Advocates of healthy eating love avocados. And no wonder. Nutritious, healthy and tasty – the fruit has many benefits. Nutritionists cite at least eight reasons to include the exotic superfood in your menu.
The avocado, or persea americana, is the fruit of a tree native to the Americas. It grows in the central part of the continent as well as in Mexico. Depending on the variety, the weight and size can vary. The avocado can be as small as 200g and as big as a pound and a half. All avocados are packed with healthy fats and taste delicious.
Although it tastes like a vegetable and is shaped more like a nut, the avocado is an exotic fruit. Moreover, it is considered a dietary food. It helps you not to overeat, lose weight and stay healthy. That’s why it can be eaten as part of any diet. What are the other benefits of avocados?
1. Super healthy composition
The fruit has a medium calorie content of 160 kcal per 100 grams. It has a well-balanced composition: about 9g of carbohydrates, 15g of fat and 2g of protein. Avocados are also rich in vitamins, especially K – 26% of the recommended daily dose. In addition, it contains vitamins C (17%), B5 (14%), B6 (13%) and E (10%). Folic acid is present, as much as 20%. And in terms of potassium content, the avocado surpasses the banana, although the latter is often called the best source of this trace element. 100 grams of Persea americana contains 14% of the daily norm of potassium.
2. Essential fats
The unsaturated fatty acids found in avocados are very good for the body. They regulate your metabolism and help prevent cancer. And since these fats are resistant to high temperatures, both the fruit itself and its oil are suitable for cooking all kinds of dishes.
The positive effect on the metabolism is not the only benefit of unsaturated acids. They stabilise lipid production, strengthen the heart, and prevent diabetes. They are also good for the central nervous system. Thanks to such fats, the body produces natural antidepressant hormones. Anxiety and restlessness go away, and your sleep improves. Avocados also contain glutathione. This antioxidant fights chronic fatigue.
3. Comfortable weight loss
Since avocados are a dietary fruit, they’re a must in any diet, experts say. Avocados are high in fibre – 27 per cent of your daily quota. And it is this plant substance that promotes weight loss. It ensures a sufficient level of intestinal bacteria, which keeps the body healthy. Fibre also slows down the absorption of fat. This results in natural weight regulation.
Studies show that eating avocado reduces the risk of metabolic syndrome. Those who eat them consistently have a lower body mass index on average. In addition, the persea americana is very nourishing. It helps to satiate more quickly and not to feel hungry for longer (up to five hours). This means that one does not overeat.
4. Prevention of heart and vascular diseases
Superfood is able to lower the level of “bad” cholesterol, raising the “good” one. The first is the most common cause of cardiovascular disease. And the second is necessary for normal functioning of internal organs. Avocados have been shown to reduce harmful cholesterol by 20%, studies confirm. And the beneficial one goes up by about 1%, which is also quite a lot and helps the heart and blood vessels.
5. Great variety of dishes
You can cook almost anything with avocados. The fruit’s flavour and composition give you plenty of room for culinary experimentation. You can eat it raw, baked or fried. It can be used as the basis for salads and cold cuts, sauces and pastas, smoothies and desserts. Avocado pulp can be combined with pasta, cereals, meat, fish, and other fruits and vegetables. It makes any dish healthier and more filling. It is recommended to eat it for the purpose of losing weight, preventing illnesses and strengthening health.
6. Accelerated absorption of nutrients
Avocados make other foods healthier. It is an excellent way to boost the absorption of important micronutrients. The oil in the fruit enhances the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, the antioxidants carotenoids and other elements by a factor of 2.5 to 15. So when choosing a salad dressing or a side dish, avocado oil is a good choice.
7. Health of the eyes
Persea americana is a source of extremely beneficial antioxidants. It contains zeaxanthin, lutein and carotenoids. They are essential for maintaining eye health and the long-term prevention of age-related visual impairment. Avocado prevents yellow spot degeneration and cataracts.
8. Positive effects on intimate life
As far back as the Aztecs, the avocado was considered an aphrodisiac – a product that caused arousal. Scientific studies show that it can actually improve libido. If you are not sure of the nutritional value of the fruit, you should always remember that it is the fruit that regulates all processes in the organism. This is true, among other things, for their positive impact on reproductive function.
What are the dangers of avocados and how to choose a good one?
It is worth noting that all the above positive properties apply only to ripe fruits. Green, moreover, low-quality fruit will not do any good. They can even do harm. It’s important to choose good avocados: with dark green (or brown, if it’s the Hass variety) peel, not loose, soft. They can be stored for up to five days. After that, they will spoil.
You should not eat the rind and pit of the fruit as they contain toxins. Avocados should not be abused, as well as any other fruit. For all its benefits, it does not fully cover the body’s need for nutrients. You may also be allergic to the fruit. Specialists do not recommend the superfood for liver diseases and digestive disorders. In such a case, it is important to avoid excessive fats. If you are overweight, you should also be careful with avocados. It is not a low-calorie product, so if you do not watch the total number of calories, you will not be able to lose pounds.
It’s fine to eat one or two avocados a day if you’re not contraindicated. Choose ripe fruit and experiment with combinations.
Do you like avocados?