The Food Coach

Healthy Food Database - Avocado

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Avocados have been cultivated in Central America for almost 7000 years. European sailors travelling to the New World used avocados as their form of butter. There are more than 80 varieties; the most common in Australia being the Fuerte, Hass, Sharwill and Reed.
For some time, fat-conscious people shied away from avocados as they comprise of up to 25% fat, but mercifully we know better today - it's a good fat, a delicious fruit and extremely good for you.
Category: Fruit
In Season:
To Buy: Buy ripe to eat on the day, or unripe to eat up to 2 weeks ahead. Check for ripeness by holding the fruit in your hand and applying gentle pressure. It should be slightly pliant.
To Store: Ripen in a fruit bowl and not in the fridge. Ripe avocados should be stored in the fridge and eaten quickly.
Tips & Tricks: Ripen avocados quickly by placing in a paper bag with a ripe apple or banana. Once cut the avocado should be sprinkled with lemon to avoid discolouration.

Nutrition (100 Grams):

Energy (kJ): 673.9
Protein (g): 1.7
Saturated Fat, g : 2.1
Vitamin A: Often called the "anti-infective" vitamin, it protects the mucous membranes of the body, reducing chance of infection and enhancing the immune system's response. Necessary for growth and maintenenance of bones, teeth and body tissues and healthy foetal development, this vitamin is also important for night vision.

Contraindications:
Taken in excess will accumulate in the body.
Vitamin B2: Aids in the metabolism of fats, protein and carbohydrate. Also involved in maintaining mucous membranes and body tissues, good vision and health of skin.
Vitamin E: A powerful antioxidant and immune system stimulator, this vitamin is composed of a group of compounds called tocopherols. Protects the body from free radicals, improves oxygen and blood supply to the muscles and heart for better stamina, reducing blood pressure and imroving circulation. Prevents the oxidation of harmful LDL cholesterol and inhibits scar tissue formation in arteries and skin, and counters the effects of ageing.

Contraindications:
Taken in excess may cause toxicity. Not advised for patients taking Vitamin K or anti-coagulant medicine as it may counter or exacerbate effects.
Potassium: Needed for normal growth and muscle and nerve contraction. Together with sodium regulates water and fluid balance in the body.
Amines: Amines come the breakdown or fermentation of proteins. High amounts are found in cheese, chocolate, wine, beer and yeast extracts. Smaller amounts are present in some fruits and vegetables such as tomatoes, avocados, bananas.

For those with sensitivities, low foods are almost never a problem, moderate and high foods may cause reactions, depending on how sensitive you are and how much is eaten. Very high foods will most often cause unwanted symptoms in sensitive individuals. High
Glutamates: Glutamate is found naturally in many foods, as part of protein. It enhances the flavour of food, which is why foods rich in natural glutamates such as tomatoes, mushrooms and cheeses are commonly used in meals. Pure monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used as an additive to artificially flavour many processed foods, and should be avoided, especially in sensitive individuals as it can cause serious adverse reactions. n/a
Carbohydrates, g: 6.3
Fat (g): 15.8
Monosaturated Fat , g: 9.8
Vitamin B1: Important for energy production and carbohydrate metabolism. Enhances mental capabilities and promotes a general sense of health and wellbeing.
Vitamin C: Antioxidant, anti inflammatory and immune-boosting, this vitamin has a range of uses. Is essential for collagen formation, therefore plays a role in wound healing. Fights infection and protects against free radical damage. Vitamin C helps maintain normal cholesterol levels, promotes the absorption of iron and counters the effects of stress as it is concentrated in the adrenal glands.

Contraindications:
Large doses can cause diaorrhea or gas.
Folic Acid: Important during pregnancy as this vitamin is involved in the duplication of chromosomes, preventing birth defects. Lowers the risk of heart disease and is necessary for proper brain and gut function.
Magnesium: Involved in energy production and proper functioning of muscles and nerves, magnesium also promotes the absorption of other minerals and promotes blood vessel dilation and lowers the risk of blood clots.
Salicylates: Naturally occurring plant chemicals found in several fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices, jams, honey, yeast extracts, tea and coffee, juices, beer and wines. Also present in flavourings, perfumes, scented toiletries and some medications.

For those with sensitivities, low foods are almost never a problem, moderate and high foods may cause reactions, depending on how sensitive you are and how much is eaten. Very high foods will most often cause unwanted symptoms in sensitive individuals. Very high

Cooking:

Cooking Tips: Avocado is much more delicious served cold - either in salsas, on salads, over hot dishes (applied at the end of the preparation) or in dips. A wonderful healthy substitute for butter - think of the European sailors!

Benefits the Following Health Conditions:*

High Blood Cholesterol
Premature Aging
High Blood Pressure

* This information is sourced by a qualified naturopath. It is non prescriptive and not intended as a cure for the condition. Recommended intake is not provided. It is no substitute for the advice and treatment of a professional practitioner.

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