Avocado is the fruit of the butterfly tree and was discovered in the tropics of Mexico and Central America, where it has been cultivated by the natives since ancient times since its fruit was a key component of their diet.
In recent years, avocado has been praised for its high nutritional value, while its rich taste has given it a firm place in every decent brunch.
It would not be an exaggeration to say that avocado is a special fruit. While most fruits are high in carbohydrates, avocados are high in good fats.
By reading the health benefits of avocado, you will surely be convinced to include it in your diet.
1. It is extremely nutritious
Eating 100 grams of avocado you get 160 calories, 2 grams of protein, and 15 grams of good fats. Although it contains 9 grams of carbohydrates, 7 of them are fiber, so it can be consumed as part of a diet low in carbohydrates.
It also contains 29 mg of magnesium, 10 mg of vitamin C, 2.1 mg of vitamin E, and 12 mg of calcium.
Avocados are particularly rich in potassium (485 mg per 100 grams), an electrolyte that plays an important role in the smooth regulation of heart rate, acid-base balance, muscle contraction, pressure regulation, and glycogen synthesis. In fact, it contains 40% more potassium than bananas, a food known for its potassium content.
2. Good for the heart
77% of the calories in avocados come from fat. In fact, it has a higher fat content than most animal products. The main fatty acid in avocados is the monounsaturated fat called oleic acid, which is also found in olive oil and has been linked to various health benefits, including protecting the heart. The American Heart Association recommends eating foods that contain monounsaturated fatty acids, as numerous studies have shown their cardioprotective action.
3. Lowers bad cholesterol
A diet rich in monounsaturated fats, such as those found in avocados, seems to lower “bad” (LDL) cholesterol, as well as increase “good” (HDL) cholesterol. At the same time, it has been found to lower blood triglycerides, thus enhancing heart health.
4. Protects eyesight
Rich in antioxidants, avocados contain the valuable carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are essential for eye health. These carotenoids have been linked to a reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, according to research published by the US National Institutes of Health.
5. Helps maintain a normal weight
Thanks to its high content of water, fiber, and good fats, avocados can easily bring the feeling of satiety and keep you full for longer. This way, you will not feel hungry between your meals and you will be less likely to look for a chocolate in your office vending machine. In any case, because this is a high-calorie food, limit yourself to half an avocado. Just because it is a healthy food does not mean that its uncontrolled consumption can not burden you with unnecessary calories.
How to enjoy it
At breakfast: Cut a few slices of avocado and spread them on a slice of wholemeal bread with an egg.
As a snack: Cut a ripe avocado in half and add a teaspoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of mustard.
In the salad: Cut half an avocado into cubes and add it to your salad. Remember that half an avocado in your salad is equivalent to one and a half tablespoons of olive oil, in terms of calories.
Make homemade guacamole.