Avocados have a creamy texture and add a delicate, rich flavor to many dishes. This fruit was once cast aside because of its high fat content, yet recently it has made a comeback as one of the most nutrient-dense fruits available. Avocados are extremely versatile: they can be mashed, sliced, diced, scooped, or eaten right out of the skin.
There are literally hundreds of varieties of avocados, with Hass being the most popular in America. Derived from the Aztec word “ahuacati,” avocados contain a multitude of vitamins, active enzymes, pure minerals, and soluble fiber. Plus, they rank as the most easily digestible source of fats and proteins in whole food form.
Although avocados contain a high amount of fat, not all fats are created equal! This nourishing macronutrient is full of the beneficial kind – raw, plant-based, and unprocessed. The body needs health-supportive fats for optimal brain and cell function and, contrary to popular belief, eating a balanced portion of healthy fat will not make you fat. Since avocados are full of the health-promoting monounsaturated fats that provide slow-burning digestible fuel, they can help keep one satiated and even aid in keeping weight at an optimum level by boosting the metabolism. Healthy fats actually help metabolize carbohydrates, can assist in supporting the reduction of unhealthy high cholesterol, and control insulin levels for both low and high blood sugar.
Many do not realize that this easily digestible food actually contains the highest amount of protein of any fruit by providing all of the 18 essential amino acids. Portion to edible portion, this yellow-green fleshed fruit contains more protein than cow’s milk.
Avocados are brimming with a multitude of necessary vitamins including vitamins A, B6, niacin, C, K, and folate, and they have a full range of minerals and other trace elements including magnesium, iron, copper, and calcium – all of which boost brainpower and support the immune system. Avocados contain a higher percentage of potassium than a medium-sized banana and are rich in lutein, which supports eye health. Recent research from the University of Ohio shows that eating avocados with other fruits and vegetables increases the absorption of phytochemicals by a considerable amount.
This wholesome fruit packs a powerful punch with a whopping 5 grams of fiber per 3-ounce serving. Many have claimed that if there was only one thing you could do to improve your overall health; it would be to eat an avocado every day.
Substitute mashed avocados for butter or mayo, or add slices and chunks to a salad. As well as being the perfect baby food, athletes have sworn by substituting a few bites of this wholesome food instead of having a protein bar.
Here are some health benefits of avocado for both adults and kids.
1. It protects cholesterol related heart diseases. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
2. Oleic acid in avocado can be used to lower cholesterol level in the blood.
3. Potassium in avocado regulates pressure of blood.
4. It improves the ability of the body to absorb carotenoids.
5. It is a good antioxidant.
6. It can be used in the treatment of skin disorders.
Avocados with their healthy fats and phytonutrients offer remarkable benefits to human skin — both when eaten and when used topically.
Avocados and healthy skin
Treat yourself to an avocado facial. Beauty, they say, is only skin deep. Luckily, avocado has moisturizing power to help make your skin more beautiful. For years, people have used avocado as a natural facial treatment, especially for dry skin. It’s easy to do in your own home. Just remove your makeup and wash your face with warm water and soap or your favorite cleanser. Mash some avocado and mix it with a little milk or oatmeal and apply it to your face. Leave it there for 10 minutes, then rinse it off with lots of water.
Its oil is actually patented as a treatment for some forms of dermatitis and arthritis. According to Aubrey Hampton, author of Natural Organic Hair and Skin Care, long-term treatment with avocado oil helps relieve eczema. I’m not surprised, as avocado oil is rich in vitamins A, D and E, all of which help maintain healthy skin. It is suggested to apply it directly to any itchy, red or irritated areas.
Avocado oil has been used extensively for its ability to heal and soothe the skin. This use is based on the high hydrocarbon content of the pulp and oil, which may help dry skin. The expressed oil of the avocado seed nourishes and maintains skin tone. It softens rough, dry, or flaking skin and, massaged into the scalp, improves hair growth.
A naturally fatty fruit, avocado is also rich in vitamins, and the green pulp left attached to the peel has the highest concentration. Scrape off the pulp, and apply it directly to the skin. The abundant oils lubricate and soften the skin – the most basic step in preventing wrinkles.
Mashing an avocado and rubbing it into your hair for five minutes after washing will add luster to your hair; rinse afterwards. In South Africa, an avocado mask made of mashed avocados, honey and lime juice is applied to the face as a moisturizing treatment to counteract the drying effects of the hot sun.
Every part of the avocado has been used at one time or another to tackle a few of life’s inconveniences. Throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America, the avocado has been put to use in unique ways. A powder made from avocado seeds has been used to control dandruff. Some people have chewed the seeds to reduce toothache pain, and even the skin has been used as an antibiotic for intestinal parasites and dysentery. The flesh has long been used to condition dry hair and as a soothing shaving cream.
A recipe for curing dermatitis combines avocado, aloe, and vitamin E cream.
There are many more benefits that the avocado provides only a few are mentioned in this article.