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Nutritional Information

Avocados are such a treasure trove of nutrients. Below are just some of the impressive credentials Australian Avocados have on their resume. Rollover the icons or scroll down the page for more information.

Good for the heart

Avocados are one of the few fruits that are also a healthy fat food. A 50g serve or a quarter of avocado contains just 6g of total fat that's around the same amount of fat as in... Read more

Rich in Vitamin C

Avocados are a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an amazing antioxidant contributing to cell protection from free radical damage.1... Read more

Folate during pregnancy

Women of child bearing age need to consume at least 400 micrograms of folate per day at least the month before and three months after conception. A diet rich in folate including... Read more

Great for maintaining a healthy appetite

The body needs fats as they are vital for good health. The low fat mantra of the 80s and 90s is a thing of the past and everyone is returning to healthy plant sources of fats su... Read more

Good source of fibre

Avocados are a good source of dietary fibre. Fibre plays a vital role in maintaining good health and there are two types: soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre can he... Read more

Strong antioxidant capacity

Mother nature gave avocados a strong antioxidant capacity to help prevent the healthy fats in avocados going rancid too quickly. Avocados contain not only antioxidant vitamins a... Read more

Contains vitamin E

Eating 1/4 of an avocado (50g) gives you 1mg of Vitamin E and the recommended dietary intake (RDI) for an adult is 10mg so avocados provide 10% of an adult’s RDI of... Read more

May help protect your eyes

Like other fruits and vegetables avocados contain a range of colourful carotenoid pigments that give avocado that gorgeous green colour.Read more

Good for the heart

Avocados are one of the few fruits that are also a healthy fat food. A 50g serve or a quarter of avocado contains just 6g of total fat that's around the same amount of fat as in a teaspoon of cooking oil. Avocados are particularly rich in healthy monounsaturated fats. A healthy varied diet high in fruits and vegetables, such as avocado, has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and contribute to heart health.

Rich in Vitamin C

Avocados are a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is an amazing antioxidant contributing to cell protection from free radical damage.1 Vitamin C is also needed for your skin, helping to build collagen which keeps your skin strong and elastic.2 If you are vegetarian then vitamin C is needed to absorb iron from plant foods.1 Another reason to add half an avocado to your dark salad greens. Half an avocado contains 13mg of vitamin C which is 32% of an adult’s RDI.

Folate during pregnancy

Women of child bearing age need to consume at least 400 micrograms of folate per day at least the month before and three months after conception. A diet rich in folate including avocado may reduce the risk of foetal neural tube defects.  A quarter of an avocado (50g) contains 60 micrograms of folate (30% of the regulatory RDI for folate for adults and 15% RDI for pregnant women based on 400ug). Remember to enjoy ¼ of an avocado four times a week or use an avocado a week.

Great for maintaining a healthy appetite

The body needs fats as they are vital for good health. The low fat mantra of the 80s and 90s is a thing of the past and everyone is returning to healthy plant sources of fats such as avocado. Wherever you find fat - all three types of fat will be present: monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated but just in different amounts. In plant foods such as avocado the majority of fat is the healthy kind: 60% monounsaturated fat and 12% polyunsaturated fat.

Half an avocado contains 18g of the beneficial monounsaturated fat. Healthy fats help carry fat soluble vitamins such as vitamin E and K and colourful carotenoid pigments such as beta carotene. But for those watching their waist healthy fats also help released hormones in the intestine which may signal fullness, controlling appetite.3 This means you can enjoy a higher fat diet4 by swapping avocado in place of other fats. For instance the Australian Government Swap it Don’t Stop it campaign suggests swapping butter for avocado5 next time you’re spreading your bread.

Good source of fibre

Avocados are a good source of dietary fibre. Fibre plays a vital role in maintaining good health and there are two types: soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre can help reduce cholesterol re-absorption in the intestine,6 while insoluble fibre helps maintain bowel function.7 Eating 1/4 avocado (50g) will give you 2g of dietary fibre which is 7% of adult fibre needs. Remember to enjoy ¼ of an avocado four times a week or use an avocado a week.

Strong antioxidant capacity

Mother nature gave avocados a strong antioxidant capacity to help prevent the healthy fats in avocados going rancid too quickly. Avocados contain not only antioxidant vitamins and minerals but also other natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds called phenolics. Antioxidant capacity can be measured using ORAC and avocado has a capacity of 1922 umol TE/100g. 8  A quarter of an avocado (50g) contains the following antioxidant nutrients:

• 10mg Vitamin C (25% RDI for Vitamin C)

• 1mg Vitamin E (10% of RDI for vitamin E)

• 0.13mg of copper (10% of an adult’s RDI)

• 71mg GAE of total phenolic antioxidants

Remember to enjoy ¼ of an avocado four times a week or use an avocado a week.”

Contains vitamin E

Eating 1/4 of an avocado (50g) gives you 1mg of Vitamin E and the recommended dietary intake (RDI) for an adult is 10mg so avocados provide 10% of an adult’s RDI of Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant vitamin that contributes to cell protection from free radical damage. It seems taking vitamin E in a natural form may be better than taking it as a supplement. Vitamin E supplements have been linked to an increase in premature death.9

Remember to enjoy ¼ of an avocado four times a week or use an avocado a week.

May help protect your eyes

Like other fruits and vegetables avocados contain a range of colourful carotenoid pigments that give avocado that gorgeous green colour.10 These pigments include:

  • Beta carotene – orange colours
  • Lutein/zeaxanthin – yellow colours
  • Chlorophyll a and b – green colours

Plus many others

 

A study has found that adding avocado to salads or salsa can increase the absorption of these carotenoids from other colourful vegetables.11 Carotenoids are fat soluble and may dissolve in the fat of the avocado during absorption into the body. Carotenoids are natural antioxidants that protect plants from the effects of the sun’s harmful rays. Similarly they may play a function protecting our eyes. A study in women found that those with the highest dietary intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin had greater amounts of pigments in the macula – the part of the eye responsible for central vision that can deteriorate with age. While the researchers found no link with the amount of fruits and vegetable eaten and this effect it is an interesting area of study where more research is needed.12  There may even be a role of these carotenoids in the development of vision.13 In the mean time enjoying avocado with your salads or guacamole and nachos and using avocado as a first food for baby will do no harm and may even help.

 

 

 

 

References

1) Australian Government NHMRC. Nutrient Reference Values. Vitamin C paper. cited August 2011 www.nrv.gov.au
2) Valdés F. [Vitamin C]. Actas Dermosifiliogr. 2006;97(9):557-68. 
3) Beglinger C, Degen L. Fat in the intestine as a regulator of appetite--role of CCK. Physiol Behav. 2004 Dec 30;83(4):617-21. 
4) Little TJ, Horowitz M, Feinle-Bisset C. Modulation by high-fat diets of gastrointestinal function and hormones associated with the regulation of energy intake: implications for the pathophysiology of obesity. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Sep;86(3):531-41. 
5) Australian Government Swap it Don't Stop it website cited August 2011 http://swapit.gov.au/ways-to-swap/food-swap-suggester 
6) National Heart Foundation of Australia. Position Statement – Carbohydrates, dietary fibre, glycaemic index/load and cardiovascular disease, Questions and Answers – Health Professionals. February 2006 cited http://www.heartfoundation.org.au/information-for-professionals/food-professionals/Pages/guides-policies-position-statement.aspx 
7) Australian Government NHMRC. Nutrient Reference Values. Fibre paper. cited August 2011 http://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/dietary%20fibre.htm 
8) USDA Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods, Release 2 (2010) cited http://www.ars.usda.gov/Services/docs.htm?docid=15866 
9) Bjelakovic G, Nikolova D, Gluud LL, Simonetti RG, Gluud C. Antioxidant supplements for prevention of mortality in healthy participants and patients with various diseases. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Apr 16;(2):CD007176. 
10) Ashton OB, Wong M, McGhie TK, Vather R, Wang Y, Requejo-Jackman C, Ramankutty P, Woolf AB. Pigments in avocado tissue and oil. J Agric Food Chem. 2006 Dec 27;54(26):10151-8. 
11) Unlu NZ, Bohn T, Clinton SK, Schwartz SJ. Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil. J Nutr. 2005 Mar;135(3):431-6. 
12) Moeller SM, Voland R, Sarto GE, Gobel VL, Streicher SL, Mares JA.Women's Health Initiative diet intervention did not increase macular pigment optical density in an ancillary study of a subsample of the Women's Health Initiative. J Nutr. 2009 Sep;139(9):1692-9. 
13) Hammond BR. Possible role for dietary lutein and zeaxanthin in visual development. Nutr Rev. 2008 Dec;66(12):695-702.
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