Avocado – The Green Superfood

avocado green superfood cut in half

By Anita Tar

Avocado is one of the healthiest food, so we call it a “superfood”and it totally deserves its „nickname…” This completely natural, delicious food has so many benefits to our body and it even tastes lovely! In my article I want to help you to discover why you should eat it every day… Lets get to know it!

An avocado is a fruit from an avocado tree that contains a single see from the tree.  Avocados have a green-skinned, fleshy body and can be egg-shaped, pear-shaped, or spherical.  The fruit ripens after it has been harvested.  There are more than 80 different varieties of avocado -I guess you didn’t know that, neither did I – Although the avocado tree is native to Central Mexico, the two main productions areas within the United States are Florida and California, with approximately 90% coming from California.

Why we call it superfood?

Avocados are an excellent source of fibre, potassium and vitamins, including vitamins C, K, folate, and B6.  In fact, avocados have the highest concentration of protein and vitamin E of any fruit.

An entire avocado has about 320 calories and 30 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, making it a good source of energy.  It only contains about 4 grams of saturated fat.  Because unsaturated fats are a necessary part of a healthy diet, an avocado is an ideal (and delicious way to get it).  With that one avocado, you get 1/3 of your daily value of vitamin C and more than half the day’s requirements of vitamin K.

Having avocado in your diet additionally helps reduce high cholesterol levels with their significant phytosterols content. Phytosterols, like beta-sitosterol found in avocados, are compounds that are structurally similar to cholesterol and can block its absorption during digestion. Phytosterols also have anti-inflammatory properties and are believed to be useful in helping to prevent diseases of inflammation like arthritis and heart disease. There have been positive studies recently associating beta-sitosterol with an increase in the body’s immune response. Avocados in particular are a good source of phytosterols, but unrefined avocado oil is even richer in these beneficial nutrients. Switching from heavily processed and pro-inflammatory cooking oils like canola oil to inflammation reducing avocado oil would be a significant step to better health for many people.

Avocado nutrition contains a broad spectrum of antioxidant which provide important protection for your body’s cells from free radical damage that leads to the visible signs of ageing and a variety of diseases like cancer. The strongest concentrations of these carotenoids are found just below the avocado skin, so make sure you eat as much as possible of the greener pulp there.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are two other special antioxidants found in good levels in avocados. They are uniquely important for protecting the macula area of your eyes that is responsible for short range vision and detail and allowing you read the words on this screen. Having a diet high in lutein and zeaxanthin has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness in the elderly) and cataracts later in life.

Foods like butternut squash, green leafy vegetables and goji berries are also good sources. Vitamin C is another powerful antioxidant nutrient found in avocado, Higher levels of vitamin C in the foods you eat will help protect against heart disease, improve circulation, boost your immunity and enhance collagen production for beautiful skin.

Vitamin E is also a strong antioxidant and, being fat soluble, is particularly beneficial for preventing cholesterol oxidation that is believed to contribute to heart attacks and strokes.Vitamin E can also enhance your appearance by allowing your skin to retain more moisture within its epidermal layer and protecting it from free radical damage that leads to wrinkles, sagging skin and other visible signs of ageing.

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