Avocado is a green fruit that has dark leathery skin and a large pit. This variety that has a creamy texture grows in regions with warm climates. People also know it as butter fruits or alligator pears.
This fruit is rather unique. It is unlike most fruits that contain carbohydrates primarily and a lot of fats.
Do not worry about that fat because it is a mono-saturated substance that becomes one of the healthiest fat you may consume.
Indeed, many people think of avocados as vegetables, but they are pear-shaped berries. The fruits are incredibly nutritious. Consuming them will improve digestion, protect against cancer, and others.
This stone fruit comes from a tree named Persea American which is likely coming from south-central Mexico. The avocado tree is classified as part of the blossoming plant family, Lauraceae.
Technically, there are many varieties of avocados that spread all around the world. It would be according to the region’s climates.
Furthermore, the most common varieties are called Fuerte, Gwen, Reed, Zutano, Bacon, Pinkerton, and Hass.
The most popular variety is the Hass cultivar which is also known as the Alligator pear because of its pebbly, rough exterior. You will easily identify it just by looking and feeling it.
In the US, there are two common varieties, the Florida and California Avocados.
What is the difference? Well, if you want to have avocados with less fat, you should go with the Florida cultivars.
This avocado variety would work well as part of salad dish ingredients because it can hold its shape a bit better, less creamy.
Meanwhile, the California variety offers a richer and creamier flesh that would be perfect for making amazing guacamole. This variety is also commonly known as Hass.
Avocado Nutrition Facts
As said before, Avocado is incredibly nutritious. This pear-shaped berry has a lot of calories. It has at least 50 calories per ounce.
Avocados are also high in healthy fat that would help lower bad cholesterol. You do not have to be afraid of being fat as long as you consume the fruits in moderation.
Moreover, there are about 20 vitamins and minerals contained in one piece. From the fruit, you can get potassium, folate, vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B5, Vitamin K, and Vitamin E.
Besides, there is a small amount of manganese, magnesium, copper, zinc, iron, phosphorus, and other vitamins (A, B2, and B3).
In addition, do not forget about the avocado calories, protein, and healthy fats you will get. Also, this fruit is low in sugar and it has fiber to help you feel full longer.
Proven Avocado Health Benefits
Avocado contains several proven health benefits. Thus, add this fruit to your daily menu to get a healthy diet. The followings are some of them.
Maintain Healthy Heart
In one ounce of Avocado, you can get 25 milligrams of beta-sitosterol. It is a natural plant sterol that is well-known to maintain a healthy level of cholesterol when consumed regularly.
Likewise, it is as easy as adding a bit of the fruit to your meals, such as salad and sandwich. That would increase the number of fats in your diet that is healthy for your heart.
Additionally, the monounsaturated fat in avocados, can lower LDL levels and raise the HDL cholesterol amount inside the body.
Great for Vision
The Lutein and Zeaxanthin can be found inside avocados. These two phytochemicals would provide antioxidant protection to the tissues in the eyes.
Therefore, it would help you minimize the damage from some issues like ultraviolet light.
The monounsaturated fatty acids would help the absorption of beta-carotene in avocados. So, it can decrease the risk of developing macular degeneration that is related to age.
In one avocado, you will get approximately 50 percent of recommended vitamin K intake in a day. This nutrition is beneficial for your bone health.
Vitamin K is unlike calcium and vitamin D which is well-known for maintaining healthy bones. This nutrient will help to improve calcium absorption.
Besides, this substance reduces the excretion of calcium from the urine.
Avocados contain folate that may have the ability to protect against stomach, colon, cervical, and pancreatic cancers. It has shown promise for that when you get adequate intake.
According to research, folate would protect against undesirable mutations in RNA and DNA in the process of cell division. Thus, it means that eating avocados would be a good cancer treatment.
Some researchers have found that phytochemicals that come from avocados can inhibit cancer cell growth. Also, they will encourage the proliferation of lymphocytes which are the immune system cells.
Healthy Pregnancy and Babies
Besides becoming a treatment for cancer, folate is an extremely important nutrient to promote a healthy pregnancy.
Hence, it would help avoid miscarriage and neural tube defects. That is according to research from McGill University.
Even though it has got a creamy texture, an avocado has a great amount of fiber. It is about 12 to 14 grams in one fruit.
Without question, fiber would give you a good digestive tract. It prevents constipation and colon cancer.
Besides digestion, fiber would also promote regular bowel movements. This nutrient is very important to the excretion of toxins through the stool and bile every day.
Further, in recent studies, fiber can also regulate the immune system and inflammation.
Protect from Chronic Disease
Taking high fiber will lower the risks of developing hypertension, obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and certain gastrointestinal disease.
Besides, it lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure, enhances weight loss, and improve the sensitivity of the insulin. So, you will not get chronic diseases.
If you want to get all the health benefits from the fruit, you need to consume it. Besides eating it as a whole, there are some ways to present and process it differently as a meal.
Here are some popular recipes you can make using avocados.
The Best Homemade Guacamole
The classic ingredients for Guacamole would be avocados, garlic, red onion, jalapeno, and lime. You may cilantro, but it is better not to.
The first thing to do is to prepare the avocado flesh inside a bowl and mix it with garlic paste. Then, stir them together with and jalapeno pepper and chopped red onion.
Do not forget to squeeze in fresh lime juice. It will brighten the dip.
Make it as creamy or chunky as you want it to be. There are some key steps to make Guacamole. The first tip is to ripen the avocadoes at home.
So, you need to buy the rock-hard one to make sure you get the fresh ones.
Instead of using chopped garlic, you should turn it into a paste. It is because the garlic paste will be gentler. It would be perfect for raw serving.
Caprese Avocado Toast
It could be a nice and healthy breakfast to start the day. You can also enjoy this dish as a snack during your meals.
To make this Caprese avocado toast, you will need a bunch of ingredients, such as sandwich bread, grape tomatoes, bite-sized mozzarella balls, fresh basil leaves, balsamic glaze, and avocados.
The mashed avocado and all the ingredients would be on top of the toasted bread. It would make an amazing toast topped with Caprese salad with avocados.
Avocado Salad with Herbs and Tomatoes
Salad is a simple dish. It is a great choice if you are on a diet. Having avocados as part of the ingredients is just perfect. The health benefits you will get will be in maximum.
Making this dish is just as simple as mixing-it-up. In this recipe, the avocados are not the supporting ingredient, they become the main attraction.
Just mix up the avocado chunks with cherry tomatoes, peppery red onions, chopped cucumbers, and some fresh herbs.
The herbs are the essential things in the mix. Just use the ones that you have in the kitchen. You can change them up to give the whole dish a fresh spin every time you eat it.
Creamy Avocado Pasta
Combining avocados with pasta will make a great dish. You will fall in love with this creamy, tasteful paste sauce.
It will be very easy to make. You can just simple whirling some ripe avocados with fresh herbs and oil in a blender.
Meanwhile, you wait for the pasta to cooks. Because of avocados, you can make an incredibly creamy base for the sauce.
Then, give it a punch with some basil and garlic. The flavor is quite similar to pesto with no nuts or cheese.
To make a great combination of pasta and creamy avocado sauce, you will need to choose Spaghetti, Zucchini noodles, and soba noodles because of their dry and thick body. Do not use the thin ones.
The avocados with enough ripeness would make a delicious sauce. Avoid using the underripe one because it would give you a grassy taste and texture.
The blender will not help. So, it is better to make sure the avocados are ripe enough.
Avocado contains a lot of nutrition with many health benefits. Add this pear-shaped fruit into your dish to fulfill the nutrients. Also, those simple recipes would help you with adequate daily intake.