Avocado composition, benefits and taxonomy: A systemic Review

This Research Article has been supervised by Nutritionist/Food Expert Anum Nazir).She is Lecturer in School of Nutritional sciences At University of Faisalabad).

Researcher And Writer 

Hafiza ANWAH KARIM

Supervised By Anum  Nazir 

Department of Nutritional Sciences

University Of Faisalabad,Pakistan.

Topic;Avocado composition, benefits and taxonomy: A systemic Review

 

Abstract:

 

The avocado also known as (Persea americana) is a tree found in subtropical regions it is a member of plant called Lauraceae. The Lauraceae plant contain flower that is known as Avocado .it also known as avocado pear or alligator. Agriculturally avocado is a berry like fruit that contains a single but large seed inside it . People who eat avocado get more nutrients including dietary fiber, fat-soluble vitamins, essential minerals and much more than the people who does not eat. Avocado is used by pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry because of beneficial properties of the pulp and the oil, but avocado is mostly used for its benefits on human health.

 

Introduction:

 

Pear alligator usually grows in subtropical regions including Caribbean Island, Mexican state, The United States of America and in some regions of South America and Africa. Consumers usually eat avocado as raw fruit without seed. The export of avocado is increasing day by day because of its high nutrient content and healthy effect on human body. In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the export of avocado fruit due to its dietary value (Adam and Salunkhe., 1950).high quantity of healthy fats including omega-3 are present in this fruit which are not common in other fruits.

 

Avocado oil is widely used by pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry and it is also used as cooking oil in some regions because of its high smoking point which makes the oil stable at high heat. As avocado is known for its healthy fat content and nutrient density it is used by people to get maximum advantage to reduce certain health conditions like prevention of cardiovascular diseases, low LDL and high HDL ,weight control ,prevention of cancer and many more. (Duarte et al., 2016).

 

People who consumes avocado high amount of vitamin K, E, potassium, magnesium, fiber then the people who does not consume avocado. The serving size of avocado is recommended by The department of U.S Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) that

 

is one-fifth of a fruit, or 30 g (1 ounce).studies and surveys shows that one-half (approximately 68 g) is an average consumption of avocado.(Fulgoni et al., 2010)

 

There are three main races of Avocados based on the regions they grow in. The Mexican, Indian and Guatemalan are the three most common types of Avocado.

 

Objectives:

 

  • To review and understand the nutritional composition of avocado.

 

  • To learn about the health benefits of avocado as super food.

 

  • To understand the common races and origin of avocado fruit.

 

 

Review of Literature:

Composition:

Avocado has been called as most nutritious fruits of all.it is known not only for its exceptional taste and buttery texture but it is also very famous because of its high nutrient composition which is beneficial for health (Fernández et al., 2018).

Micro-nutrients:

 

Avocado dense in micro nutrients and plant chemicals, following is nutrient content of avocado: dietary fiber, 0.2 gram of sugar, good quantity of potassium, sodium , magnesium ,5.0 mg of vitamin A , significant amount of vitamin C ,1.3 mg of vitamin E ,14 μg vitamin K1 and other micro minerals including foliate , vitamin B-6, niacin, pantothenic acid , riboflavin, choline, lutein/zeaxanthin , cryptoxanthin , phytosterols.(Dreher and Dvenpoprt ., 2013).136 g of avocado contain plant chemicals and essential nutrients that is equal to nutrient content of 42.5 g of tree nuts which is good for healthy heart (FDA., 2003).

 

Macro-nutrients:

 

Avocado is also rich in macro nutrients. Micro nutrients content of avocado: The oil of avocado is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids that enhance the bioavailability of nutrients and plant chemicals.6.7 g of (MUFA) is present in avocado. (USDA, 2011; Unlu et al., 2005).Avocado also is rich source of β-sitosterol and carotenoids.(Qin et al., 2016).

 

Avocados also have significant amount of water which gives the desirable texture to the fruit it contains 72% water content.(Bes-Rastrollo et al., 2008).

 

Taxonomy:

 

Avocado is largely used for cooking, pharmaceutical and cosmetic purposes. There is a large seed in the center of the fruit look like large nut and around the seed comes the green edible part with buttery texture (Gustafson., 1976).there are three major types of avocado fruit:

Mexican race:

A large amount of avocado is export by Mexico to different regions; Mexico is largest producer of avocado. (Alonso et al., 2017).The Mexican avocado type has a very thin outer layer (skin) the skin is very delicate that a fingernail can rupture it as you can see in table 1.Beacause of thin skin the handling and shipping of this kind is difficult. The size of fruit is that makes it less desirable. On the other hand the seed of the fruit is large and loose in the cavity. The Mexican race have been used as a source of rootstock on other regions like California, so the tolerance of Mexican race toward cold is very advantageous for the supply of seeds in freezers to other countries.(Bergh and Ellastrand., 1986).

 

West Indian race:

 

The West Indian race has least tolerance toward cold temperatures, but because of its high tolerance toward salt and makes it valuable for rootstock in some regions. The thickness of the skin varies from low to medium. Seed size also varies in size (Rubinstein et al., 2019).

 

Guatemalan race:

 

The Second most common race of avocado is Guatemalan race found in cooler regions. This fruit has thick layer of skin that protect the pulp and maintain quality during handling and shipping as you can see in table 1. The seed on the other hand is small in size but firmly lodged in the pulp. (Bergh and Ellastrand., 1986).

 

Benefits:

 

Avocado has become so much popular among health conscious consumers.it is also known as super food because of its super health benefits (Alqumboz and Naser., 2020).

 

Skin:

 

Avocado is known for its benefits on skin because of its rapid and maximum absorption in skin layer, also it leaves the skin soft and hydrated because of its high water content. Compared to other essential oils including olive oil, almond oil, soybean oil and coconut oil the oil of avocado has highest absorption and penetration rate. Avocado is widely used in cosmetic industry as an alternative to synthetic chemicals that causes skin problems in some people. Avocado is the most effective and natural sunscreen as compared to synthetic ones available in market. (Swisher., 1988).

 

Weight control:

 

Avocado helps in weight control is still the controversial topic because of its high fat content but on the other hand many studies shows the beneficial effect of healthy fat as present in avocado on weight management. People who consume avocado and have normal weight and BMI gain less weight the people who does not consume avocado(Heskey et al., 2019). As mentioned earlier in this article that avocado contain high amount of monounsaturated fatty acids that speeds up the rate of basal metabolism as compared to other non-healthy fats like saturated fats. Also the fat content in avocado helps in achieving the feeling of Satiety (feeling of fullness) that lead to consumption of small portion sizes and reduce over consumption of food. In addition to its fat content the rich amount of vitamins and minerals in avocado makes diet more palatable and contribute to overall health(Henning et al,. 2019).

 

Diabetes:

 

Many studies show positive outcomes of avocado on diabetes management. A study was conducted In which extract of avocado seed was injected in diabetes induced rats and results shows lower glucose increased insulin sensitivity(Alhassan et al., 2012).Also a 4 week study was conducted on the type 2 diabetes patients on low fat and high carbohydrate, patients on lower carbohydrate and higher monounsaturated fat(widely present in avocado) shows a good control on sugar level in blood and decrease level of LDL and increase level of HDL (England journal of medicine,. 1988).

 

Cancer:

 

Avocado is a nutrient dense food as mentioned earlier in the article, and about 20 % of

 

persons every day need for 7 vitamins (essential) and 4 important minerals is fulfilled by

 

avocado( Slater et al,. 1975).The nutrient density of avocado makes it good option for cancer

 

prevention. Avocado is exceptionally rich in vitamin A ,vitamin E and vitamin C which are

 

most important antioxidants, they fight against free radicals and reduce oxidation rate and ultimately reduce the chances of cancer. These antioxidants are also heart protective because they reduce the oxidation of blood LDL that makes plaque in arteries (Alkhalaf et al., 2018).

 

 

 

Conclusion:

 

Avocado is widely known for its high nutrient profile and is considered as super food, but it is very delicate fruit that’s why it’s handling and processing is difficult and expensive the consumption of avocado helps in different aspects of health like diabetes and weight management as well as cancer prevention.

 

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