Are you concerned about your health status? Have you ever considered changing your diet for an healthier option? Are you considering including more fruits and vegetables in your diet as recommended by World Health Organisation?
Whichever category you fall into, I urge you to take your time and read through this article as I unravel some reasons why you are doomed without avocado. Literally, it lays emphasis on why you definitely need to eat more avocado.
No doubt that we are surrounded by numerous trees that play significant roles in our daily living but the question is how often are we bothered in utilising these trees and their fruits.
It might interest you to know that there are uncountable trees that produce healthy, medicinal and nutritious fruits that significantly influence our health, well being and the quality of our lives.
Interestingly, studies reveal that individuals who consume more fruits, fish, unsaturated oils and vegetables have a low mortality tendencies compared with those that consume more sugary food, meat and dairy food products.
If I could read your mind vividly, you might be pondering if avocado fruit is good for you? This article centers on all the important things you ought to know about avocado, if avocado is good for you and the reasons why you definitely need to include this fruit regularly in your diet. It is worthy to note that this fruit has gained more popularity over the past years due to its amazing nutritive contents, health and medicinal properties.
What is an Avocado?
Avocado is simply the fruit of an avocado tree! The word avocado is derived from the Spanish term “aguacate” however its English literal name is “avogato pear”. The history of avocado cannot be neglected as researchers dated its first cultivation as far back as 5,000 BC.
Avocado is botanically known as Persea americana and is originally from Puebla state in Mexico and Central America before spreading to other parts of the world such as Morocco, Spain, Africa, Puerto Rico, New Zealand, Portugal, Peru, Indonesia, Crete, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Rwanda, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Arizona, Malaysia, the Caribbean, Australia and the Philippines etc.
Avocado pear belongs to the family of Lauraceae and is also referred to as alligator pear, palta, ube oyibo, abacate, cheese pear, butter fruit, bơ, luò lí. It is a large berry fruit containing a single seed. Avocado is characterized by a greenish looking skin with fleshy body that is spherical, egg-shaped or pear-shaped in appearance. There are several types of avocados ranging from the colour, shape, size and taste. These visible differences are attributive to its cultivars.
Apart from Hass avocado, which is the most common avocado cultivars, other cultivars include; fuerte, maluma, Choquette, lula, monroe, brodgen, gwen, bacon, zutano, ettinger, pinkerton, reed, and sharwil. Avocados are economically important and are mostly cultivated in the Mediterranean and tropical regions of the world.
The avocado tree grows approximately up to 66 ft height, the fruit measures from 2.8 to 7.9 inches long and weighs from 100 and 1,000 grams while the avocado seed measures from 2.0 to 2.5 inches long. The avocado leaves measure from 4.7 to 9.8 inches long and the greenish-yellow flowers measure from 0.2 to 0.4 inches wide.
How To Eat Avocado
Avocado can be eaten alone or can be used for preparing avocado recipes such as avocado salad, avocado dip, avocado smoothies etc.
Avocados are best consumed when ripen and they can get ripen within 3 to 5 days after harvesting and it is preferable to store them at room temperature.
Once the outer part of the avocado changes from green to purplish-black and are soft when gently pressed, then it is ready for consumption. Avocado is mostly eaten as a fresh fruit and it is important to wash it properly before eating in other to get rid of any possible bacteria or dirt.
After washing the pear, cut into equal halves with a knife, remove the seed and then scoop out the pulp from the skin before consumption.
Avocado fruit is an excellent source of monounsaturated oil, which is an healthy form of oil thus very good for our health.
Avocado oil can be extracted through centrifugal technique by mixing the avocado pulp with water to separate the oil. The oil can also be extracted by adding a chemical solvent into the avocado pulp, which tends to separate the oil.
Avocado is an excellent source of vitamin E, vitamin C, lutein, vitamin K, B vitamins, carotenoids, zeaxanthin, proanthocyanidins, potassium, phytosterols, tocopherols, linoleic acid and monounsaturated healthy fat (oleic acid), which are highly beneficial for our healthy well-being.
1. Controls the Cholesterol Levels
Researchers reveal that consuming avocado can significantly reduce cholesterol level as well as triglycerides level, which are the major causes of heart-related diseases such as heart failure and blood pressure. Avocado pear can lower LDL cholesterol as well as increase HDL (good) cholesterol level.
2. Healthy Weight Maintenance
Scientists report that regular inclusion of avocado in one’s diet is an easy way of maintaining a balanced weight. This is due to the presence of monounsaturated oil in this fruit hence, it immensely helps to control weight. Avocado is an excellent source of dietary fiber as well as low in carbohydrate, thus facilitates weight loss as well as maintains healthy weight.
3. Inhibition of Cancer Cells Using Avocado
Some studies agree that avocado extract is capable of inhibiting the growth of prostate cancer cells. It is also capable of minimizing the side effects of chemotherapy in certain cells.
4. Eye Benefits of Avocado
Avocado is an excellent source of powerful antioxidants thus it helps to protect the eyes from ocular damages. Avocado also contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are very vital for preventing macular degeneration, reducing the risks of cataracts and for maintaining healthy eyes.
5. Reduction of Arthritic Symptoms
Avocado extracts can be combined with some herbal mixtures, which is used for reducing the symptoms of arthritis such as osteoarthritis.
6. Dermatological Care
Due to the presence of vitamin E in avocado, this fruit is very useful for skin care and for maintaining glowing looking skin. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant thus protects the skin cell membranes.
7. Culinary uses of Avocado
Avocado is used for preparing guacamole, which is is an avocado-based dip. Avocado can also be pureed and mixed with rice, spaghetti or pasta. It can be used as spread or sauce for tortillas, toast, breads, sandwiches and snacks. Avocado can also be used for making ice cream, avocado smoothie, avocado milkshake, avocado salad and desserts. Avocado slices can be added to bread rolls, carne asada, hot dogs, sandwiches, hamburgers and tortas.
Despite the wide popularity and consumption of avocado, some people show allergic reactions to this fruit. Avocado allergy is a food allergy caused as a result of consuming avocado.
The two major types of avocado allergy are; tree-pollen allergy, which shows symptoms in the throat and mouth immediately after eating avocado and the latex-fruit syndrome, which is similar to latex allergy. Symptoms of latex-fruit allergy are vomiting, urticaria and abdominal pain.
Its is highly advisable to ensure that you are not allergic to avocado before consuming it as the allergic reactions can be life-threatening.
Having read through this post, it will be highly appreciated if you leave your opinion or ask related questions in the comment section. Every opinion counts!!!
This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnostic and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
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