Did you know the avocado is a fruit? Grown on a tree it is very nutritious and is considered a superfood. Its health properties are many, including 20 vitamins and minerals and lots of fiber. It’s potassium level rivals that of a banana.
There are various types and can vary in shape and color. From pear-shaped to round and from various shades of green to almost black. The variety called ‘Hass’ is the most popular. It is usually pear-shaped and is green with bumpy skin. The skin and the seed are discarded. The green flesh can be eaten raw, cut up and put on salads or mashed and mixed with herbs, spices and apple cider vinegar for a salad dressing. A popular way to eat it is to make fresh guacamole. Because an avocado starts to oxidize soon after cutting, it is best to eat it right away.
An avocado is loaded with healthy fats even though it is considered to be a high-fat food. But the large part of fat in an avocado is oleic acid, which is a monounsaturated fatty acid. This is the fat in olive oil, believed to have great health benefits. Avocados, or avocado oil can also increase the amount of antioxidants a person takes in when it is eaten with vegetables. Eaten together it helps the body absorb the nutrient value of the vegetables or other plant food. And avocados are high in antioxidants themselves. High antioxidant levels have been shown to be important for eye health.
The avocado also provides the body with 7 grams of fiber, of which about 25% is soluble. Soluble fiber feeds the friendly gut bacteria in a persons intestines. This is very important to keep all bodily functions working normally. It has also been shown that fiber can be beneficial for weight loss and metabolic health. Eating one avocado with a meal can make a person feel more satisfied with less cravings to eat more over the next few hours, thus cutting down on calories consumed.
There are many ways to use an avocado. They have a creamy, rich texture that is easily chopped up or mashed and added to a recipe. You can also scoop them out with a spoon and eat just plain. If not used soon after cutting they do tend to turn brown. Sprinkling with lemon juice can help to prevent this. An avocado should feel slightly soft when it is ripe.
Overall, the avocado is a great food that is delicious and healthy.