The Avocado is a nutrient-dense superfood. It falls under the classification of stone fruit with a creamy texture. It grows in warm climates and is often featured in Mexican and South American Cuisine. Avocados are also known as ALLIGATOR PEARS, mainly due to its shape and leathery appearance of the skin. The thick skin protects the fruit from pesticides. This valuable Pears shaped fruit has a Green skinned outer covering and a soft and fleshy body from the inside with the hard brown seed in the centre. Avocados are a super fruit in the kingdom of all the fruits. It is grown on the evergreen tree Persea Americana from the Lauraceae family. It is harvested early and then allowed to ripen gradually when sold commercially. This is why Avocados are called climacteric fruits which only ripen after harvesting, just like Bananas. It is also referred to as Makhanphal or Kulu Nashpati this smooth and buttery fruit has a nutty flavour.
Avocado is extremely unique fruit brimming with essential Nutrients, Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants galore. Avocados are rich in Potassium, B – Vitamins, Vitamin C, A, D, K, E. The fruit contains primarily of healthy fat. A good source of monounsaturated fatty acid, with low sugar content and high in dietary fibre. Avocados are considered a superfood and have a special position in the food calorie pyramid.
SUPER HEALTH BENEFITS OF AVOCADO
Throwing the spotlight on this yellowish-green fruit, here are some of the essential and interesting benefits of consuming Avocados and making a part of our daily diet.
Avocados are soothing for the intestine and therefore aids indigestion. They contain soluble and insoluble fibres that ensure the smooth passage of food through the intestinal tract. Avocados also stimulate the digestive juices so that the nutrients are absorbed more efficiently and rapidly. The high fibre content reduces symptoms of constipation and diarrhoea, optimizing your digestive health.
OPTIMAL DENTAL CARE
Consumption of Avocados helps in preventing bad breath, caused majorly due to indigestion. Halitosis can be eliminated by improving the digestive health, and the antibacterial and antioxidant flavonoids found in Avocado also kill the bacteria in our mouth that results in bad breath. Avocados also prevent oral cancer.
PROMOTES HEALTHY EYES
Avocados keep our eyes healthy. Carotenoids found in Avocado help protect the eye against cataracts, eye diseases related to age and muscular degeneration.
ADVOCATES HEALTHY HEART
Beta-Sitosterol found in Avocado helps to maintain healthy Cholesterol Level. Intake of Avocado enhances Antiatherogenic properties of HDL Cholesterol which helps in protecting the heart. High level of Potassium in Avocados makes it a powerful fruit to fight Hypertension. Potassium is a Vasodilator which relaxes the tension in blood vessels and arteries thereby reducing the risk of clotting, heart attacks and strokes.
The Anti Inflamortary properties of Avocado are perhaps its most valuable attribute. Abundantly loaded with Phytochemicals, Flavonoids, Carotenoids, Phytosterols, Fatty Alcohols and Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Avocados are one of the best foods for reducing the inflammation in tissues, joints and muscles.
Avocados contain Carotenoids and Monounsaturated fat which both contribute to the significant reduction of Cancer. It contains Anti Oxidants that protect the cells from cancer and the dangerous effects of free radicals. The impressive Anti Oxidant and Anti Inflammatory compound in Avocado prevent and lower the risk of cancers like Breast Cancer, Oral, Skin and Prostate Cancers.
Avocados are fruits that provide nutritional value to the body and support weight control. Avocados reduce appetite and overpower the general calorie intake over the day. Being rich in Carbs and Fibre, they help in boosting weight loss in a friendly way.
VITALIZES SKIN AND HAIR
Avocados are packed with nutrients beneficial for maintaining healthy skin. It enriches skin i.e dry, chapped or damaged. Avocados are added to a variety of cosmetic products as it nourishes the skin with essential Vitamins and makes it glow. It is also nourishing for dry and damaged hair. Largely used to prepare skin and hair masks, Avocado is becoming popular by the day. Avocado oil helps in treating Plaque Psoriasis. Beta – Carotene and Lycopene found in Avocado improve the health of Skin and eliminates signs of premature ageing.
TREATS MORNING SICKNESS AND VITAMIN K DEFICIENCY
During pregnancy, morning sickness is a common problem. Being rich in Vitamin ‘B6’, Avocado helps to overcome Nausea and Vomiting. Insufficient intake of Vitamin ‘K’ during pregnancy leads to a bleeding disorder known as Vitamin ‘K’ deficiency-related bleeding (VKDB). Inclusion of Avocado in the diet of a pregnant woman helps in lowering the risk of VKDB in the newborn child since Avocados are one of the rare fruits that have high contents of Vitamin ‘K’.
PROMOTES OPTIMAL NUTRIENT ABSORPTION
Avocados are best eaten along with other fruits and vegetables. The nutrients present in fruits and vegetables get enhanced when eaten with avocados. The absorption of carotenoids antioxidant molecules which help to protect the body against free radical damage increases three to five times when a salad is eaten along with avocado. Therefore, adding a slice of avocado to any salad is a good way to make a healthy meal even better.
Avocados can sometimes cause migraine, a common type of headache. Nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light are common symptoms to migraine. Consumption of avocado should be avoided if any of these conditions are experienced.
HOW TO SELECT AND STORE AVOCADOS
Avocados are readily available in stores all over the world. Fresh, ripe avocados with no dark spots should be chosen. Do not refrigerate unless they are ripe. Unripe avocados should be stored in room temperature. If a portion of the fruit has been used, the remainder can be refrigerated for future use.
QUICK SERVING IDEAS OF AVOCADOS
One can get as culinary creative as possible with this super powerful superfood.
Prepare a healthy avocado salad with your choice of vegetables and fruits, a sprinkle of salt, pepper and a drizzle of your favourite olive oil and lime juice
Prepare a healthy soup bowl or just garnish any soup with chopped avocados for additional flavour and wholesome health benefits.
Ripe avocados can be consumed directly as a fruit, as a mid-meal snack.
DRESSING AND DIP
Avocados can be used as dressing for food preparation of your choice. Use instead of butter as a topping or make into the immensely popular Guacamole dip
Churn into a delicious smoothie and healthily satiate yourself.
Caloriesmart cares to include Avocado in a variety of its recipes, to enhance its meals with the goodness of this powerful fruit. Burrito Bowl, Mexican Wrap, Chickpeas Avocado Cheese Wrap, Mix Bean Avocado Salad and the ever-popular Guacamole Dip to name a few dishes which brings to you a serving of this nutrient-rich fruit. Check our weekly menus on www.caloriesmart.in to order your favourite choice of Avocado preparation and enjoy our healthy and delicious meals.
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