Avocado is a green, pear-shaped fruit that is often referred to as an “alligator pear.” It is loaded with healthy fats, fiber and various nutrients. It is a fruit of the avocado tree, scientifically known as Persea americana.
There are many types of avocado— from pear-shaped to round and green to black — they vary in shape and color. They will weigh between 200 grams to 1.5kgs.
Avocado Nutritional Value.
- Calories: (160kcal)
- Carbs: 9 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams — 14% of the RDI
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: 15 grams
- Vitamin C: (26%) of the RDI
- Vitamin B9 (folate): (47%) of the RDI
- Vitamin K: (10%) of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: (8%) of the RDI
- Manganese: (19%) of the RDI
- Copper: (12%) of the RDI
- Zinc: (10%) of the RDI
- Potassium: (7%) of the RDI
- Magnesium: (6%) of the RDI
Maintains a healthy heart
Avocado contains vitamin B6 and folic acid, which help regulate homocysteine levels. High level of homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. The vitamin E, glutathione, and monounsaturated fat found in avocado also help in maintaining a healthy heart.
Avocado is rich in a compound called beta-sitosterol which has been shown to be effective in lowering cholesterol levels. According to a study, patients with mild hypercholesterolemia who included avocado in their diet for 7 days had 17 percent decrease in total cholesterol levels, a 22 percent decrease in both LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and a 11 percent increase in HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
Controls blood pressure
Avocado is a great source of potassium, which helps support and maintain normal blood pressure. A study published in 2013 showed that having a high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure.
Avocado contains carotenoids and monounsaturated fat, both of which when combined is associated with the reduction of cancer. Avocado also contains glutathione, an antioxidant which helps protect the cells from cancer and the harmful effects of free radicals.
Avocado is rich in monounsaturated fat oleic acid, which has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties . It’s also a good source of vitamin E, another antioxidant vitamin that have anti-inflammatory effects. One study reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition confirmed that vitamin E has anti-inflammatory properties and supplementation can be helpful to people living with inflammatory conditions.
Promotes eye health
Avocados are packed with lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoids that help protect and maintain healthy cells in the eyes. A study published in the journal Nutrients found that those eating avocados experienced significant increases in macular pigment density (MPD). Interestingly, the same research team found that avocado consumption provided more than doubled the MPD compared to a lutein/zeeaxanthin supplement. This suggests that the fatty acids (MUFAs) in avocado significantly increase absorption of these key carotenoids over and above the supplement.
Regulates blood sugar
The high levels of monounsaturated fats in avocados can help stop insulin resistance and control blood sugar levels. Furthermore, the soluble fiber in avocados can also help keep blood sugar levels steady.
Increases nutrient absorption
The monounsaturated fatty acids in avocados also support the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins AND fat-soluble antioxidants. One study showed that avocados increased the absorption of carotenoids when consumed with salad and salsa. The study looked at the absorption of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lutein, which were 7.2, 15.3, and 5.1 times higher respectively.
Due to its high fiber content, consuming avocado is very beneficial for improving digestion, encouraging regular bowel movements and helps in preventing constipation.
Prevents birth defects
Avocado is rich in folate, a B vitamin needed for healthy growth and development. one hundred grams of avocado provides about 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Folate is very important for healthy pregnancy as it can help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida.
Cures bad breath
Avocado ’s rich, creamy flesh cleanses your mouth when chewed, so it acts like a natural toothbrush.
How to eat Avocado.
On toast- You can apply pureed avocado in place of nut butters and jam since it adds extra minerals and vitamins.
In guacamoles- Guacamole an avocado-based salad, spread or dip originally from Mexico.
In salad – Since salads can be low in calories, adding avocados can make them a more filling meal.
As a topping- Avocados are a great addition to a number of recipes like, avocado slices are great to top burgers,sandwiches and even pizza.
In smoothies and shakes- Smoothies can be a great meal or snack substitute. You can blend avocado, banana and whole milk. You can add sweetener if you so wish or protein powder to add extra calories for weight gain.
In dessert- In vegan diets,you can use avocado as a substitute for butter or eggs in baking.I.e brownies, chocolate cakes etc
You can try out an avocado snack recipe
- 1 large Avocado (whole)
- 1/2 half Lime
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 pinch Pepper
- 1 splash Olive Oil
- 2 slices Whole Bread
- 1/2 tsps Paprika
- 1/2 sticks Spring Onion/ coriander leaves.
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 tsp Sesame Seeds
- Cut the avocado into 2 halves and remove the stone.
- Remove the flesh from the skin into a bowl.
- Add the juice of one lime, and a pinch of salt and pepper
- Mash the avocado. You can use the back of a fork.
- Put some water in a pot on fire and boil your eggs to your feel( approximately 15mins). You can also choose to break your eggs and fry them as you please.
- Meanwhile, toast the two slices of bread. Apply the smashed avocado onto the two slices of toast.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of olive oil with half a teaspoon of paprika and half a teaspoon of sesame seeds.
- Peel you eggs and slice them into 2 halves and place on top of the toast with avocado. Sprinkle the paprika and sesame seed oil on the fried egg.
- Top with the finely sliced spring onions or coriander leaves.
Avocados are an outstanding, nutrient-laden crop, many of which are missing in the modern diet. They have a smooth, creamy, fat texture and blend well with other ingredients. So adding the fruit to your diet is fast. Using lemon juice can avoid rapid browning of avocado cuttings.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my very best to keep the information contained in this post as updated and accurate as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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