Avocado’s Latin name is Persea Americana while its other more common name is Alligator Pear. This is a tree and a classified flowering plant that basically has been grown in Central America and Mexico 300 years B.C, but todays it’s cultivated in Mediterranean and tropical climates. The avocado fruits have a relatively large fleshy body and a big seed in the middle. They have a thick skin that protects the internal part from harmful pesticides, so it’s claimed to be one of the safest fruits in the world. Avocado has an almost creamy, smooth texture and a distinctive and rich, yet subtle flavor. It’s a great addition to a vegetarian diet and a great addition to everybody else’s meals.
The fruit can be a fantastic culinary ingredient in a lot of recipes that include both sweet and savory dishes. You can use it for the making of spreads, sauces and dips (like the famous Mexican dip Guacamole), ice cream, milkshakes, smoothies, cakes and other desserts and other specific sweet drinks. The nutrient-dense fruit can also be put in fresh salads, sandwiches (vegans and vegetarians can use it as a meat substitute), sushi, soups, meat dishes and a lot more. This nutritious natural edible has been acknowledged as one of the best super-fruits there is thanks to its potential health-promoting properties coming from more than 25 essential nutrients.
Essential nutrients of Avocado:
Avocado is protein rich. A normal-sized avocado contains 4gr of high quality protein, which is more than most other fruits’ protein content.
The fruit is also rich in dietary fiber, as an average avocado contains approximately 11gr of fiber, which comes close to half the recommended daily intake.
Avocado is abounding with healthy fats. About ¾ of the fruit’s calories are heart-healthy fats, mostly monounsaturated fat like Oleic acid which has bad cholesterol reducing qualities which benefits the prevention of strokes and heart disease. Some of the best healthy cooking oils are namely made from organic avocados.
Alligator pears have low sugar content. Actually half an avocado contains around 0.2 g of sugar which is less than most other fruits.
The super-fruit is very rich in vitamins and minerals. Present minerals are: Iron, Copper, Magnesium, Potassium and Phosphorous. The vitamins found in avocado are: vitamins C, K, A, E and B complex vitamins like vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine) and vitamin B9 (Folic acid).
Health benefits of Avocado:
Avocados might help control the blood pressure, because of the high potassium content.
Avocado aids in lowering cholesterol. This has been established after a study published in the Archives of Medical Research. According to the study, an avocado rich diet can promote a healthy lipid profile even in mild hypercholesterolemic individuals and even if hypertriglyceridemia is present. After a week of regular avocado intake, the patients had a 22% decrease in triglycerides and bad cholesterol (LDL) and an increase of the good cholesterol (HDL). The cholesterol lowering properties of avocado come from its healthy fats and the Beta-sitosterol compound.
Alligator pears can promote a strong heart. Besides the cholesterol lowering capabilities that benefit the heart, avocado’s vitamin B9 and vitamin B6 content may strengthen the heart muscle too. That’s because these vitamins aid in regulating the Homocysteine levels. Too much Homocysteine in your body may raise the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease. To boot, the vitamin E and Glutathione content may support your strong heart too.
Avocados lower the cancer risk. Numeral studies have shown that avocado forbids the growth of prostate cancer and the Oleic fatty acid that’s present in the fruit is effective in preventing breast cancer. Moreover, the alligator pears destroy free radicals in the body thanks to the antioxidant-properties of the glutathione phytochemical.
Glutathione and the other antioxidants in avocado make it an excellent anti-aging food, stabilize the immune and the nervous system.
Avocados are a natural bad-breath remedy. They cleanse the intestines, which often are the actual reason for bad breath and coated tongue.
The beneficial fruit prevents birth defects thanks to the vitamin B9/folic acid that’s present in it.
How to eat an Avocado:
Featured image credit: nardianorman.com