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Avocado Nutrition Facts: 6 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know

Avocado Nutrition Facts: 6 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know

Avocados are not only delicious and versatile in so many ways, they are packed full of goodness containing 20 health-boosting nutrients making it one of the best foods to eat as part of a healthy diet. But do you know exactly what makes avocados so great? Here are some avocado nutrition facts to let you know just how amazing they are!

If you want to get the most out of this superfood, don’t forget to read these related articles:

10 Health Benefits Of Avocado

Whole-Day Meals: 15 Healthy And Unique Avocado Recipes

4 Powerful Ways to Ripen Avocados Quickly (+Extra Tips)

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How To Make Natural Avocado Face Masks

What’s in an avocado that makes it so healthy?

There is so much goodness packed in just one serving of avocado (one cup or half a fruit). Avocados contain a huge variety of vitamins including the essential vitamins A, B6, C, E and K.

They contain high amounts of antioxidants, lutein, monounsaturated fats, magnesium and fibre which all contribute to optimum all-round health. Not only that but they contain almost no sodium (salt) or saturated fats that cause heart disease.

Why exactly are they so good for me?

Potassium is essential for brain function, lowering blood sugar levels, lowering blood pressure, increasing bone health and even lowering stress and anxiety; it’s pretty much essential for the proper function of all cells, tissues and organs in the body and avocados are packed full of potassium—even more than bananas!

Vitamin B6 is an essential vitamin that helps produce antibodies. This means that your immune system is getting a huge boost when you eat avocado and works more efficiently to fight off diseases. An avocado a day may just keep the doctor away!

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Vitamin K (not to be mistaken for potassium) is essential for healthy bones and helps to heal wounds through healthy blood clotting.

Avocados are high in magnesium which means it helps build bones, enables nerve function and is essential to the production of energy from food. Avocado is unique in that it acts as a “nutrient booster” meaning that it helps the body absorb vitamins in foods eaten together with it.

There is almost no trace of sodium (salt) in avocados and they are high in fibre, omega-3 and monounsaturated fats which lessen inflammation and reduce the risk of cancer.

Avocados are high in antioxidants which are important for cell renewal in the body. The vitamin C and E as well as lutein all contain high amounts of antioxidants that help slow down the ageing process and promote cell health in our eyes and skin.

Does that mean eating avocados will make me look good?

Yes! The large amounts of antioxidants in avocado mean that your cells are getting help with optimizing renewal and that includes your skin cells. The high amount of monounsaturated fat contributes to soft, youthful-looking skin and retains the plump complexion that makes people look younger. Avocados also stimulate the production of collagen that’s responsible for keeping wrinkles at bay so eating an avocado is almost like an anti-ageing cream that works from the inside.

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Avocados also make a good face mask as the oil soothes and can help with dry and acne-prone skin. It can boost and refresh your complexion therefore making avocados an essential part of your beauty regime inside and out.

Does eating avocado boost brain power?

Eating avocado won’t exactly make you more intelligent but they can optimize the use of your brain cells. The high amount of potassium in avocados contribute to more efficient brain function by decreasing tiredness and fatigue which in turn can help lessen symptoms of stress and depression. This can contribute to better thought-processing and general outlook giving you the chance to think more clearly and boost your brain’s capabilities.

How many calories are there in an avocado?

In an average sized avocado there are almost 250 calories which is a good chunk of our daily recommended calorie intake. When you think that an average chocolate bar contains 200–250 calories then it may seem like a huge amount—and it is. The difference obviously being that the amount of goodness you get from an avocado far outweighs the goodness from a chocolate bar. It’s what these calories contain that is important; a chocolate bar is essentially just “empty” calories that our body doesn’t need. An avocado is packed full of goodness that our body will use to help with healthy functioning in so many ways.

Avocado-Nutrition-Facts1
    via Dr Axe

    Avocados contain a lot of fat. Isn’t this unhealthy?

    Avocados are extremely high in fat. In fact, avocados are made up of 75–80% fat but that shouldn’t put you off eating them. The reason being that avocados have 0% trans fats and extremely low saturated fats. This means that they are packed full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are far healthier and better for us.

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    • Bad Fat (Trans and Saturated) These fats contribute to the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood that leads to heart disease. Too much causes blood vessels to narrow increasing the risk of blood clots.
    • Good Fat (Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated) These counteract bad fats and help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and promote good heart health as well as optimizing our overall health. These are the only fats significantly found in avocados.

    Is there such a thing as too much avocado in my diet?

    Although avocados are a huge benefit for our health, this doesn’t necessarily mean we need to eat a huge amount on a daily basis. As part of a healthy diet, eating a small avocado several times a week will allow you to reap the benefits.

    Substituting avocado for saturated fats such as butter is a great way to lower the amount of saturated fat in your diet and upping your good fat intake. You can replace butter with avocado in sandwiches and even cakes to make them a lot healthier.

    Featured photo credit: tookapic via pixabay.com

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    Last Updated on August 15, 2018

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    7 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Do Plank Every Day

    Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercises that will never go out of fashion. Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part, and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

    Video Summary

    Why is it important to train up our core strength?

    There are numerous sites and blogs which detail ways to build your core muscles or core strength. Often though, these sites neglect to explain what your core muscles actually are, and why building them is important.

    This is quite surprising, as core muscles are quite easy to explain. Your core muscles are a series of muscles in your midsection, and are used in most forms of movement. Though they aren’t housed in your arms or legs, your core muscles can help transfer force from one limb to another, or are used in addition to muscles in your arms or legs to increase their effectiveness. As such a strong core will make a big improvement on your ability to move and exercise further.

    Also they are great for helping other muscles in your midsection such as your abdominal muscles. Your abdominal muscles are important for supporting your back and spinal column, and as such are important aids in preventing injuries. However for them to be most effective you need to spend a lot of time developing your core muscles.

    In short, planking exercises can make a huge improvement in your muscles down your whole body. Making them a hugely effective exercise to perform.

    One Exercise, multiple benefits

    There are few forms of exercise as effective at building your core as planking exercises. However, planking exercises benefit far more than just your core strength.

    By holding yourself in the position for a planking exercise, you’ll notice that your biceps, neck, and shoulder muscles are also being tested and strained. This this encouraging their buildup and development. This is great news if you like to do press ups, developed shoulder muscles will have a big impact on your press up performance.

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    When planking, you are holding yourself up through your arms and biceps and so by holding a planking position, your arm muscles are being toned and developed. Making planking a great alternative exercise to other forms of bicep developing exercises.

    Moving down your midsection, successful plank exercises actually develop the muscles in your butt! These muscles tend to be ignored by a lot of exercises, so this is another great benefit of plank exercises.

    In much the same way as you develop your biceps and arm muscles, holding the planking position helps develop the muscles in your thighs too.

    What is even better is that planking exercises don’t take much time at all. In fact you should probably only spend about ten minutes max per day in the planking exercise.

    What will happen when you start doing planks every day

      1. You’ll improve core definition and performance: 

      Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

      • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
      • Rectus adbominis: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six pack look.
      • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
      • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

      2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column

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        Doing planks is a type of exercise that allow you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures a strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

        Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

        3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism

          Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

          4. You’ll significantly improve your posture

            Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits .

            A good posture keeps your bones and joins in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

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            A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain.

            On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

            5. You’ll improve overall balance

              Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed. Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

              6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before

                Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shouldersshoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes. With a side plank added in to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

                7. You’ll witness mental benefits

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                  Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it: you are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours; and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves. The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

                  How to hold a plank position

                  1. Get into pushup position on the floor.
                  2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
                  3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
                  4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
                  5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
                  6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
                  7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

                  Watch the video if you have any doubt!

                  Here is a great infographic that shows the best plank variation exercises to evenly target all abdominal muscle groups:

                    How to improve your plank time gradually

                    1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
                    2. Practise every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
                    3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

                    Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

                    Who Should Be Cautious Doing The Plank?

                    You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

                    • Prolapse
                    • After prolapse surgery
                    • Pelvic pain conditions
                    • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
                    • Previous childbirth
                    • Overweight

                    Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

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