Avocado (Persea Americana) is a bright fruit with a large pit and dark leather skin. Avocado is also known as alligator pear due to it shape and leathery appearance of its skin. Avocado fruit is prized for it high nutrient value and is added to different dishes as a result of its good flavor and rich twxture. Avocados are excellent food packed with nutrients many of which cannot be found in modern diet. There are several types of avocado that are different in shapes and colours – from pear shaped to round and green black. The yellow green flesh inside the fruit is eaten while the skin and the seed are thrown away. Avocados are low in saturated fat, zero cholesterol and contain no sodium. Avocados contains minerals such as: potassium, manganese, iron, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, copper. It is packed with vitamins: A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, K, D, thiamine, riboflavin and rich dietary fibre.
Avocado Health Benefits
(1) Eye Health:
Avocado contains carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin as well as vitamin C that protect the tissues in your eyes from ultra violet damage and prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. These conditions are caused by free radicals which deposit in the eyes tissues. The antioxidants activity of carotenoids of in avocados neutralize the effects of those dangerous free radicals.
(2) Regulate Appetite:
Avocados higher is higher in calories when compared to other fruits and vegetables. The fat and fibre content of avocados leads to feelings of satiety that help regulate appetite.
(3) Prevent Bad Breath / Mouth Odor:
Consumption of avocados help to prevent bad breath that is caused by indigestion or stomach upset. The antioxidant flavonoids in avocados kill the bacteria that causes bad breath in your mouth.
(4) Rich in Potassium:
The high levels of potassium make avocado powerful in the fight against hypertension. According to research published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, potassium rich diet can reduce pathogenic vascular calcification which is hardening of arteries. Dr. Paul Sanders from the University of Alabama at Birmingham lead the research that concluded that consumption of potassium rich foods such as avocados and bananas reduce tension in the blood vessels and arteries regulating blood pressure. This in turn reduces the chances of clotting, heart attacks and stroke.
(5) Important For Athletes:
Avocados is very good for athletes because it contains important nutrients required by athletes to maintain required energy levels and good health. They’re rich in phytochemicals that are natural source of fuel for the body.
(6) Arthritis and Osteoporosis:
Studies on avocados oil extracts show they can reduce osteoarthritis symptoms. The vitamin K in avocados boost your bone health by slowing bone loss or bone degeneration thereby preventing osteoporosis.
(7) Liver Health:
Avocados are packed with particular organic compounds which help in maintaining and improving liver health. Liver damage is majorly caused by hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Findings of a recent research suggest that avocados plays greater role in tonning up and protecting your liver from several health conditions.
(8) Anti-Cancer Properties:
Folate in avocados may lower your risk of certain cancers such as: colon cancer, breast cancer and prostrate cancer. Avocados contain carotenoids and monosaturated fat both of which contribute to great reduction in cancers. Avocados contains glutathione – an antioxidant that protect the cells from cancer and hazardous effects of free radicals. The list of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds in avocado is great and it’s not easy to know the exact one that have much impact. Research reveals that instead of metasizing, organic compounds cause cancerous cells to undergo apoptosis (automatic cell death).
(9) Rich in Fibre:
Avocado is rich in fibre that have positive benefit for metabolic health and weight loss.
(10) Healthy Digestion:
Avocados are rich in soluble fibre that help to move waste through the body and prevent constipation.
(11) Enhances Cognitive Function:
Avocados assist in the improvement of cognitive function in older people by increasing the lutein content in their body. Lutein carotenoid found in fruits and vegetables that have powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. A research conducted in 2017 by Tufts University revealed that eating a fresh avocado a day showed increased lutein levels in the brain and eyes of older people. It improves their memory and problem solving skills.
(12) Blood Pressure:
Avocados are rich in potassium, magnesium and calcium that help to level out your blood pressure by lowering sodium levels in your blood and easing tension in blood vessels walls.
(13) Kidney Health:
Diet plays vital role in the maintainance of balance of minerals and fluids in people who are suffering from chronic kidney disease. Avocados are good source of potassium. Inclusion of avocados in your diet may provide other benefits also. Besides, it is important to ensure your potassium levels are not too high because it can have negative effects on your heart. Potassium is very important in maintaining fluid balance through chemical channels for cells and organs. This balance of fluid is very important for the proper functioning of the kidney that assist in the movement of fluid and toxins through the body.
(14) Blood Sugar Levels:
Fibres in avocados assist in the slowing down the break down of food into useable sugar. By so doing the body absorbed it in a balanced way. However, majority of carbohydrates in avocados consist of 7 – carbon sugars a rarely type of sugar that actually hinder the enzyme hexokinase. This enable avocado to regulate how glucose is metabolized by the body hence protecting the overall health of diabetics patients.
(15) Nutrients Absorption:
Avocados help your body to better absorb fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamin A, D, E, and K. Adding avocados to a sliced mixed salad is a good way to make a healthy meal even better.
(16) Skin Health:
Avocado is rich in minerals and vitamins that help in maintaining healthy skin. Carotenoids in avocados are associated with reducing ultra violet induced inflammation on the skin as a result of exposure to the sun. Pure avocado oil protect the skin against sunburn damage.
Research shows a link between depression and low levels of folate. Folate help to block the build up of a substance called homocysteine in your blood. Homocysteine ease the flow of nutrients to the brain and ramps up depression. The high levels of folate in avocados may keep symptoms of depression in check.
Finally, whether sliced on toast, mashed up as a dip, cubed into a salad 🥗 or eaten straight from the tree, avocados are packed with healthy fats, dietary fiber and other goodies your body needs. Avocado store at room temperature takes 4 to 5 days to ripen. To speed up the ripening process put them in paper bag together with apple or banana. When the outer skin is black or dark purple and yield to gentle pressure they’re ready to eat eat or refrigerate. Wash them before cutting so dirt and bacteria won’t be transferred from the knife to the pulp.
Consumption of too much of avocados can result in the following side effects: nausea, migraine, vomiting and sensitivity to light. Care must be taken and avocado consumption should be avoided if you experienced the mentioned symptoms. If you experienced latex allergy talk to your doctor before adding avocado in your diet. People with serious allergy to latex may have symptoms after eating avocado. You might have heard of latex food syndrome or latex fruit allergy. Your symptoms could be mild or they could be severe. They can also get worse each time you eat an avocado.
This write-up is not meant to be a substitute to where the service of dietician or medical professional is urgently needed.