Avocado is also known as the alligator pear which is due to its unique shape and the leather like appearance of its skin. It is derived from the Aztec word “Ahuacatl”. The fruit grows on the Persea Americana which is a tall and evergreen tree that can grow up to 65 feet in height as well. The fruit often weighs from eight ounces to three pounds which depends upon its variety. This fruit is known to have several benefits for the human health as are discussed below.
Benefits As A Fruit
It is proposed that avocado be added to any salad not only to add on its unique taste but for the wide range of benefits that it offers.
- It is known to help in the absorption of two kinds of carotenoid antioxidants called beta carotene and lycopene. These antioxidants are absorbed well when one adds on fresh avocado or avocado oil to a salad.
- If one cup of fresh avocado weighing about 15 grams is added to a salad containing spinach, carrots and lettuce, the absorption of the carotenoids from such a salad is increased by 200 to 400 percent
- As such antioxidants are fat soluble, the oil of avocado that is added to the salad acts as the medium which aids in the absorption of these antioxidants.
- If avocado oil or the fresh fruit slices are added to salsa, here too the carotenoid absorption rate is increased. There are great recipes to try out in order to gain the health benefits of avocado added to such simple recipes.
One needs to know how to peel the fruit right in order to enjoy its benefits optimally. Research has shown that the carotenoids are located in the dark green portion of the fruit that is just beneath the skin. Thus, this portion should not be peeled more than necessary when peeling an avocado. It is best to use the “nick and peel” method using the hands in order to get the fruit right. The first step has to be towards cutting the avocado lengthwise so that the two halves remain connected in the middle by the seed. Once the seed is separated, one should strip off the outer skin of the fruit just like one does for a banana. That leaves one to consume most of the dark green outer flesh which is rich in carotenoid antioxidants.
A Source Of Healthy Fat
The avocado fruit contains a list of carotenoids which include beta carotene, lutein and alpha carotene but as a vegetable it is often considered as bad for weight watchers who consider it too high in fat and oil content. However the fat that is contained in the fruit is unusual and there are many health benefits associated with it.
- There are phytosterols which account for a major portion of the fats in the avocado fruit. This fat is known to contain campesterol, stigmasterol which are key supporters of the inflammatory system. These compounds help to keep our inflammatory system healthy.
- These anti inflammatory benefits of avocado fats are beneficial for those who suffer from arthritis. The polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols or PFAs which are found in avocado are not usually found in land based plants but only in ocean based pants for which this fruit is considered as unique and highly valued.
- Oleic acid that is found in high amount in avocado and as a fatty acid by nature offers similar benefits like olive oil. It helps the digestive tract to transport the fat soluble minerals like the carotenoids as well as helps to lower the risk of contracting heart diseases.
For Healthy, Heart, Brain And Eyes
The fruit is known to be rich in omega-3 fatty acids and that is a secret towards achieving a healthy heart, sharp eyesight as well as a sharp brain. It is considered as one of the top brain healthy foods for those who wish to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The other benefits that one can derive from the fruit are rich content of vitamin E to neutralize free radicals and the buildup of protein to reverse the memory loss process. The folate content being high in the fruit, it can help to prevent the tangled nerve fibers from forming which is again associated with Alzheimer.
Wondering whether you should add avocado to your salad? You might wonder why you did not add this wonder fruit to your diet earlier on. Indeed, the benefits of avocado are now being discovered and people are rushing to avail of its numerous health benefits in search for a healthy and long life.
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