Under its rough skin, avocado hides an unctuous and nourishing pulp that, apart from captivating, helps to regulate cholesterol and gain vitality.
The avocado, fruit of the avocado tree (Persea americana), belongs to the Lauraceae family, made up of woody plants that grow in warm climates and include aromatic plants such as laurel, camphor and cinnamon.
Where does your name come from? Its origin is located in Central America, in the areas of Mexico, Guatemala and the Antilles.
The name derives from the Aztec ahuacatl, which means “testicle”, probably because of its shape, and hence its fame as an aphrodisiac.
The Spaniards called it the “pear of the Indies”. It has, in fact, the shape of a pear, hard and dark skin, and has inside a single large round seed. The pulp is creamy, green or pale yellow, with a hazelnut-like taste.
As there are so many varieties with different harvesting seasons, the avocado can be found on the market in both winter and summer. Nowadays, avocados of national production can be found with the guarantee of ecological agriculture.
Properties of the avocado
The composition of the avocado makes it an extraordinary food that has more followers every day.
Loaded with healthy fat
The most curious about avocado is that being a fresh fruit its main component are not the carbohydrates, but the fats, which constitute 23% of its weight.
And the best thing is that they are fats of the healthiest type: monounsaturated, like those of olive oil.
Rich in vitamin E
Like other fatty foods, it stands out above all for its vitamin E, which protects the cell membrane and its nucleus, which can prevent the development of degenerative diseases such as cancer. About 100 g of avocado provides 25% of the daily requirement.
Minerals and vitamins
They also provide 22% of the daily requirement of vitamin C, a little provitamin A and a variety of minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper and zinc).
Benefits of avocado
The avocado is suitable for all periods of life and should only be moderated by overweight people. Its habitual consumption produces a series of benefits.
1. Authentic and healthy vegetable butter
Due to the creaminess of the pulp that gives it its richness in fat, avocado is easily spread, making it a healthy vegetable butter, an excellent alternative to industrial margarines.
Its nutritional composition makes it a practically essential food in vegetable diets high in fat, such as ketogenic.
2. Cardiovascular health
The avocado not only lacks cholesterol, but tends to reduce it if it is high. That is why its consumption is adequate to prevent the appearance of problems such as atherosclerosis (lack of flexibility of the artery walls) or coronary diseases (angina pectoris or myocardial infarction).
Unsaturated avocado fats normalize cholesterol, reducing LDL or “bad” and increasing HDL or “good”.
3. Recommended for athletes and pregnant women
It is a key food for those who practice sport, whether they are children, young people or adults.
It provides nutrients very suitable for cases of muscle overactivity (especially minerals such as potassium and magnesium), as well as energy wear (rich in lipids and carnitine, which helps its use).
Pregnant women, or those who wish to be pregnant, can use avocado as a complementary source of energy and folic acid, a vitamin that helps to prevent premature births, as well as defects in the formation of the brain and spinal cord.
In addition, as it contains vitamin A, it strengthens the eyes, skin and bones of the future baby.
4. Relaxes the nervous system
Due to its richness in fatty acids, magnesium and vitamins of the B group, avocado is an excellent food regulator of the nervous system So it is especially indicated in situations of both physical and mental stress.
5. Good for the eyes
Recent research highlights its richness in the carotenoid lutein, whose protective effect on vision reduces the risk of developing cataracts.
6. Prevents wrinkles
He’s also a friend of the skin. The pulp is used to prepare masks that help prevent wrinkles and treat dermatitis or even burns.
For oily skins a mask is prepared with two or three spoonfuls of pulp and the juice of half a lemon. It is gently massaged on the face (in an upward direction), left to dry and cleaned with warm water or rose water.
The dark green oil is also extracted from the avocado, which nourishes and softens the skin.
7. Source of energy and nutrients
Contains vitamins K, C, B5, B6 and E, potassium and folic acid.
8. It has more potassium than bananas.
Potassium helps lower your blood pressure. Avocado contains 14% potassium compared to 10% bananas, the fruit par excellence source of this mineral.
9. Avocado is good for the heart
Contains oleic acid, such as olive oil, which helps to increase good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol as well as reduce inflammations.
10. It is rich in fiber
Its high fiber content will help you not only lose weight but reduce blood sugar and the risk of many diseases.
11. It is low in cholesterol and triglycerides.
Avocado is low in LDL (the bad) cholesterol and triglycerides and helps increase HDL (the good) cholesterol levels.
12. This fruit will help you absorb other nutrients
Yes, it is a fruit. Avocado facilitates the absorption of other nutrients from plants.
If you add avocado to your salad, you will make it easier for your body to absorb antioxidants from other vegetables you put in it.