I think you will all agree with me that avocados are amazing, when you read all these facts about them! They are my favourite edible plant and not only do they taste superb, but I have recently discovered they are also reputedly a superfood. So it is great to know that a food I love is doing me so much good, read on:
Nutritional Information Avocados are health-food powerhouses because they provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, including fibre, potassium, magnesium, Vitamin K, which plays an essential role in blood-clotting, Vitamin C, lutein (a carotenoid which helps keep the skin and eyes healthy), Vitamin B6, and Vitamin E. They also act as a "nutrient booster" by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein, in foods that are eaten with the fruit.
The health benefits for humans, therefore, are considerable: these fruits are anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, they appear to have anti-carcinogenic properties, they help to decrease cholesterol, they help regulate blood pressure, they are good for the eyes, they are good for the heart, and contain folates (B vitamins). Additionally, and quite surprisingly, avocados provide all 18 essential amino acids that the body needs to form a complete protein. In contrast to the protein in steak, for example, which is hard for most people to digest, avocado protein is easily absorbed by the body because avocados also contain fibre. One reason why this is the perfect food for vegans!
Additionally, although they are "fatty" (which makes them satisfying) the fat is the good kind, mono-unsaturated fat, which helps your arteries, etc. Avocado is the dieter's friend, as the good fats in them help to break down excess fat in the body, according to research.
Female Fertility Avocados have also traditionally been considered “fertility fruits” since ancient times. One reason for this is that they have a high vitamin E content. Today’s research shows that when women eat one avocado per week it balances their hormones, sheds excess postnatal weight and helps to prevent cervical cancers. A recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health showed that avocados and olive oil could help women trying to conceive through IVF – they could triple their chances of conception (due to the mono-unsaturated fat in these foodstuffs). Women hoping to conceive have been advised to eat an avocado every day.
Other Facts There are more than 80 varieties of avocados (see the picture) . The most common is the year-round Hass avocado, whose original mother tree still stands in California. They are also known as alligator pears, because of the shape, green skin, and rough texture of the Hass variety. (The Florida avocado has a shiny, smooth surface.) The Hass type is the one we most commonly get here in Britain, so it is the one I usually eat.
Due to their abundance of healthy, mono-unsaturated fats, avocados have a wonderful creamy taste and texture, and they can be used in place of traditional fat in baking . In fact, in the past European sailors en route to the New World used avocados as a substitute for butter.
Top Tip: To reduce oxidation (browning) of an already-sliced avocado, sprinkle lemon juice on the exposed flesh and then refrigerate in a plastic bag.
I hope you enjoyed this blog! Your votes and comments are always appreciated.
Photo courtesy of www.avocados.synastite.com