Continued from last week…
Avocado is a rather unique type of fruit. Most fruit consists primarily of carbohydrate, while avocado is high in healthy fats. Numerous studies show that it has powerful beneficial effects on health. Below are a few health benefits of avocado supported by scientific research.
AVOCADO IS INCREDIBLY NUTRITIOUS
What we refer to as “avocado” is the fruit of the avocado tree, called Persea Americana. This fruit is prized for its high nutrient value and is added to all sorts of dishes due to its good flavor and rich texture. These days, the avocado has become an incredibly popular food among health conscious individuals. It is often referred to as a ‘super food’ which is not surprising given its health properties.
There are many kinds of avocados and the shape (from pear-shaped to round) and colour (from green to black) can vary between them. They can also weigh anywhere from 220 grams to 3 pounds (1.4 kg). The most popular type is called Hass avocado. It is often called “alligator pear,” which is very descriptive because it tends to be shaped like a pear and have green, bumpy skin… like an alligator. The yellow-green flesh inside the fruit is eaten, but the skin and seed are discarded.
Avocados are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins K, C, B5, B6, E, A Folate, and Potassium. It also contains small amounts of Magnesium, Manganese, Copper, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin). This is coming with 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats. Although it contains 9 grams of carbs, 7 of those are fiber so there are only 2 “net” carbs, making this a low-carb friendly plant food. Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium, and are low in saturated fat and loaded with healthy fats, fiber and various important nutrients.
AVOCADO IS DIET FRIENDLY
Avocados are healthy, incredibly delicious and go well with all sorts of foods. You can add them to rice (fried, jollof and white), noodles, salads and various sorts of recipes or simply scoop them out with a spoon and eat them plain. The creamy, rich, fatty texture of avocado makes it easy to blend well with various other ingredients.
CONTAINS MORE POTASSIUM THAN BANANAS
Potassium is a nutrient that most people aren’t getting enough of as it helps maintain electrical gradients in the body’s cell and serves various important functions. Several studies has showed that having a high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
HEART-HEALTHY MONOUNSATURATED FATTY ACIDS
Avocado is a high fat food (not just any fat but majority of oleic acid) with 77% of the calories in it is from fat thereby making it one of the fattiest plant foods in existence. Oleic acid has been linked to reduce inflammation and been shown to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer. Avocado oil is a healthy and safe choice for cooking since the fats are resistant to heat-induced oxidation.
LOADED WITH FIBER
Fiber is an indigestible plant matter that can contribute to weight loss, reduce blood sugar spikes and strongly linked to lower risk of many diseases. A relatively large amount of fiber is found in avocado. It’s good to note that a distinction is often made between soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is known to be able to feed the friendly gut bacteria in the intestine which are very important for the optional function of our bodies. About 25% of fiber in avocado is soluble while 75% is insoluble.
NEXT WEEK: IMPRESSIVE BENEFITS OF AVOCADO (3)
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