Healthy eating communities have their quirks and fads when it comes to super foods. The latest super food that has taken all health eaters by storm is non other than the main ingredient of your favorite guacamole dip, Avocado!
This fruit is stocked full of fibre and monounsaturated fat, and at the same time it has a low concentration of sugar. This makes it very beneficial when it comes to loosing weight and lowering blood cholesterol amongst many more other health benefits.
Also called the “Alligator Pear”, the avocado is native to the state of Puebla in Mexico. Its a pear shaped fruit (hence the name alligator pear) and contains rather a big seed. The fact that the texture of the fruit is quite smooth with a subtle and creamy flavour makes it the perfect ingredient to quite a number of dishes. In addition to being the prime ingredient of the guacamole dip, avocados are also a prime ingredient in many vegetarian dishes as a meat substitute, and is also used in many salads and desserts.
Avocado is stocked full of many nutrients such as
- Potassium, which regulates blood pressure
- B vitamins, thepowerful agents in fighting disease and infection
- Lutein, which is good for dry eyes
What makes the avacado so nutritious?
3.5 ounces, or 100 grams of raw avocado contains
- Calories 160
- Calories from Fat 123
- Total Fat 15 g
- Saturated Fat 2 g
- Trans Fat 2 g
- Cholesterol 7 mg
- Sodium 0 mg
- Dietary Fiber 7 g
With only 1g of sugar, 2g of protein and 17% of vitamin C, avocados come with a perfect combination of nutrients.
Its high concentration of “good fats” help the avocado regulate cholesterol levels. In addition, it also gives you all the ingredients your body needs to absorb nutrients from the other food you eat!
Health benefits of an Avocado!
The benefits you can get from an avocado are numerous. In addition to the amazing nutrients in contains, avocados also provide the following benefits.
Reduces blood pressure
Avocados are super rich in potassium, even more richer than bananas, and thus they help regulate your blood pressure levels. High blood pressure is one of the most common reasons for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
Reduces the risk of heart disease
Did you know that avocados are one of the fattiest plant foods ever? And a majority of these fats are oleic fatty acids, which belong to the group of “good” fats that helps you protect the health of your heart.
Provides better metabolic health
With 7 grams of fibre in a 100 gram serving, avocados are one of the best sources of fibre. Its a great dietary solution for optimal metabolic health and weight loss as 205% of the fibre in an avocado are soluble.
Lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels
One of the biggest culprits of heart disease are High cholesterol and triglyceride. Avocados are proven to lower both cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body.
Helps protect the eyes
Avocados contain Lutien and Zeaxanthin, antioxidents that helps lower the risk of popular eye issues such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
May have the potential to help fight cancer
A recent study showed that avocados have positive effects on side effects created by chemotherapy on human lymphocytes. Avocado extracts have also shown to be effective in preventing the growth of prostrate cancer cells.
Improves general health
A recent study concluded that people who consume avocado on a daily basis are generally more healthier than people who didn’t eat avocados. Consuming more avocados will improve the overall diet quality, nutrient intake, and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome.”
Avocados have downsides too…
Generally safe to eat, Avocados sometimes are known to cause allergies in certain people. This is specially common in people who are allergic to latex, causing symptoms such as rash, upset stomach, facial swelling and trouble breathing.
Eating more tha one avacado also may lead to weight gain due to increased calorie intake.
How to test the ripeness of an Avocado?
Squeeze your Avocado gently in your hands. If its sofy and mushy, then the avocado is ripe and ready to eat. If its hard, the avocado will need a few days to ripen. If you want to slow the ripening process, you can place the avocado in the fridge.
You can eat avacados in many ways. Raw, seasoned with various ingredients, cooked in soup, mashed in a dip, or even as dessert. The oil extracted from Avacado is a healthy and tasty cooking ingredient, not to mention the numerous benefits to skin and hair.
3 Easy to make Avocado recipes.
With the growing popularity of Avocado as a food ingredient, people have started to come up with a variety of Avocado inspired recipes. Here are a few you could try at home!
Smoothies are a quick and easy way to get your daily dose of vitamins from fruits and veggies. A kiwi and Avocado smoothie will be stocked full of healthy fats, fibre and vitamins C and E. The creamy texture and popping green colour will brighten up your day too!
Worried about giving up mayo? Avocado is the perfect substitute! Enjoy your salad or tuna mix without giving a thought to those cholesterol or fat!
Kick the beef and all the fats that come with it with this delicious and healthy substitute for your beed burger.
Its nutritious, but know the limits!
Though the benefits of avocados are numerous, you must control your daily intake because of the high calorie value it contains. No more than 2 – 5 slices of Avocado 2 – 4 times a week are recommended.
Avocado : Where nutrition tastes good!
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