Avocado is a health food originating from Mexico in South America. It is suitable for farming in warm climates. Therefore, there are many farmers farming them in huge quantities in countries with warm climates around the world. Nowadays, you can see many avocado farms in countries such as Mexico, Australia, Indonesia and Peru.
Features of an avocado
Avocados have the shape of a pear but has hard and bumpy skin. It is nicknamed as ‘alligator pear’ because of that. When you cut it in half, it will have a huge round seed in the middle. The flesh of the avocado has a buttery texture and is very smooth.
Since it is a health food, the avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acids. Avocados are naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.
In a single 100g serving it contains:
- Vitamin K: 26% of the daily value (DV)
- Folate: 20% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 10% of the DV
- Potassium: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin B5: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 13% of the DV
- It also contains small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin).
Benefits for health
1) Keeps the heart healthy
Avocados contain 25 milligrams per ounce of a natural plant sterol called beta-sitosterol. Constant consumption of beta-sitosterol and other plant sterols has been seen to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
2) Keep your eyes sharp for ‘eye-spy’
Avocados contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that are especially concentrated within the tissues within the eyes where they supply antioxidant protection to assist in minimizing damage, including from ultraviolet rays.
As the monounsaturated fatty acids in avocados also support the absorption of other beneficial fat-soluble antioxidants, like beta-carotene, adding avocados to your diet may help to scale back the chance of developing age-related devolution.
3) Strong bones
Half of an avocado provides approximately 25 per cent of the daily recommended intake of fat-soluble vitamin.
People normally overlook this nutrient, but it is extremely important for bone health.
Vitamin K is usually overshadowed by calcium and when thinking of nutrients important for maintaining healthy bones, however, eating a diet with adequate antihemorrhagic factor can support bone health by increasing calcium absorption and reducing urinary excretion of calcium.
Although avocados are extremely healthy and is a superfood, it is important to only eat them in moderation. This is because it contains lots of calories and can easily lead to being overweight when over consumed.
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