What sets avocado apart from its umami flavour, is its numerous health benefits. The berry fruit is said to have a fleshy, fresh, and meaty flavour. Today avocados are available everywhere, and the fruit has become very popular among health-conscious gym fanatics. From smoothies to salads to guacamole, avocados have emerged successfully on the health ladder with new and innovative recipes in cookbooks, online recipes, and cooking apps.
- It is grown in Mediterranean regions, with its origin in Mexico. The fruit has a leathery appearance which gives it the unique name ‘Alligator Pears’, and although their resemblance is vastly different, avocados are related to cinnamon and bay laurel.
- The fruit has a high acid and fat content, which is why may people call it high in calories. However, the fruit contains very low cholesterol levels, and this calorie content is healthier than calorie components found in butter or other dairy products.
- Avocados have such thick skin that they are automatically resistant to pesticides, and immune to insecticides. There is no term as organic avocado, because pesticides do not penetrate into the fruit due its tough exterior.
Health benefits of avocados:
- Avocados are at the top of the prestigious food pyramid, and are known as ‘Super foods’ due to their nutrient rich properties. The fruit is abundant in vitamins C, E, K, B-6, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, magnesium, lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Pretty Vision-Avocados are rich in zeaxanthin and lutein, which are found in abundance in eye tissues. The antioxidant protection from avocados helps in minimizing damage to the eyes, even from ultraviolet light. It helps in reducing the risk of age-prone macular degeneration.
- Osteoporosis prevention-The daily recommended intake of vitamin K can be found in half an avocado. Vitamin K has always been hidden from the spotlight, but consuming vitamin K reduces urinary excretion of calcium, and also aids bone health tremendously. Avocado unsaponifiables help in reducing osteoporosis, which is a relief for those with arthritis.
- Keeps the heart healthy-Avocados contain an important plant sterol called beta-sitosterol, whose regular consumption aids in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.
- Smiling babies-An adequate consumption of avocados gives abundant folate, which is very important during pregnancy. The risk of miscarriages and neural tube defects significantly decreases with adequate folate consumption.
- Fights off depression-Homocysteine, the substance that prevents the delivery of nutrients to the brain and impairs blood circulation is fought off by the folate present in avocado. Homocysteine interferes with the production of serotonin, which affects the mood.
- Improved digestion-The fruit is extremely fibrous even though it is creamy, and this not only helps in keeping the gastrointestinal tract healthy but also decreases the risk of colon cancer. It also encourages bowel movement, brings down inflammation in the stomach, and strengthens the immune system.
- Cancer prevention-There are various side-effects of chemotherapy in human lymphocytes, which can be prevented by consuming avocados.
- Weight loss-Avocados encourage satiety, and studies show that people who incorporate avocados into their meals feel 23% more satisfied, and have a 28% lesser desire to eat for the next 5 hours.
Thus, avocados are a revolutionary alternative to supplements and dieting.