The ideology of a ‘super food’ may be an ever growing phrase in modern day health. Fruit and vegetables such as blueberries and broccoli have announced themselves onto the nutritional list with their ability to support certain health conditions. The blue fruit supplies powerful antioxidants whilst its opposing vibrant vegetable aids weight reduction. There is one food however which may rarely be picked up at superstores and markets, yet, it has the widest variety of health benefits and may even refrain one from snacking.
Firm, deep green with thin skin. 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 from oral, breast and prostate cancer. The unusual mix of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients in an avocado increase oxidative levels and shift the cancer cells over into a programmed cell cycle (apoptosis), reducing the cancer cell numbers.
Improving ones 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 one is used to excessive reading or web browsing eating an avocado for lunch may keep 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 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 may be healthy aspect when it comes to dieting as avocados might help counteract on snacking habits and making one feel fuller for longer. A recent study published by the Nutrition Journal concluded 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 may 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 may soften and hydrate dry and flaky patches of skin, simply spread it across the 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 early stages. Palta, as it known to the Chileans, aims to increase blood flow and there may be a 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 easily absorbed protein source.
Avocados may be the ideal fruit to add to a daily diet. Whilst they may be high in calories the monosaturated and high fibre content however they may be better than stacking on the unhealthy snacks. Avocados for breakfast with eggs or in a smoothie, lunchtime may see mayonnaise replaced with mashed avocado with tuna and eaten from the skin whilst at dinner have a avocado pasta sauce through the combination of lemon, garlic, basil, olive oil, parmesan and the super green fruit.
What other interesting recipes might one add avocado in ?