Avocados and their health benefits

Avocados

Avocados are one of the most commercially valuable food items are is cultivated in tropical climatic regions all across the world. They have a green skinned and fleshy body. They can be found in various shapes like pear, egg or spherical. Although Avocados are mainly known for their creamy main ingredient of Guacamole, they contain high amounts of healthy monounsaturated fats. They are also a very good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Read our entire description of Avocados to know their nutrients, health benefits, side effects and obviously some collection of delicious Avocado recipes.

Product Description

Avocado is a versatile food product and is among the favorites of the produce section. Guacamole dips are somethings that make them the most familiar among all users. From Salads to wraps, from smoothies to brownies, you can find them virtually everywhere.

The typical texture, flavor and nutritional benefits make them one of the most wholesome naturally available food products.

Avocados are one of the most nutritive fruits. No wonder it is regarded as the most important contributions to the human diet by the new world. The pulp is extremely rich in proteins and fat, but is low in terms of carbohydrate contents. The fat of avocados is similar to olive oil in composition. Avocados also have a very high energy value (245 cal/100 g) besides being rich in a ton of vitamins and minerals. Please find a table containing all the nutritional benefits (source)

Avocado is mainly used fresh, in sandwich filling or in salads. It can also be used in ice creams and milk shakes and the pulp may be preserved by freezing. Due to its fat content avocados are widely used in the preparation of cosmetics as well.

There are a dozen varieties of avocados, the picture below (sourced from FoodRepublic) shows quite a few of them at the same table, literally :)

Different types of avocados

Different types of avocados

Some of the varieties include, Shepard, Choquette, Tonnage, Daily 11, Macarthur, Hall, Mexicola Grande, Anaheim and Hass Avocados.

One of the very interesting facts about Avocados is the fact that although they grow and mature on a tree, they do not ripe on the tree. They ripe once they are plucked off the tree. They can be on a tree for 18 months (one and a half years!) and yet do not ripe or get spoiled or fall off the tree. So in a manner you can say that their tree are their natural ways of preserving avocados for a long time :)

Avocado Plant

Avocado Plant

 

There are many more amazing facts about Avocados, read out the entire article and our tabs on Nutrition, Health Benefits and obviously mouth watering recipes.

 

In case you need more information on Avocado, you can try these links as well:

1) How to Store Avocados

2) How to Store and Ripen Avocados

3) Avocados – Nutrition and You

4) Avocados Nutrition Facts

5) Health Benefits of Avocados

6) Side Effects of Avocados

 

 

Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. They have a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical. Commercially, they ripen after harvesting. Trees are partially self-pollinating and often are propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit.

Avocados can be fairly delicate and do not last long, especially when cut, but proper storage will ensure the highest quality of fruit for the longest period of time possible.

 

Storage: Place the avocado in a brown paper bag, if desired. You can skip the paper bag, but placing an unripe avocado in a paper bag will speed up the ripening process. This traps the ethylene gas they produce and helps them to ripen. A firm avocado placed in a paper bag will ripen at room temperature in about three to six days. As the fruit ripens, the skin color will darken.Without the paper bag, an avocado can take up to 7 days to ripen.

 

Cleaning & Cutting: Wash the outside of the avocados thoroughly by holding them under running water or in your selected produce wash. Cut and peel the avocados.

Access a host of ways to ripen, check and eat ripen Avocados at Pinterest

How to Ripen Avocados - Pinterest

How to Ripen Avocados – Pinterest

 

How to Buy: Place an avocado in the palm of your hand. Apply gentle pressure to the avocado with the pads of your fingers. Determine if the avocado yields slightly to the light pressure you apply.

 

Special Steps: Avocados do not ripen on the tree, they ripen or “soften” after they have been harvested. To speed up the avocado ripening process we recommend placing unripe avocados in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana for two to three days until they are ripe.

 

TIP: To buy a good avocado, it is important to know about certain features and characteristics of each variety, such as signs of ripeness or taste.

How to tell if your Avocado is ripe

How to tell if your Avocado is ripe

Avocados, like olives, are high in mono-unsaturated fats and calories. However, they are very rich in dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals and packed with numerous health benefiting plant nutrients.

 

Mineral Content: Avocados are excellent sources of minerals like iron, copper, magnesium, and manganese and potassium.

 

Vitamin & Compounds:  They are good in many health-benefiting vitamins. Vitamin A, E, K and Vitamin B5 are especially concentrated in its creamy pulp. Its flesh contains health promoting flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as cryptoxanthin, lutein, zea-xanthin, beta and alpha carotenes in small amounts.

 

Water Content: Avocados is 80 percent water by weight.

 

Carbohydrate Content: Avocados provide 160 calories per 100 g

Nutrients in Avocados

Nutrients in Avocados

Their creamy pulp is a very good source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic and palmitoleic acids as well as omega-6 poly-unsaturated fatty acid linoleic acid. Research studies suggest Mediterranean diet that is rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids help lower LDL or bad cholesterol and increase HDL or good-cholesterol, and thereby, prevent coronary artery disease as well as strokes by favoring healthy blood lipid profile.

 

Health Benefits of Avocados

Health Benefits of Avocados

 

Heart: Avocados are high in mono- and polyunsaturated fats, which may help reduce blood cholesterol levels and decrease risk for heart disease.

 

Anti-inflammatory agent: Avocados have great anti-inflammatory properties. Avocados have phytosterols, carotenoid antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids and polyhydroxolated fatty alcohols as being able to “help both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.”

 

Lowering cholesterol: Avocados may help not only lower bad cholesterol, they may also increase levels of good cholesterol. Avocados also improved cholesterol for people who already had good lipid levels.

 

Regulating blood sugar: Avocados high levels of monounsaturated fats can help stop insulin resistance, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels.

 

Regulating blood pressure: Avocados’ high levels of potassium can help keep blood pressure under control.

 

Vision: Avocados are an excellent source of the carotenoid lutein, which reduces the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

 

Immune system: Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant associated with immune system health.

 

Pregnancy and preventing birth defects: Avocados are a great choice for moms-to-be. Avocados contain a significant amount of folic acid, which is essential to preventing birth defects like spina bifida and neural tube defects.

 

Cancer: Avocados have been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers, including cancers of the mouth, skin and prostate.

 

Digestion: The fiber in avocados helps keep digestion on track, encouraging regular bowel movements, healthy intestines and a healthy weight.

 

Skin: The vitamin C and vitamin E in avocados help keep skin nourished and glowing.

 

Reduce strokes risk: The high levels of folate in avocados may also protect against stroke.

 

Fight free radicals: Avocados contain glutathione, a powerful antioxidants that helps fight free radicals in the body.

 

Anti-aging properties: Being rich in antioxidants, avocado is beneficial in preventing aging symptoms.

 

Cure bad breath: Avocados are one of the best natural mouth wash and bad breath remedies. It is cleanses intestine which is the real cause of coated tongue and bad breath.

 

Increase nutrient absorption: Avocado intake is linked with an increased nutrient absorption.

 

They Contain More Potassium Than Bananas: Potassium is a nutrient that most people aren’t getting enough of. This nutrient helps maintain electrical gradients in the body’s cells and serves various important functions.

Weight Gain: Consuming too many avocados may lead to weight gain because of the fat content, even though it is an unsaturated fat.

 

Latex allergy: People who are sensitive to latex can have an allergic reaction to avocado.

 

Avoid During Pregnancy And Breast Feeding: It is not advisable to eat avocado during pregnancy and breast feeding. It may reduce milk production. It can also cause damage to the mammary gland. If the breast feeding mother consumes avocado in large amount, the baby will have an upset stomach.

 

No Avocado In Hypersensitivity: People suffering from hypersensitivity should avoid eating avocado. It may cause skin reaction or vomiting.

 

Avocado Causes Allergy: Avocado effects on skin are adverse leading to terrible skin issues with allergies being the major effect. Symptoms of allergy are hives, itching, redness in skin or eczema.

 

Adverse Effects Of Avocado: Many people who consumed avocado suffered from adverse effects like flu, paralysis, nausea, gastrointestinal disorder, vomiting, migraine, fever, drowsiness, and asthma.

 

Liver Damage: There are certain types of avocado oil which may cause damage to your liver.

 

Drugs: Avocado in large amounts may decrease the effect of anti inflammatory medication. Hence, its excess consumption leads to blood thinning.

 

Cause Mouth Allergy: If avocado is consumed in adequate amounts then it may cause mouth allergy like itching sensation in the mouth and swelling tongue.

 

Gastrointestinal Irritation: If you consume avocado in large amount, then you will have an upset stomach. It sometimes also causes gastrointestinal irritation.

Here are some simple, yet delicious recipes of Avocados.

1) Avocado Fries: Crunchy on the outside, creamy and nutty inside, these avocado fries are totally over the top.

Read More>>

Avocado Fries Recipe

Avocado Fries Recipe

2) ALT (Avocado, Lettuce, and Tomato) Sandwiches: A healthier version of the BLT, this sandwich is nutrient-rich. Avocados are fattening, but they provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

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ALT (Avocado, Lettuce, and Tomato) Sandwiches

ALT (Avocado, Lettuce, and Tomato) Sandwiches

 

3) Grilled Chicken Salad With Avocado and Mango: Who says salads have to be boring? Dress up leafy greens, which are rich in folate and vitamin C, with protein-packed grilled chicken, antioxidant-rich mango and avocados, which are a great source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.

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Grilled Chicken Salad With Avocado and Mango

Grilled Chicken Salad With Avocado and Mango

 

4) Cool SouthWestern Salad With Corn and Avocado

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Cool Southwestern Salad With Corn and Avocado

Cool Southwestern Salad With Corn and Avocado

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