Avocado:The Super Fruit!

Avocados are a creamy, buttery fruit grown in warm climates and often enjoyed in Mexican and South American cuisine.The avocado is a rather unique type of fruit.Also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of monounsaturated fat (the healthy kind). Avocados are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.Numerous studies show that it has powerful beneficial effects on health.

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12 Proven Health Benefits of Avocado

1. Avocado is Incredibly Nutritious :

What we refer to as “avocado” is the fruit of the avocado tree, called Persea americana.Avocados are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals.

  • Vitamin K: 26% of the RDA.
  • Folate: 20% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin C: 17% of the RDA.
  • Potassium: 14% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B5: 14% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B6: 13% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin E: 10% of the RDA.
  • It contains small amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin).

2. They Contain More Potassium Than Bananas :

Potassium is a nutrient that unfortunately  most people aren’t getting enough of.This nutrient helps maintain electrical gradients in the body’s cells and serves various important functions. Studies show that having a high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure. Avocados are  very high in potassium;with a 100 gram (3.5 ounce) serving containing 14% of the RDA, compared to 10% in bananas.

3. Avocado is Loaded With Heart-Healthy Monounsaturated Fatty Acids:

The fat in avocado is oleic acid.Oleic acid has been linked to reduced inflammation and been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.

4. Avocados Are Loaded With Fiber:

Avocados tend to be high in fiber, about 7% by weight, which is very high compared to most other foods. Fiber can have various important benefits for weight loss and metabolic health.

5. Eating Avocados Can Lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels:

Heart disease is the most common cause of death in the world.It is known that several blood markers are linked to an increased risk.The effects of avocado on some of these risk factors has been studied in 8 human controlled trials.

These studies have shown that avocados can:

  • Reduce total cholesterol levels significantly.
  • Reduce blood triglycerides by up to 20%.
  • Lower LDL cholesterol by up to 22%.
  • Increase HDL (the “good”) cholesterol by up to 11%.

6.People Who Eat Avocados Tend to be Healthier :

A Study showed that people who eat avocados regularly have a much higher nutrient intake and were half as likely to have metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms that are a major risk factor for heart disease and diabetes.They also weighed less, had a lower BMI and significantly less belly fat. They also had more HDL (the “good”) cholesterol.

7.The Fat in Them Can Help You Absorb Nutrients From Plant Foods:

When it comes to nutrients, the total amount of them is not the only thing that matters.We also need to be able to absorb them, which means they need to move them from the digestive tract and into the body, where they can be used.One study showed that adding avocado or avocado oil to either salad or salsa can increase antioxidant absorption. What does this mean exactly, not only is avocado highly nutritious, it can dramatically increase the nutrient value of other plant foods that you are eating!

8. Avocados Are Loaded With Powerful Antioxidants That Can Protect The Eyes:

Avocados contain nutrients called Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which are incredibly important for eye health.Studies show that these nutrients are linked to a drastically reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which are common in the elderly.

9.Avocado May Help Prevent Cancer:

There is limited evidence that avocado may be beneficial in preventing cancer.One study showed that it may help reduce side effects of chemotherapy in human lymphocytes.Avocado extract has also been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells.

10.Avocado Extract May Help Relieve Symptoms of Arthritis:

Multiple studies have shown that extracts from avocado and soybean oil, called Avocado and Soybean unsaponifiables, can reduce symptoms of arthritis of the bones, called osteoarthritis.

11. Eating Avocado May Help You Lose Weight:

There is some evidence that avocados are a weight loss friendly food. In the Study the people eating the avocado felt 23% more satisfied and had a 28% lower desire to eat over the next 5 hours. Including avocados in your diet could help you naturally eat fewer calories and have an easier time sticking to a healthy diet.

12.Avocado is Delicious and Easy to Incorporate in The Diet:

Not only are avocados healthy, they’re also incredibly delicious and go with all sorts of foods.You can add them to salads and various sorts of recipes, or you can simply scoop them out with a spoon and eat them plain.They have a creamy, rich, fatty texture and blend well with various other ingredients.


How to Select and Store Avocados



A ripe, ready-to-eat avocado is slightly soft but should have no dark sunken spots or cracks. If the avocado has a slight neck, rather than being rounded on top, it may have ripened a bit more on the tree and have a richer flavor. A firmer, less mature fruit can be ripened at home and may be less likely to have bruises, depending on how it was handled during harvest and transport.

Tips for Preparing Avocados

Use a stainless steel knife to cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Gently twist the two halves in opposite direction if you find the flesh clinging to the pit. Remove the pit, either with a spoon or by spearing with the tip of a knife. Next, take each of the avocado halves and slice lengthwise to produce four avocado quarters. The use the California Avocado Commission’s “nick and peel” method to peel the avocado. Just take your thumb and index finger to grip an edge of the avocado skin and peel it away from the flesh, in exactly the same way that you would peel a banana. The final result will be a peeled avocado that contains most of that dark green outermost flesh that is richest in carotenoid antioxidants.

You can prevent the natural darkening of the avocado flesh that occurs with exposure to air by sprinkling with a little lemon juice or vinegar.



Give These Amazing Recipes a Try!

Avocado and Tuna Tapas

Ingredients

20 m 4 servings

Directions

Prep  20 min     Ready in  20 min

  1. Stir together tuna, mayonnaise, green onions, red pepper, and balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Season with pepper and garlic salt, then pack the avocado halves with the tuna mixture. Garnish with reserved green onions and a dash of black pepper before serving.

 

Southwest Guacamole Dip

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice or lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Directions

  1. In a bowl, combine  Mayo and all the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate to allow the flavours to blend. Serve, if desired, with tortilla chips.

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References:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270406.php

http://authoritynutrition.com

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=5

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/139620/avocado-and-tuna-tapas/

http://www.hellmanns.ca/recipes/detail/18256/1/southwest-guacamole-dip?&&gclid=Cj0KEQiAqemzBRDh2vGKmMnqoegBEiQAqJPuyEbUjrYqSOKBQ4DGzyDT0ymJ9xmUBQW3LPneIDffGdwaApjs8P8HAQ&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

 

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