Fondly referred to as the butter fruit or alligator pear, Avocado is the only known fruit to provide a substantial quantity of healthy MUFA (Monounsaturated Fatty Acids). They are creamy in texture and are generally grown in warmer regions. Being jam-packed with more than 20 nutrients and minerals, Avocado has numerous advantages.
A diet rich in vegetables and fruits has been long known to suppress the risks of health conditions stemming from poor lifestyle. Over the years, several studies have revealed that when a predominantly fruit or plant-based diet is followed to the T, the overall mortality rate improves and along with that several other health-related problems also get sorted out.
Do you want to know how this wonder fruit can help you? Read on and find out how you can include this fruit in your diet and reap its benefits.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF AVOCADO
1. Nutrient-Packed: Based on the studies by USDA National Nutrient Database, about 40 g of this buttery fruit contains the following amount of nutrients.
– About 6 g of healthy fat
– Around 3.4 g of carbohydrates
– Close to 3 g of fiber
Apart from having a sufficient quantity of healthy fats, carbs and fiber, Avocados also include the following vitamins and minerals.
– Vitamin C
– Vitamin E
– Vitamin K
– Vitamin B-6
– Pantothenic Acid
– Omega-3 Fatty Acids
You would be astonished to know that most of the nutrients come from the excessive fat content of this fruit. But, this fat is extremely healthy! It has been proven that eating healthy fats keeps the body satiated and substantially slows down the breakdown of carbs. This eventually stabilizes the blood sugar levels.
Consumption of healthy fat is very essential at a cellular level. It includes benefits such as healthy glowing skin, better absorption of vitamins and minerals and an immune system boost.
2. Heart Friendly: One ounce of avocado contains about 25 milligrams of beta-sitosterol. The consumption of this plant-based sterol has been observed to improve and maintain a healthy level of cholesterol. This goes a long way in optimizing good health of the heart.
3. Vision Perfect: Phytochemicals such as Zeaxanthin and Lutein are concentrated amidst the tissues of our eye. Their presence is very essential as they provide antioxidant protection which ultimately minimizes the effect of ultraviolet light falling on our eyes. By consuming avocados, you will get an abundant supply of these phytochemicals and this would keep your eyes safe from any kind of damage.
Macular degeneration is an age-related eye condition which several people suffer from. Avocados are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids and these fats are excellent absorbers of antioxidants which are fat soluble like beta-carotene. This particular antioxidant is an ideal way to combat the risk of developing this age related eye-condition.
4. Healthy Bones: A full avocado provides about 50 percent of the total amount of Vitamin K recommended on a daily basis. The importance of this vitamin to maintain healthy bones is generally overlooked.
Whenever we think of bone health, Vitamin D and Calcium pops up in our head. This overshadows the importance of Vitamin K to maintain healthy bones. Vitamin K, in fact, speeds up the absorption and suppresses the excretion of Calcium. This, in turn, improves your bone health to the maximum.
5. Reduces the Risk of Cancer: An adequate intake of folate-rich foods has shown to deter the risk of stomach, colon, cervical and pancreatic cancer. This is because folate offers a significant amount of resistance against undesirable DNA and RNA mutations during the process of cell division.
Some amount of research has shown that avocados could play a significant role in curing cancer as well. Avocado’s phytochemicals reduce the growth and multiplication of cancerous cells which ultimately causes the cancer cell to die. Along with this, it also is shown to improve the proliferation of lymphocytes which are the immune system cells.
As we all know, chemotherapy has many harmful side effects some of which are irreversible. The phytochemicals in avocado substantially decrease the chromosomal damage which is caused due to the chemicals in chemotherapy like cyclophosphamide.
6. Healthy Babies: Pregnancy is a very crucial time period and an adequate quantity of folate is always recommended to every pregnant woman to avoid the chances of neural tube defects and miscarriage. Since avocado is rich in folate, it is essential for both males and females to consume this fruit for an enhanced level of fertility.
7. No or Low Depression: Folate is an extremely essential substance which benefits our health in an endless number of ways. Consumption of good quantity of folate also helps in tackling depression. If you consume fruits and vegetables rich in folate on a daily basis, your chances of being depressed also come down drastically. Avocado is the only fruit which has such high levels of folate in it.
Homocysteine is a highly detrimental substance which can significantly impair delivery and circulation of important nutrients to the brain. This substance also restricts the production of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, the substances which regulate sleep, mood and appetite. This is the major cause of depression and anxiety in many people and can be combated well with the regular use of avocado.
8. Improvement in Digestion: Despite being extremely creamy in texture, this fruit is high on fiber content. There is about 14 g of fiber in one single avocado. Natural fiber regulates the digestion of the body, prevents constipation, lowers the risk factors causing colon cancer and maintains a healthy digestive tract.
9. Detoxifies the Body: Regular bowel movements ensure that the toxins in our body are efficiently getting eliminated from our body. Adequate fiber intake promotes the regularization of bowel movements. Since avocado is rich in fiber content, it plays a major role in detoxifying the body by regular elimination of toxins. Along with this, the natural fibers in avocado also regulate the immune system and suppress inflammation.
10. Treats Osteoporosis: Plant-based foods like avocado and soy contain high levels of saponins. These substances are majorly associated with providing relief from the symptoms which are unique to the knee osteoarthritis condition.
11. Antimicrobial Action: Escherichia Coli, a major cause of food poisoning can be prevented and inhibited by the consumption of avocado. This is because avocado has several substances which have an effective amount of antimicrobial activity.
12. Promotes Weight Loss: Since avocado contains monounsaturated fats, you will feel full for a longer period of time. This would ultimately aid in losing and maintaining weight. Avocado is also a rich source of fiber which ensures that the regularization of bowel movement in your body. This, in turn, increases the metabolism of your system which goes a long way in assisting you in your goal to reach the ideal body weight.
Quick & Healthy Recipes Using Avocado
There are absolutely no culinary boundaries to this wonder fruit. While most of you may be accustomed to spreading this creamy fruit on your toast or having it tossed into the healthy salads, there are several other quick recipes which enhances the flavor of this fruit to the maximum. Avocado is one of the most versatile fruits which go very well with absolutely anything and everything including salads, soups, desserts, dips, smoothies and so much more. It can be used as an additional ingredient or can be even had on its own with a bit of seasoning sprinkled at the top.
Some of the most loved recipes are given as follows.
1. Avocado, Potato and Beet Salad
1 pound chopped beets
1 pound halved potatoes
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, crushed
¼ cup of olive oil
5 ounces of greens
½ cup halved cornichons
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Toss potatoes and beets in a preheated oven and season it with crushed fennel seeds, oil and salt. Roast for about 30 minutes until the veggies become tender and let it cool after that. Mix all the ingredients along with salt and black pepper in a large bowl. Serve this salad with brie and bread on the side.
2. Rice Bowl with Avocado and Tofu
1 cup of brown rice
14 ounces diced tofu
14 ounce boiled pinto beans
1 sliced avocado
¼ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons soybean paste/white miso
Kosher salt as per taste
Finely chopped scallions and red chillies for dressing
Cook the rice as per the instructions given on its package. While the rice is cooking, heat canola oil in a frying pan. Toss in tofu, add a bit of kosher salt and saute till the surface becomes golden brown. Blend miso, soy sauce and vinegar in a small bowl and add canola oil into it. Blend this mixture along with tofu and spread it over cooked rice and add scallions and red chillies for dressing.
3. Salmon with Avocado and Green Beans
4 pieces of 6 ounce salmon which has been skinned and is boneless
2 chopped avocados
1 pound chopped green beans
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
1 tablespoon chopped dill
Place the sheet in the broiler and turn on the heat. Toss in the beans and sprinkle some kosher salt and black pepper on it. Nestle the fish over the beans and sprinkle coriander over it along with kosher salt and black pepper. Boil for about 8 minutes till the beans become tender and crisp and till the fish skillet turns transparent. While this is boiling, take avocado, dill, vinegar and oil in a bowl and mix it by adding the required quantity of salt. Spread this over the cooked fish along with the beans to serve.
4. Avocado Burgers
1 mashed avocado
¼ pounds ground beef
2 tablespoons of chopped basil leaves
4 slices of mozzarella
1 sliced tomato
Kosher salt and Black pepper
4 numbers of potato buns
Clean and heat the grill and while it is heating, blend the other ingredients. Take avocado and basil and mix it with salt and pepper in a bowl. Season the beef with some salt and pepper in another bowl. Make 4 patties with this ground beef mixture with a shallow well in the centre. Grill these patties until cooked to medium rare. Top with cheese and wait for it to melt and then place the beef patties between the buns along with the avocado blend.
5. Avocado Nachos with Shrimps
3 ounces of tortilla chips
3 ounces grated cheddar
¼ sliced red onion
1 tablespoon of canola oil
6 ounces of peeled shrimp
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 chopped avocado
1 chopped radish
Chopped cilantro and sour cream
Turn on the heat of the oven to 450 degrees and make the other arrangements while it heats up. Take a baking sheet and spread a sheet of foil over it. On a pan, lay out the tortilla chips and place onion and cheddar cheese over this. Bake this pan till the cheese melts, this would take about 5 minutes. Take oil in a large skillet and put it on high heat. Toss the shrimps along with cayenne pepper and salt on this skillet for about 3 minutes. Take the nachos on a serving plate and put the shrimp mixture and avocados along with cilantro and sour cream over the nachos.
Avocado is a fruit which has an endless list of benefits. The best part about this fruit is that it tastes heavenly by itself and when added as a separate ingredient to several delicacies it enhances their taste as well. With high fat and fiber content, this fruit is one of the healthiest things you can bite on to. It has a high nutritive profile which has made it gain fame and popularity in almost every part of the world. Throw it in any salad, blend it up with any smoothie, have it as a dip or just simply pop it in your mouth! No matter how you consume this fruit, it never ceases to entice the taste buds.