Avocado, known as “Persea americana Miller” is a fruit available throughout the world, all year round and can be found in 3 assortments: pear-shaped, egg-shaped or spherical. It is widely believed that it originated in Mexico and it was discovered around 291 B.C. Although it can be found everywhere, it doesn’t grow anywhere. It requires specific climatic requirements, such as tropical or subtropical weather with humid conditions (65 % or higher), indirect sunlight and well-drained soils.
Facts to know about avocados:
1. When an avocado is mashed, the flavor comes out a bit more.
2. The name “avocado” is from the Aztec word “ahuacatl”.
3. Did you know that there are over 500 avocado varieties?
4. Avocados contain more protein than any other fruit and even more potassium than bananas.
5. If you want to speed up the ripening process of an avocado, place it in a paper bag with a tomato, a banana or an apple. If you don’t have a paper bag, wrap it in a newspaper.
6. The pre-made guacamole many people use to consume doesn’t contain much avocado and therefore is not as healthy as we might think. It contains less than 2% avocado and many hydrogenated oils and artificial colors. Try our homemade guacamole recipe instead.
Many people use it in salads or consider it a vegetable butter, therefore it is often perceived as a vegetable but it is actually a fruit that tastes like a vegetable, as it grows in trees.
Avocado has healing properties. No wonder the Aztecs consumed it for so many reasons. They probably didn’t know that it contains a wide range of nutrients from vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin K, copper, potassium and folic acid.
Avocados good for the heart
Avocados are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids and according to the American Heart Organization, these acids are good for our health because they help lower the cholesterol levels. Potassium, contained in avocados, helps lower the blood pressure. These fruits also contain folic acid and vitamin E. A diet rich in folate and vitamin E could prevent numerous heart diseases and offers protection against strokes, many studies confirmed. What is great about taking you vitamins from fruit and vegetables is that you can never exceed the daily dosage recommended.
Avocados for preventing and defending cancer
Numerous studies confirmed that the oleic acid prevents breast cancer and certain compounds in avocados, like carotenoids and phytochemicals stop the growth of cancerous cells or kill the ones that already exist. We are encouraged to consume the brighter avocados as they contain more beta-carotene.
Avocados good for the eyes
Avocados contain lutein, an antioxidant that helps protect against cataracts and macular degeneration. One single fruit contains 81 mcg of this nutrient. Furthermore this incredible “super fruit” contains high level of vitamins C, B6 and E.
Avocados good for the skin
Great antioxidant, avocado can be used for numerous skin problems. It can be found in many lotions and creams but we have great news for those that prefer to go natural: avocado paste can be applied directly on rough or sun-burnt skin. The vitamin C and vitamin E it contains provide a powerful anti-aging combination. Avocado oils protects the skin from the UVA and UVB rays and has proven to be more penetrating than other oils such as olive, almond, safflower, coconut, sesame, jojoba or soy.