a Moderate Fat Diet With and Without Avocados on Lipoprotein Particle Number, Size and Subclasses in Overweight and Obese Adults: A Randomized, Controlled Trial. Journal of the American Heart Association. 2015;4(1):e001355. doi:10.1161/JAHA.114.001355.
Dreher ML, Davenport AJ. Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2013;53(7):738-750. doi:10.1080/10408398.2011.556759.
Avocado Nutritional Information | California Avocado Commission. https://www.californiaavocado.com/nutrition/nutrients. Accessed October 14, 2017.