The fruit, avocado is native to South and Central Mexico. It looks like a large berry that contains a single large seed. Whilst Avocado’s popularity, there certain possible side effects from Avocados.
It is used in different cuisines in different parts of the world. Avocado is rich in Vitamin E, phytosterols, carotenoids and a good proportion of different variety of essential fats.
They are famously known as ‘alligator pear’ as its outer surface is scale-like, like an alligator and it is in the shape of a pear.
Avocados are black green in color when unripe and turn black on ripening. It is a nutrient powerhouse and finds its way globally in various culinary as well as cosmetic preparations.
Benefits of Avocados
Most fruits contain higher amounts of carbohydrates in the form of natural fruit sugar. Avocado is unique in its composition, as it is the only fruit that contains a high proportion of healthy fats.
About 70 % of its calories come from fat, giving it the name – ‘butter fruit’. The yellow-green is the fruit pulp that is commonly consumed and the seed is discarded. However, there are many uses of the avocado seed as well.
Avocados are used in salads, tacos, burgers, as dips and spreads, pizza toppings and in many other cuisines. Although the pulpy part of the fruit is the one that is always used, the pit or the seed of avocado also has something to offer and there are some side effects from Avocados too.
The ancient tribal people in Central and South America also found utility in the seed of the avocado. It contains several nutrients like calcium, and magnesium, antioxidants and soluble fiber that helps in lowering the bad cholesterol and restore normal bowel function. The pit also has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefits.
Avocados Nutrition Facts
Avocados have a number of health benefits to offer. It contains nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients. Because of its fiber and fat density, consuming an entire avocado at once would be impossible. They are cardio protective, enhance mood, slows down aging and has positive effect on skin and hair health.
Majority of existing data shows that avocados are beneficial for health. However, do they have some side effects or ill-effects ? Let us be ready to burst our bubble here.
Side Effects from Avocados
Not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women
Although avocados are called as wonder fruit, they are not good for every situation. Avocados tend to decrease the milk production and may cause impairment of the mammary gland. Also, the infant’s digestive system is not completely mature to process avocado or its by products, via breastmilk.
Overdoing avocados can cause interference with the pharmacokinetics of certain anti-inflammatory medicines.
This fruit contains two compounds called estragole and anethole, which can potentially damage the liver. These substances are being tested for carcinogenic activity. Hence, avocado should be consumed in moderate quantities. Also, certain types like the Mexican avocado is more prone to cause liver damage than the other variety.
Likelihood of weight gain
Avocados are calorie dense, as compared to some other fruits like orange or sweet lime. Since 75% of their calories comes from fat, eating too many avocados can lead to weight gain.
Lowers the good cholesterol
Avocados consists of good fats that are said to be cardioprotective in nature. But consuming a lot of avocados can also lower the HDL cholesterol, which is the good cholesterol, as avocados are rich in beta – sitosterol, a compound that absorbs the cholesterol from the body. When in excess, it starts absorbing the good cholesterol from the body.
A small fraction of population may experience allergic reaction on avocado consumption. They may experience symptoms like redness, swelling on the skin and itching.
Avocados consist of small quantities of this substance called tyramine, which is a by-product of an amino acid called tyrosine, linked to migraine like headaches.
Avocados are the one of richest source of potassium in fruits. Potassium is beneficial and has many functions, but not more than what is required for the body. It is wise to consume a standard portion of this fruit and go overboard with it.
Thinning the blood
Avocados have blood thinning property, which can be of a problem if the person is on medicines for the same as it can negatively interact with it. Warfarin is a drug that is used to delay the clotting of blood. Avocado has been said to decrease the efficiency and action of warfarin as it contains high amounts of Vitamin K, which helps in blood clotting. By doing so, it can increase the risk of increased clotting. It is important to get the blood tested on regular basis.
A person having hypersensitivity should not over-do avocados as it can increase the effects and magnitude of hypersensitivity reactions.
Some people with any pre-existing gut issues can occasionally experience stomach discomfort as excessive bloating or flatulence. On rare occasions, it can cause nausea, vomiting, migraine, fever, and drowsiness.
Intolerance to latex
People with latex intolerance should not eat avocado as it can increase the levels of IgE antibodies. These IgE antibodies is an immunoglobulin released during allergic reactions, thus increasing the sensitivity to avocado.
Unsafe for pets
This fruit contains a substance called as persin. This substance is a fungicidal toxin, relatively safe for human consumption. But is toxic for certain domestic animals such as cattle, horse, dogs, and goats. Dogs are the most resistant to this substance as compared to other animals. Persin is more harmful when the source is the seed. It can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting or diarrhea if consumed by dogs.
In general, Avocados are nutritious fruits that have many health benefits. When consumed in the right amounts, they are cardioprotective, reduce signs of aging, have anti-cancer effect and good for skin and hair health.
However, consuming excess of this fruit comes with its own price. A caution must be taken to not over consume the fruit as it can have some detrimental effects on health. As you may catch some side effects from Avocados by over eating. Hence, moderation is the key.