Avocados due to its shape and leathery appearance of its skin are known as Alligator Pears. They are native to south central Mexico. They have a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped or spherical.
The most popular variety of avocado is the creamy Hass variety. The fruit is now grown in maximum countries because of its numerous health benefits. It has a very thick skin that protects it from pesticides. It is also one of the safest crops in terms of its low exposure to pesticides.
It is mostly eaten raw, in the form of salads with little pepper and salt or as a dessert whip. Avocados can be substituted for butter while baking, so you can cut down on the calories and still have a delicious dish.
Avocados are a “Super Food”. They are a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids and have a low sugar content also a great source of energy. They contain calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, vitamin C, B-12, A, D, B6, K, E, niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin. Furthermore, they are a great source of dietary fiber.
The health benefits of avocado include protecting the skin from signs of aging, weight loss, enhancing the absorption of nutrients by the body, away from cardiovascular diseases, keeping eyes healthy, away from diabetes, protection from liver damage, treating osteoarthritis, reducing the risk of cancer and Vitamin K deficiency-related bleeding. Furthermore, it also helps to increase circulation, boost immunity and build stronger bones.
Health Benefits of Avocado
1. Healthy heart
Avocados are free from sodium, cholesterol, Trans fats, which are not good for the heart. Beta-sitosterol in avocados helps in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Consuming these help lower bad cholesterol level and increase the levels of good cholesterol, maintaining cardiovascular health.
2. Keeps Stomach Healthy
Avocados soothes intestine and also aids in digestion. They contain both soluble and insoluble fibers which help to run digestive system smoothly. These ensure proper digestion as they bulk up stools and maintain smooth passage of food through the intestinal tract. Moreover, they promote gastric and digestive juices so that the nutrients are absorbed in the most efficient way.
3. Helps in Weight Loss
Avocado is good source of fiber and are low in carbs, therefore, it acts as an excellent hunger suppressant and makes you feel full for long, help to maintain your weight. Check out this amazing Plant Based diet which will help you lose weight in just 7 days!
4. Boosts Eyesight
Avocados contain carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin), which protect eyes against cataracts, macular degeneration. These conditions are often caused by free radicals that get accumulated in the tissues of the eyes. The antioxidant activity of carotenoids eradicate the effects of free radicals help maintain your vision, keeping eyes healthy.
The carotenoids and monounsaturated fats, present in avocados, both contribute to the significant reduction of cancer. It also contains Glutathione, an antioxidant that protects the cells from cancer. There are plenty of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds present in avocados that help in lowering the risk of cancers, including breast cancer and prostate cancer
6. Gives Pain relief in Arthritis
The anti-inflammatory properties of avocados make it one of the best foods for reducing the inflammation in tissues, joints, muscles, especially osteoarthritis. The presence of antioxidants and vitamin C and E in it maximizes its benefits.
7. Acts as Antidepressant
Folate, omega 3 fatty acids and many of the vitamins present in avocados help fight depression. Folate works by preventing the excess production of homocysteine because the increase in its levels hinders the secretion of “feel good” hormones. Therefore, it is better to include avocados in your diet for a better mood.
8. Gives a Healthy Pregnancy
Avocados are an excellent source of folic acid, which is important for the initial development of the fetus. It also helps treats leg cramps during pregnancy.
9. Helps in Detoxification
The plenty of fiber and antioxidants present in avocado makes it a great detoxifier. Packed with good fats, avocados stimulate the absorption of vitamin A which promotes the flushing of toxins out from the body.
10. Good for Diabetics
Avocado have monounsaturated fats, which reduce high triglyceride levels and control blood glucose levels. The fiber content in it slows the breakdown of food into usable sugars to be absorbed by the body in a more balanced way.
11. Boosts Immunity
Avocados are full of vitamin C, A and E that work to improve immunity. They also contain glutathione which regulates the proper functioning of immune system.
12. Dental health
The antibacterial and antioxidant properties found in avocados kill the bacteria present in the mouth. Bad breath which is may be caused due to indigestion can be treated by consuming avocados. Avocados have also been linked with preventing oral cancers!
13. Keeps Liver Healthy
Liver damage is most of the times caused due to Hepatitis C. Avocados are a healthy option in reducing liver damage. There are certain organic compounds in them that help to improve liver health. Research show that avocados tone up and protect the liver from many diseases.
14. Keeps kidney Healthy
Our diet plays a key role in maintaining the balance of minerals and fluids. Potassium helps to maintain a normal heart rate. Avocados are a healthy source of potassium. Also, it is important to make sure that levels of potassium in the body are not too high as that can be dangerous for the heart. Potassium maintains fluid balance. This balance of fluid is important for the proper functioning of the kidney, which handles the movement of fluid and toxins through the body.
15. Vitamin K rich
A vitamin K deficiency is mostly seen in neonatal care. It may lead to a bleeding disorder. This occurs mostly due to an insufficient intake of vitamin K diet during pregnancy. Avocados are one of the rare food which has vitamin K. It is better for pregnant women to consume them to enjoy a healthy pregnancy and keep their newborn away from vitamin K deficiency.
16. Cures morning sickness
17. Cures Eczema
Avocado oil is beneficial during eczema. The presence of vitamin E, D and A relieves the itchiness, redness, and irritation caused by eczema. You can apply the oil directly on skin or include in the diet.
18. Promotes Healthy Skin
Carotenoids found in avocados help in reducing UV-induced inflammation of the skin caused by exposure to the sun. Avocado oil made from help in protecting the skin from sunburn damage. The high levels of beta-carotene in avocados also protect from sun damage and other conditions.
19. Healthy hair
Hair loss is usually due to the deficiency of vitamins. Avocado is rich in vitamin E and B, which make them perfect to treat these hair problems. They also repair irritated scalp, strengthens hair strands and removes dandruff.
20. Boosts Energy
Athletes require a lot of energy for their workout. They also need to maintain nutrition requirements of their body. Avocados contain phytochemicals that are a natural fuel source for the body. They also provide vital nutrients to athletes to maintain required energy levels.
Quick serving ideas for avocados
- Salad– you can try this amazing healthy avocado salad. Just mix chopped onion, lettuce, tomato, and avocado in a bowl. Add salt, pepper, lime juice on the salad. You may add other vegetables to the salad as per your choice.
- Soup- Garnish your soups with these chopped avocados for additional flavor and also enjoy the health benefits.
- Fruit– you can consume ripe avocados directly also. Just wash them before consuming and pat dry.
- Dressing– Avocados can also be a great option for dressing your food items also and enjoying their benefits with it.
- Oil– avocado oil is also a great option. You can replace your cooking oils with that to enjoy its benefits.
- Avocados may not be suitable to all. It may cause migraines. Care must be taken and better to avoid if you experience nausea, vomiting, dizziness.
- Avocado should also be avoided in case of hypersensitivity also. It may cause a skin reaction or vomiting.
- People who are sensitive to latex can also have an allergic reaction to avocado.
- If you are up for surgical operation then avoid them. Stop eating before your surgery at least 1 month. Also, do not eat immediately after surgery. Take advice from your doctors regarding that.