The ideology of a ‘super food’ is an ever growing phrase in modern day health. Fruit and vegetables such as blueberries and broccoli have announced themselves onto the nutritional great list with their ability to support certain health issues. The little blue fruit supplies powerful antioxidants whilst its opposing vibrant vegetable aids weight loss. There is one food however that is rarely picked up at superstores and markets, yet it has the widest variety of health benefits and will even refrain you from snacking.
Firm, deep green with super thin skin. Soft, fleshy and slips away from the knife when naked. Crafted into two and ate with a spoon or delightful with eggs and a colourful garnish to salads. The avocado is one of the world’s healthiest fruits and offers a host of health boosting benefits from anti-ageing powers to weight deduction and eye health. Avocados, a member of the berry family, are native to the area stretching over the eastern and central highlands of Mexico from Guatemala to the Pacific coast of Central America. It is believed the fruit has been popular in Mexico for nearly 10,000 years with the Spanish Conquistadors the first Europeans to discover the fruit.
The Hass variety is the most popular commercially grown strain of avocado although there are a variety across the world offering differing tastes from creamy and buttery to light and fruity. Nicknamed the alligator pea for its dark green and bumpy skin avocados are a delicate, elegant and rich fruit with most importantly, extraordinary health benefits.
Avocados have been under close research as a cure for cancer. Studies show the fruit is a source of protection against oral, breast and prostate cancer. The unusual mix of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients in an avocado increase oxidative stress and shift the cancer cells over into a programmed cell cycle (apoptosis), reducing the cancer cell numbers.
Improving your eyesight. The persea americana fruit provides a form of lutein and zeaxanthin which help to relax the eye muscles. The lutein pigment, also found in plant leaves, filter blue wavelengths of light and act as antioxidants in the eye, helping protect and maintain healthy cells. If you are used to excessive reading or web browsing eating an avocado for lunch will keep your eyes feeling awake and healthy.
Improving heart and blood pressure. Avocados contains necessary nutrients such as minerals, vitamins and contain higher levels of potassium then a banana; all of which help prevent heart disease and lower blood pressure. A study published in the Archives of Medical Research found that after a week of following an avocado enriched diet, patients experienced a 22% decrease in bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels and an 11% increase in good cholesterol.
Weight deduction. Although avocaat, to the Dutch, is rich in fats it has a lot of fibre content and the high monosaturated fat percentage make your stomach feel full without actually producing any fat. This is a fantastic aspect when it comes to dieting as avocados can help counteract on snacking habits and make you feel fuller for longer. A recent study published by the Nutrition Journal concluded that participants who added half a fresh avocado to their lunch reported 40 per cent decreased desire to eat in the following three hours.
Youthful skin. The healthy monounsaturated fats are also essential for plump, youthful skin. The French named avocatier will help stimulate the production of anti-wrinkle collagen, which, combined with vitamin E, makes them the best food to eat for a healthy complexion. The natural oils in an avocado will soften and hydrate dry and flaky patches of skin, simply spread it across your body, leave on for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing.
Boosting brain power. High levels of Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin E have been clinically proven to stop Alzheimer’s disease from progressing and possibly reversing the very early stages. Palta, as it known to the Chileans, will increase your blood flow and there is significant link to higher blood flow and improving the brains function.
High in protein. Perfect for a vegetarian, vegan or raw food enthusiast, avocados are a great nutritional ally to include as a regular part of your diet. Where as protein sources such as steak are hard to brake down, avocados contain all 18 essential amino acids to help protein digestion and combined with the high fibre content they make an excellent and easily absorbed protein source.
Avocados are the perfect fruit to add to your daily diet. Whilst they may be high in calories the monosaturated and high fibre content will stop you stacking on the unhealthy snacks. Try avocados for breakfast with eggs or in a smoothie, lunchtime can see mayonnaise replaced with mashed avocado with tuna and eaten from the skin whilst at dinner try an avocado pasta sauce through the combination of lemon, garlic, basil, olive oil, parmesan and the super green fruit.
What recipe would you like to add avocados too?