Avocado is a tree native to Central America and Mexico, and classified in the flowering plant family, Lauraceae. The avocado fruit, more specifically the berry, also refers to the fatty fruit of the avocado tree, which is known as Persea americana in the scientific circles.
Avocado is rich in monounsaturated fats, which makes its texture creamy and smooth. Compared to most other fruits, avocado is much higher in fat.
Avocado can be said to have a unique nutrition profile if you take into consideration the fact that it contains a lot of fibre, vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin C and B-vitamins, potassium, and copper.
The consumption of avocado has been linked with numerous health benefits and one of them is the reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
Due to its potent nutritional profile, it is very satiating, thus helpful for weight loss.
Avocado can be eaten raw, but can also be prepared and used in dishes such as guacamole.
There are various types of avocado with different colours, shapes, and sizes.
On first glance, you may confuse it with pear because of its shape and the fact that it comes in many different tones of green, ranging from light green to black when fully ripe. The most popular type of avocado is Hass avocado, which is round in shape and black in colour.
Health Benefits of the avocado fruit.
1. It lowers cholesterol
Avocado makes the perfect, heart friendly snack. The fruit is rich in antioxidants and healthy fats that can lower the cholesterol levels in your body and keep your cardiovascular system in good working order.
2. Avocado improves digestion
Health benefits of avocado include a better digestion. Eating avocado can help you to absorb the nutrients that your body needs to function more effectively. They provide a general boost to your digestive system and can help prevent constipation too, making you more regular.
3. One of the best foods to eat while pregnant
Avocado is a wonderful food for pregnant ladies, as it’s loaded with folic acid, which is very important for forming baby’s nervous system, as well as brain; also, avocado contains vitamin C, K and B6, folate, potassium and fibre, so eat delicious avocados and get your vitamins the natural and healthy way.
4. Helps stop the development of some cancers
Health benefits of avocado also include cancer prevention. Research has found that avocados can help to prevent the growth of certain cancerous cells. The oleic acid found in the fruit has been found to help prevent the growth of breast cancer cells and it has been shown to be effective in preventing cancers of the mouth too.
5. Can be an aid in the treatment of diabetes
Avocados can be a good way to help regulate your blood sugar levels. The good fats in the fruit have been shown to reduce insulin resistance in your body and the soluble fibre that avocados contain help to regulate the blood sugar levels.
6. Reduce high blood pressure
Health benefits of avocado also include high blood pressure reduction. Avocados contain potassium and plenty of good fats, which can help people who suffer from high blood pressure. If you do suffer from hypertension, try drinking avocado juice, it has been proven to help. Keep in mind that freshly made avocado juice is a lot better, than one from a package!
7. Avocado protects your eyes
The carotenoid lutein found in avocado, which is essential to help protect you against age related macular degeneration and cataracts, is far higher in concentration in avocados, than in any other fruit.
8. Avocado – It’s a true super food!
Quite simply, avocado is full of nutrients, vitamins and various minerals that your body really needs. Health benefits of avocado are truly numerous and therefore, it deserves its reputation as a super food. It’s so good that it is often recommended as a baby food and, in areas of South America, where the fruit grows naturally, it is said that where there is avocado there is no famine!
By: Maryam Hadejia