The Creamy Delicious Avocado
First off, yes the avocado is actually a fruit and not a vegetable. The avocado, a fruit high in unsaturated fatty acids, was first discovered in Mexico more than 2,000 years ago. The Aztecs enjoyed this hearty fruit for centuries before the Spaniards arrived, where it was considered a stimulant to the libido.
Avocados are a very popular fruit in the United States, with California and Florida being responsible for nearly all production in North America. As you move south of the United States, and avocado tree can be found growing wild as well as in many home gardens. Used as the principle ingredient in Guacamole, you will surely be impressed with the nutrition, taste and texture of this ancient American fruit.
Avocados are high in mineral content and have a good dose of vitamins, especially vitamin B and vitamin E. Avocado is also a great source of unsaturated fatty acids as well dietary fiber.
Vitamin E – Research has shown that vitamin E possesses anti-inflammatory effects that can combat arthritis, rheumatism, asthma, and other inflammatory disorders linked to chronic inflammation. Vitamin E also improves the body’s metabolic function.
Vitamin B1 – Thiamine is an important vitamin since it breaks down sugars in the body. Thiamine also helps to support nerve and heart health.
Vitamin B6 – Vitamin B6 helps to keep your immune system in good working order. It aids in the breakdown of fats, carbohydrates and amino acids while helping to maintain the health of lymph nodes. Additionally, vitamin B6 helps to regulate blood glucose levels.
Vitamin B9 – Folate is an important vitamin for liver function.
Dietary Fiber – Dietary Fiber stimulates digestion and peristalsis, helping to relieve indigestion and constipation problems.
Omega Fatty Acids – Omega fatty acids are unsaturated fatty acids which help reduce the risk of stroke and promote healthy heart and circulatory functions.
Avocados mature in the late spring and early summer, where you can find this fruit for a very low price. This fruit is also picked from the tree un-ripened, which can extend the life of the fruit for weeks if not months. This, along with a global production, makes the avocado available for most of the year.
Per ½ Cup (75 grams):
- Calories (cKal): 120
- Protein (grams): 1.5
- Total Fat (grams): 11
- Carbohydrates (grams): 6.4
- Fiber (grams): 5
Buying and Storing
When buying an avocado, make sure it is slightly soft to the touch if you plan on using it the same day. If you prefer to consume your avocado later in the week, buy a harder fruit, since this will ripen during the course of the week. With avocados, its all about touch when it comes to storage. Avocados which are hard to the touch tend to ripen in seven to ten days. Avocados which are soft to the touch should be used within two days.
Best Way to Add to Diet
There are many ways to add avocados to your diet. First, dicing the meat into cubes and adding to a salad is a great way to add unsaturated fat to your diet. Chopping the fruit with a bit of onion, cilantro, lime juice, sea salt and pepper makes a great Guacamole. Finally, an chilled avocado soup makes a great addition to any summertime meal.