Avocado: The Healthy Fruit
The avocado may quiet possibly be the world’s healthiest fruit.
What makes this fruit unique is the fact that it is part of that rare category of fruit that are both high in protein as well as high in fiber.
However, the main reason why more Americans do not include this fruit in their daily diets is because it is high in fat.
Though this fruit does have a high fat content it is important to remember that the kind of fat it contains is mostly monounsaturated fat which has been shown to help lower blood cholesterol levels.
This, coupled with the fact that avocados are also a naturally cholesterol free and sodium free food that contain high levels of beta carotene, fiber, folic acid and Potassium, makes it easy to see why the American Heart Association has dubbed them a heart healthy food.
But if you are still concerned with the amount of fat present in this fruit consider the following perspective: The average avocado has less fat than lean beef per ounce, and a whole Haas avocado has less fat than 3 tablespoons of Italian salad dressing.
Avocados are also the ideal fruit for Diabetics since they are a low glycemic food that does not increase blood glucose levels.
Avocado Consumption & Lowered Metabolic Syndrome Risk
Metabolic Syndrome is a name given to a group of risk factors which, when they occur together, increase our risk for developing coronary artery disease, stroke and type 2 Diabetes.
According to a new study conducted by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) , a program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and published in the January 2013 issue of Nutrition Journal, those who consume avocados on a regular basis have a 50% lower odds ratio of developing metabolic syndrome compared to those who do not consume avocados.
“These findings suggest an interesting association between the consumption of avocados and better nutrient intakes and other positive outcomes,” said the main scientist behind this study, Dr. Victor Fulgoni, PhD. (source)
Uses of Avocado Oil
The flesh and oil of this amazing fruit contain high levels of vitamin E and vitamin A which play a vital role in the health and beauty of your skin and hair.
Today, avocado oil is widely used in beauty products including many anti-wrinkle and anti-aging treatments, hair conditioners, facial masks, bath oils and massage oils. This is due to the fact that avocado oil, an easily absorbed oil, is rich in essential nutrients and antioxidants that soothe and moisturize the skin.
When cooking or baking, you can use avocado oil in the same manner as olive oil or butter.
Did You Know? Fun Facts
- Avocados are in fact high protein fruit, not vegetables. They are a member of the berry family.
- The avocado is the only fruit that has monounsaturated fat.
- European sailors often used avocado paste in place of butter.
- The Aztec viewed this fruit as an aphrodisiac and used it as a sexual stimulant.
- At the start of the avocado harvest the Aztec would lock away their virgin daughters to protect them from sexually-aroused farmers.
- The avocado gets its name from the Latin American Nahuatl word “Ahuacatl” meaning testicle.
- The Aztec used an extract derived from the pit of this fruit as an antibiotic.
- Avocados are a better source of Potassium than bananas.
- This fruit contains Lutein, an important nutrient for healthy eyes, known to combat cataracts.
- California avocados contain higher amounts of Lutein, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, and Magnesium than Florida avocados.
- Florida avocados, on average, contain less calories and fat, than California avocados.
- Avocado oil has natural sunscreen properties.
- In the United States, this fruit first gained popularity as a salad ingredient in the early 1950’s.
- To get the most nutrients out of this fruit you must peel it just right. A study conducted in UCLA concluded that in California avocados the greatest concentration of antioxidants is found in the dark green flesh closest to the peel.
- Non-organic California avocados rank among the lowest of all non-organic fruits and vegetables for pesticide use.
- In the United States, the oldest living avocado tree was planted in 1879 and is located on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.
- The leaves, skin and pit of avocados are poisonous to dogs.
- The leaves of the avocado tree produce a compound that prevents avocados from ripening on the tree. Therefore, avocados can only ripen after they have been picked.
- When baking, you can use the flesh of this fruit in place of oil, butter or shortening.
- The nutritional profile of this fruit makes it the ideal first food for your baby.
photo courtesy of: chadmiller