Table of Contents Hide
- Avocados Nutritional Profile
- How Many Nutrients in This Food
- Diets That May Exclude or Restrict Avocados Food
- How To Storing Avocados Food
- Medical Uses and/or Benefits Of Avocados
- Adverse Effects Associated with Avocados Food
- Avocados Food/Drug Interactions
Avocados Nutritional Profile
•Energy value (calories per serving): Moderate
• Protein: Low
• Fat: High
• Saturated fat: High
• Cholesterol: None
• Carbohydrates: Moderate
• Fiber: High to very high
• Sodium: Low
• Major vitamin contribution: Vitamins A, folate, vitamin C
• Major mineral contribution: Potassium
How Many Nutrients in This Food
• The avocado is an unusual fruit because about 16 percent of its total weight is fat, primarily monounsaturated fatty acids. Like many other fruits, avocados are high in fiber (the Florida avocado is very high in fiber), a good source of the B vitamin folate, vitamin C, and potassium.
• The edible part of half of one average size avocado (100 g/3.5 ounces) provides 6.7 g dietary fiber, 15 g fat (2.1 g saturated fat, 9.7 g monounsaturated fat, 1.8 g polyunsaturated fat), 81 mcg folate (20 percent of the RDA), 20 mg vitamin C (26 percent of the RDA for a woman, 22 percent for a man), and 485 mg potassium (the equivalent of one eight-ounce cup of fresh orange juice).
• The edible part of one-half a Florida avocado (a.k.a. alligator pear) has eight grams dietary fiber, 13.5 g fat (2.65 g saturated fat), 81 mcg folate (41 percent of the RDA for a man, 45 percent of the RDA for a woman), 12 mg vitamin C (20 percent of the RDA), and 741 mg potassium, 50 percent more than one cup fresh orange juice.
Diets That May Exclude or Restrict Avocados Food
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How To Storing Avocados Food
•Store hard, unripened avocados in a warm place; a bowl on top of the refrigerator will do.
• Avocados are shipped before they ripen, when the flesh is hard enough to resist bruising in transit, but they ripen off the tree and will soften nicely at home.
• Store soft, ripe avocados in the refrigerator to slow the natural enzyme action that turns their flesh brown as they mature even when the fruit has not been cut.
• When you peel or slice an avocado, you tear its cell walls, releasing polyphenoloxidase, an enzyme that converts phenols in the avocado to brownish compounds that darken the avocado’s naturally pale green flesh. You can slow this reaction (but not stop it completely) by brushing the exposed surface of the avocado with an acid (lemon juice or vinegar).
• To store a cut avocado, brush it with lemon juice or vinegar, wrap it tightly in plastic, and keep it in the refrigerator where it will eventually turn brown. Or you can store the avocado as guacamole; mixing it with lemon juice, tomatoes, onions, and mayonnaise (all of which are acidic) is an efficient way to protect the color of the fruit.
Medical Uses and/or Benefits Of Avocados
Lower risk of some birth defects.
As many as two of every 1,000 babies born in the United States each year may have cleft palate or a neural tube (spinal cord) defect due to their mothers’ not having gotten adequate amounts of folate during pregnancy. The current RDA for folate is 180 mcg for a healthy woman and 200 mcg for a healthy man, but the FDA now
recommends 400 mcg for a woman who is or may become pregnant. Taking folate supplements before becoming pregnant and through the first two months of pregnancy reduces the risk of the cleft palate; taking folate through the entire pregnancy reduces the risk of neural tube defects.
Lower risk of heart attack.
In the spring of 1998, an analysis of data from the records for more than 80,000 women enrolled in the long-running Nurses’ Health Study at Harvard School of Public Health/Brigham and Woman’s Hospital, in Boston, demonstrated that a diet providing more than 400 mcg folate and 3 mg vitamin B6 daily, from either food or
supplements, more than twice the current RDA for each, may reduce a woman’s risk of heart attack by almost 50 percent. Although men were not included in the analysis, the results are assumed to apply to them as well.
Lower levels of cholesterol.
Avocados are rich in oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat believed to reduce cholesterol levels.
Because potassium is excreted in urine, potassium-rich foods are often recommended for people taking diuretics. In addition, a diet rich in potassium (from food) is associated with a lower risk of stroke. A 1998 Harvard School of Public Health analysis of data from the long-running Health Professionals Study shows 38 percent fewer strokes
among men who ate nine servings of high potassium foods a day vs. those who ate less than four servings. Among men with high blood pressure, taking a daily 1,000 mg potassium supplement about the amount of potassium in one avocado reduced the incidence of stroke by 60 percent.
Adverse Effects Associated with Avocados Food
Latex is a milky fluid obtained from the rubber tree and used to make medical and surgical products such as condoms and protective latex gloves, as well as rubber bands, balloons, and toys; elastic used in clothing; pacifiers and baby-bottle nipples; chewing gum; and various adhesives. Some of the proteins in latex are allergenic, known to cause reactions ranging from mild to potentially life-threatening. Some of the proteins found naturally in latex also occur naturally in foods from plants such as avocados, bananas, chestnuts, kiwi fruit, tomatoes, and food and diet sodas sweetened with aspartame. Persons sensitive to these foods are likely to be sensitive to latex as well.
Note : The National Institute of Health Sciences, in Japan, also lists the following foods as suspect: Almonds, apples, apricots, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, buckwheat, cantaloupe, carrots, celery, cherries, chestnuts, coconut, figs, grapefruit, lettuce, loquat, mangoes, mushrooms, mustard, nectarines, oranges, passion fruit, papaya, peaches, peanuts, peppermint, pineapples, potatoes, soybeans, strawberries, walnuts, and watermelon.
Avocados Food/Drug Interactions
Monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors are drugs used as antidepressants or antihypertensives. They inhibit the action of enzymes that break down the amino acid tyramine so it can be eliminated from the body. Tyramine is a pressor amine, a chemical that constricts blood vessels and raises blood pressure. If you eat a food such as avocado that contains tyramine while you are taking an MAO inhibitor you cannot eliminate the pressor amine, and the result may be abnormally high blood pressure or a hypertensive crisis (sustained elevated blood pressure).
False-positive test for tumors.
Carcinoid tumors (which may arise from tissues in the endocrine system, the intestines, or the lungs) secrete serotonin, a natural chemical that makes blood vessels expand or contract. Because serotonin is excreted in urine, these tumors are diagnosed by measuring the levels of serotonin by-products in the urine. Avocados contain large amounts of serotonin; eating them in the three days before a test for an endocrine tumor might produce a false-positive result, suggesting that you have the tumor when in fact you don’t. (Other foods high in serotonin are bananas, eggplant, pineapples, plums,tomatoes, and walnuts.
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