Avocados are stone fruits with a creamy texture that grow in warm climates and is a frequent a feature of Mexican and South American cuisine. Avocados are a delicious and nutritious fruit and very beneficial for your health.
Avocados are a guilt-free addition to your everyday diet. Kicking off the morning with avocado salad or toast is an incredibly efficient way to fuel your body with essential nutrients.
Origin of Avocado
It’s believed that humans started cultivating avocados as early as 5,000 years ago. Archaeological research indicates that avocados were found in Mexico in 8000 B.C. and Peru towards 3000-4000 B.C. The area of origin is not precisely known, given the existence of several wild populations, but it is thought to be the region around the south of Mexico and Colombia. In the 16th century, Spanish explorers became the first Europeans to eat avocados.
If your goal is to improve your skin, shed some weight, reduce your risk of life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, this healthy fruit may be an incredible addition to your arsenal.
Nutrient-dense super food
Avocados are rich in essential minerals; they contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals including potassium, vitamin E, vitamin C, and B vitamin. These fruits are a great source of vitamin K, pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) and fiber, which aid digestion.
Furthermore, avocados contain phosphorus, magnesium, iron, potassium and folic acid. They are rich sources of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and dietary fiber with roughly 50 calories per 1-ounce serving. The high-fat content of avocados promotes satiety, helps regulate blood sugar, aids in hormone regulation, and in the absorption of essential fat-soluble vitamins.
1. Good for your heart
While some people are concerned about the fat content in avocados, they contain monounsaturated fat. This type of fat is considered beneficial to your heart. Studies have demonstrated that monounsaturated fat can help protect you from heart disease by lowering your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol while simultaneously raising the HDL (“good”) cholesterol. This makes avocado a heart-healthy fruit. (1,2,3,4,5,6,7)
2. Good for your baby
Your baby needs folic acid for the development of their organs. Folate deficiency plays a significant role in bone deformities in unborn children. Consumption of folic acid can help prevent neural defects in the baby. Avocados are rich in folic acid. A cup of sliced, raw avocado can have up to 59 mcg of folic acid. For pregnant females, the recommended amount is about 400-600 mcg a day, so avocado is an excellent way to get closer to that number. This fruit can also help with queasiness or nausea resulting from morning sickness. (8)
3. Avocado freshens your breath
Bad breath often originates in your stomach, as opposed to your mouth. Drinking avocado juice can simultaneously cleanse your intestine as well as your mouth, to help get rid of microbes that are the culprit of bad breath. Avocado has also been associated with the prevention of oral cancers. (9)
4. Avocado can help heal your skin
Glutamine, an amino acid present in avocados can help revitalize your skin and protect it from external threats. D-mannoheptulose, also found in avocados, have been known to boost collagen formation. Their amino acids and antioxidants can be beneficial in healing burns, scars, and reducing age spots. (10, 11, 12)
5. Avocados Reduce Arthritis Symptoms
6. Avocados can help control blood sugar levels
Research has shown that if a meal contains avocado, insulin secretion is reduced. While these studies need further research, avocados may help with satiety directly after a meal. However, if you were diagnosed with type one or two diabetes, you should check with a professional before regulating your blood sugar levels with avocado. (18, 19, 20).
7. Eat avocado for a more beautiful skin
Fatty acids have been known to moisturize and soften skin cells. Consuming avocados not only provides you with fatty acids, but beta-carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin C as well, which are necessary antioxidants for beautiful skin.
8. Avocado helps shed weight
Studies have shown that people who consume avocados on a regular basis tend to weigh less. The fruit is full of healthy fats and fiber which benefit your body. The combination of the two can help you feel full and satisfied after a meal. It works by telling your appetite to activate the off switch. What sets the avocado apart from other weight loss foods is that it’s low in carbs, high in fiber, and does not cause an increase in blood sugar levels.(21, 22, 23, 24)
9. Avocado helps build stronger bones
About 35 percent of the recommended daily dose of Vitamin K is in one cup of avocado. Vitamin K is essential to your bone health. While most people overlook vitamin K, regular consumption of it can help your body in absorbing calcium. As one study demonstrated, avocados can boost antioxidant absorption by 2.6 to 15 fold. (25, 26, 27, 28)
10. Avocado oil for beautiful hair
Avocado benefits don’t stop at the skin. It’s also great for your hair. Avocado oil can help aid dry scalp and hair. It can give your hair a natural shine. If you experience dryness, try massaging mashed up avocado into the scalp and let it rest for about 15 to 20 minutes. It will treat split ends and dry strands. The amino acids and proteins found in the fruit can penetrate your skin to heal, nourish, and improve your hair health. (29)
How to buy a great avocado every time
Pay attention to the avocados’ color
A ripe avocado will be nearly black, with a slight green hue. If you are planning on using the avocado right away, buy one that is darker. However, if you plan on using it in the coming days, pick one that is more green.
The squeeze test
Take the avocado in your palm and give it a gentle squeeze. A ripe avocado won’t feel mushy, but it will slightly dent to firm gentle but firm pressure.
Aside from the feel and color of the fruit, you can check out its texture. Check for large indentations that can suggest that the fruit has been bruised. Avocados skin tends to be pebbled.
Check the stem
Another trick to finding a creamy and fresh avocado is pulling off the stem. If the area under the stem is green, it can be a sign that the avocado is good to go. However, if it is brown, it can indicate that the avocado may be overripe.
Best storage for avocados
For fresh avocados, the best way to store them is in a basket in room temperature. More green avocados can take about 4 to 5 days to ripen. If you want to speed up this process, you can place them in a paper bag along with some bananas. After an avocado becomes black or dark purple and passes the squeeze test, the fruit is ready to be eaten or refrigerated.
Many dishes take advantage of this mineral-rich super fruit. Avocado pesto pasta, avocado bread, avocado-lime pie, stuffed baked potatoes, avocado ice cream, chilled avocado soup, and avocado-chocolate truffle are just some that you must try.
Due to their versatility and numerous benefits, avocados are finding their way in many recipes. This yummy fruit contains powerful health benefits and can change your body and health for the better.