The avocado (Persea americana), a tree likely native to south-central Mexico, is classified as a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae. The fruit of the plant, also called an avocado (or avocado pear or alligator pear), is botanically a large berry containing a single large seed. Avocado trees are partially self-pollinating and are often propagated through grafting to maintain predictable fruit quality and quantity.
Avocados are grown in tropical and Mediterranean climates of many countries, with Mexico being the largest avocado producer in 2019, accounting for 32% of the world total.
What Are Avocados?
Avocado’s popularity is due to its rich, creamy texture and mild flavor. The avocado, or Persea Americana, is a fruit that belongs to the family of the laurel family; a group that also includes members, such as cinnamon and bay leaf. There are dozens of varieties of avocado, varying in size, color and texture. All are native to tropical climates and when harvested, the pulp softens to a buttery texture that has become extremely popular in everything from dips to desserts.
Here are some Health benefits of Avocados.
This fruit is appreciated for its high nutritional value and is added to various dishes for its good taste and rich texture. It is the main ingredient in guacamole.
Avocados are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals.
Here are some of the most abundant nutrients, in a single 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving :
- Vitamin K: 26% of the daily value (DV)
- Folate: 20% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
- Potassium: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin B5: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 13% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 10% 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).
May support heart health
Avocados are high in fat, 60 percent of which are monounsaturated fats, which research suggests may help protect against heart disease and lower blood pressure. They are also an excellent source of potassium, folic acid and fiber, all of which are good for the heart and cardiovascular system.
May help lower cholesterol
The oils that avocado provides contain oleic and linoleic acids, these unsaturated fats are recommended as part of a balanced diet to help control cholesterol.
Can help regulate appetite
There is no doubt that the calorie content of avocados is higher than other fruits and vegetables. However, an interesting study has shown that the fat and fiber content of avocados leads to feelings of satiety that help regulate appetite.
Can help keep eyes healthy
In addition to the benefits described above, avocado is a rich source of protective vitamin E and carotenes, including lutein and zeaxanthin, which are believed to help keep eyes healthy.
Avocado can help prevent cancer
There is limited evidence that avocado may be beneficial in cancer treatment and prevention.Test-tube studies show that it can help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy in human lymphocytes.
Avocado extract has also been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells in a lab.However, keep in mind that these studies have been conducted in isolated cells and do not necessarily prove what can happen in humans. Human-based research is not available.
There are indications that avocados are suitable for weight loss.
In one study, people who ate avocado with a meal felt 23% more satisfaction and had a 28% less desire to eat over the next 5 hours, compared to people who did not eat this fruit (35).
Should this remain the case over the long term, including avocados in your diet can help you naturally eat fewer calories and make it easier for you to stick to healthy eating habits.
Avocados are also high in fiber and low in carbohydrates, two properties that should also help promote weight loss, at least in the context of a healthy, real food-based diet.
Is avocado safe for everyone?
Some sensitive individuals may be allergic to avocado. This includes an oral allergy that can be caused by a cross-reaction to birch pollen. A rarer allergic reaction can occur if you have a latex allergy – if this is relevant to you, see their doctor for advice.
Avocado, along with fruits such as apples, peaches, raspberries, and blueberries, contain natural chemicals called salicylates. Some people are sensitive to these compounds and can experience an allergic reaction, including a rash and swelling.
If you are concerned about food allergies or have any other concerns, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian for advice.