Benefits and properties of avocado

Benefits and properties of avocado

The avocado is a sign of identity for millennials, and that makes eating avocado on toast at breakfast or preparing tasty recipes with this fruit a healthy and delicious habit that has more followers every day.

Few people can resist the charms of the avocado, and most of those who do are still wondering if it is the latest gastronomic fad or if it really has superfood properties.

How to eat avocado

For our part, we can already tell you that its many properties, together with its high content of healthy fats and its versatility in combination with various superfoods in the kitchen, have made it a “must have” in the shopping basket. And it is precisely regarding its properties and benefits that we are going to speak about in this post.

Where do Avocados come from?

The avocado is a fruit that originates from Central America and in particular from the areas of Mexico, the Antilles and Guatemala. However, it is now grown in various areas with tropical or Mediterranean climates. Tasty and highly nutritious, it is extremely beneficial to health.

This delicacy is the fruit of the avocado tree (Persea americana) and belongs to the lauraceae family, which is made up of woody plants that grow in warm climates and includes aromatic plants such as camphor and cinnamon.

From the Spaniards, it was called the “Indian pear“, as it is pear-shaped, although its skin is hard and dark, and it contains a round seed of considerable size. Its pulp is creamy, with a flavour similar to that of hazelnuts, and is green or pale yellow in colour.

There are different varieties with different harvesting seasons, which means you can find avocados in both summer and winter.

Avocados are characterised by the fact that they ripen after harvesting and, technically speaking, they are a large berry species.

Today, you can find nationally produced avocados that are supported by important organic farming.

Properties of the Avocado

The extraordinary composition of the avocado makes it a unique foods that finds a place in more and more people’s pantries all over the world.

Along these lines, we can talk about avocados as a food that contains a wide variety of vitamins, up to a total of 20. At the same time, they are an invaluable source of healthy fats (specifically monounsaturated fats and Omega-3), which allow the body to absorb water-soluble vitamins (such as vitamins A, D and E) and a type of antioxidant known as carotenoids.

Avocados also stand out for their phytosterol content, which has anti-inflammatory properties, helping to maintain cholesterol levels and avoid the risk of heart disease.

If you’re thinking about why you should add avocados to your diet, here are 3 basic properties:

Properties avocado

Loaded with healthy fats

Do you hear the term “fat” and give it a negative connotation? Well, if so, let us tell you that not all fats are harmful to the body. In fact, monounsaturated fat, for example, has healthy properties.

And that’s where avocado comes in, as it’s the type of fat this fruit contains, just like other foods such as olive oil or certain nuts.

In fact, in avocados, most of the calories come from monounsaturated fat. And foods containing this type of fat reduce LDL cholesterol, which is harmful to the body.

On the other hand, monounsaturated fats can increase HDL cholesterol, commonly known as “good cholesterol”.

Avocado and its fibre content: used for weight loss

The richness of avocado fibre, both soluble and insoluble, is beyond dispute. For this reason, it is a totally exceptional food that has even been elevated to the category of superfood, since not much can boast its fibre content in both types.

So, to give you an idea, we can tell you that an average avocado contains around 75% insoluble fibre compared to 25% soluble fibre.

Insoluble fibre is excellent for cleaning the bowels through increasingly efficient bowel movements. With it, you can not only reduce your chances of getting constipated, but also those of getting colorectal cancer by cleansing the colon very efficiently.

But the catalogue of benefits of soluble fibre is not limited to those mentioned, as it is also a perfect type of fibre for controlling appetite. So, if you’ve set out to lose weight and need food with a satiating effect, avocado is one of those that can be positioned in your favour, as it will make you feel full. How? By becoming a kind of gel that finds a place in your stomach for a while, when it comes into contact with water.

Contains a large amount of vitamins

Its impressive richness in vitamins is a third health benefit of avocado that you should not overlook. Some of the vitamins you’ll find in an avocado are vitamins B and K, in combination with vitamin E.

While B vitamins and K vitamins help your body’s metabolism and maintain healthy skin tone, vitamin K ensures your bones grow properly, while your bone density is optimally maintained. Finally, vitamin E will help you avoid retinopathy-style conditions.

Avocado nutritional table
Avocado Nutritional Table

What are the benefits of avocado?

We have already given you enough arguments for you to consider avocado as a healthy food with an important presence in any fitness diet, either to lose weight or to gain muscle.

As a curious fact, we will tell you that avocado is a food with more potassium than a banana. Specifically, the figure is 180 mg higher. At the same time, whenever you eat an avocado, you enjoy the properties of a source of magnesium and calcium, two of the most important electrolytes in the body

This fruit also helps regulate muscle function and fluid balance. Electrolytes are often depleted during physical exercise and eating an avocado will be great as a prominent source of healthy fats, but also nutrients and electrolytes.

Apart from magnesium, potassium and calcium, avocado is rich in minerals and vitamins that help fight skin damage, cancer and heart disease. This is what makes avocado an ideal food for those looking for an energy boost, a healthy lifestyle and even a youthful appearance.

And remember, the more energy you have, the more you are motivated to train with energy and lose weight!

And we don’t want to end this section without telling you that avocado has between 3-4g of protein and 8-10g of fibre. So it’s a great weight loss supplement that also suppresses hunger and provides the body with quality ingredients.

In this simple way, we can answer the familiar question of whether avocado is fattening for many people. No, not only is it not fattening, it’s helping you lose weight.

Such considerations, along with the versatility of the avocado in the kitchen, hint at the suitability of incorporating avocados into any fitness diet.

Avocado diet

Learn how to prepare meals with this superfood

Although the avocado is actually a fruit, it is often used as a vegetable because of its mild flavour and varied textures.

You’ll fall for the charms of the avocado if you incorporate it into many of your dishes, as a simple condiment, as a base for making guacamole, and even for making chocolate from scratch.

Take note of some interesting uses of the avocado!

  • As an ingredient for making healthy smoothies that include other fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, apples or spinach.
  • Food: as a side dish, for example, with vegetables.
  • Ingredient: essential for making guacamole, for which you will have to mix chopped avocado, onions, tomatoes, coriander, lemon juice and other condiments.
  • Healthy: substitute for mayonnaise to make a sandwich, using ripe avocados that you spread on bread.
  • To make tasty salads, combining sliced avocado with fennel, orange and some fresh mint.
  • It can be used to accompany any typical Mexican recipe, adding pieces of avocado with the corn seasoning and serving them with a slice of lime.

Buying advice

We have already mentioned that you can buy avocados all year round. Choosing the proper fruit is key to enjoy all their properties.

Write down these tips to buy avocados!

  • Check the skin for any blemishes, stains, blackspots or signs of over-maturation.
  • It is known to be in its peak ripeness if it yields to pressure from the fingers. However, it is not advisable to touch the pieces to determine their degree of maturity, as they could deteriorate.
  • If when you shake it, you feel the stone moving inside, the fruit is ripe.

How to preserve avocado?

It is normal for places to offer avocados that are not completely ripe. Once you have them at home, you should let them ripen at room temperature for a period of time ranging from 1-3 days. You can also speed up the ripening process by wrapping the pieces in newspaper, in which you can also insert an apple or a banana.

Prevent the natural darkening that avocados experience when exposed to the air by adding a little lemon juice or vinegar and keeping it next to its stone.

Remember that the avocado, like many other tropical fruits, cannot withstand very low temperatures, so you should not refrigerate it below 4 degrees.

To prepare it, with the help of a sharp knife, cut the avocado lengthwise until it reaches the seed. Then, turn both halves against each other, as if you were opening a container. Remove the stone and extract the pulp with a spoon.

Avocado healthy

6 reasons to include avocados in your diet

From what has been said so far, we can deduce that avocados are one of the most valuable foods that nature provides us with.

We have already alluded to the fact that, contrary to popular belief, the avocado is not fattening, but can be a very useful weapon in a successful weight control programme. And to this we have to add that it has an impressive nutritional density, a high content of antioxidants, protein and fibre, and prevents strokes.

Regular consumption of avocado produces a number of benefits – here are the top 6!

1. It is a healthy vegetable butter

If you are a butter lover, perhaps you have noticed that the creaminess conferred by its richness in fat makes avocado an easily spreadable food. This is why it is a healthy vegetable butter, which works as an excellent alternative to industrial margarines.

The nutritional composition of this fruit makes it an almost essential food in diets such as ketogenic, high-fat vegetable diets.

2. Improves cardiovascular health

The heart is another great beneficiary of avocado consumption, not only because it lacks cholesterol, but also because it has the capacity to reduce it in case it is too high.

For this reason, experts believe eating avocado to be an ideal measure to prevent problems such as atherosclerosis or lack of flexibility of the arterial walls, or coronary diseases such as myocardial infarction or angina pectoris.

In this way, unsaturated fats in cholesterol reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol and increase HDL or “good” cholesterol.

3. It is good for your eyesight

Recent research stresses the richness of avocado in the carotenoid lutein, which has a protective effect on vision, reducing the risk of developing cataracts.

4. It is recommended for athletes and pregnant women

Any person practicing sport, whether you are a child, adolescent or an adult, finds in avocado a great ally. Thus, it provides very appropriate nutrients in cases of muscular overactivity (mainly with minerals such as potassium and magnesium) or energy depletion (its richness in lipids and carnitine, helps its use)

In case you are pregnant or wish to stay in shape, you can rely on avocado as an extraordinary source of folic acid and energy. Folic acid is a vitamin that helps prevent premature births, as well as defects in the spinal cord and brain formation.

As it contains vitamin A, it strengthens the eyes, bones and skin of the future baby.

Avocado athletes and pregnant women

5. It relaxes the nervous system

Its richness in fatty acids, magnesium and vitamins of the B group make avocado a formidable food regulator of the nervous system, so it is especially indicated in situations of physical or mental stress.

6. Acts as an anti-ageing agent

The avocado is a friend of the skin and as such, with its pulp, masks can be prepared that help prevent wrinkles and treat dermatitis and even burns.

If your skin is oily, try preparing a homemade mask with two or three spoonfuls of pulp and the juice of half a lemon. Massage gently over the face (in an upward direction), allow to dry and then clean with warm water or rose water.

The dark green oil is extracted from the avocado, which nourishes and softens the skin.

Main varieties

Although we are used to talking about “simply” avocados, the truth is that there are more than 500 varieties, the best known being the following:

  • Haas. The most widely marketed variety. Its size is small and oval, its skin dark and its flesh yellow. It is available all year round.
  • Medium size, it is available from late autumn to early spring.
  • Cocktail or date. Elongated and stoneless. It is grown in Spain and Israel.
  • Pinkerton. Medium or large in size, its skin is thin and shiny and its flesh is creamy. It is cultivated in Spain and Africa.
  • Elongated, with rough skin and small seed. It is a winter variety that is grown in Israel.

Now you know why it is so good to eat avocado. We recommend that you get your hands on a fruit that has come to stay. It has a lot to offer.

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About Melanie Ramos
Melanie Ramos
Melanie Ramos uses the HSN Blog to share the latest information and content, so that all those readers who want to learn.
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