Avocado is an exotic fruit now entered in the eating habits of Italians but often wrongly considered an enemy of the diet because it is too caloric . It is true that it contains enough calories ( 160 calories / 100 gr ) because it is a fat fruit , but if you eat it without abusing it, you can also taste it on a diet , indeed it will also give you a hand because it ensures a high satiety index . It is also rich in mono unsaturated fats such as linoleic acid and omega 3 which are good for the heart and keep cholesterol at bay
Thanks to the high content of antioxidants , vitamins , minerals and vegetable fats, avocado is particularly suitable when you feel moved or tired.
It is good for everyone, children, women and men , of all ages thanks to the wealth of easily assimilated nutrients. Put it in your diet and you will immediately notice the benefits on the skin , hair, nails and your body in general.
Avocado: what it is
The fruit is a pear-shaped drupe: it is 7 to 20 centimeters long, with a weight that can vary from a pound to over a kilogram . It has a large central seed 3-5 cm in diameter. The flesh is yellow green or pale yellow, buttery and rich in fats: the fruits of the early varieties are ready for harvest as early as the end of October . Those of the late varieties allow to continue the harvest until April.
Fruit of ancient origins, with the growth of crops the agronomic selection has obtained about 400 different varieties. It is currently widespread throughout Latin America, California and Florida. In Mediterranean countries it is present in Israel and Spain.
It will be for its sweetness and its creaminess that make it an inviting ingredient for many tasty recipes, or perhaps for its beneficial virtues , the fact is that avocado is having a lot of luck and success. Tasty food, it is recommended for those who care about their diet .
Its plant ( Persea americana Mill .) Belongs to the Lauraceae family : it has great possibilities of adaptation to both tropical and subtropical climates and to temperate environments. The native peoples of central and southern America have cultivated it since before the arrival of Christopher Columbus.
Avocado, the nutritional properties
Very rich fruit, it contains a variety of essential nutrients and important phytochemicals , as well as good vegetable fats. Despite being considered very fat and energetic, avocado actually has an average energy density: a large part of the edible part of the fruit is made up of water and dietary fiber . For this reason it has also been thought to have weight control effects similar to low fat fruits and vegetables.
With 231 kcal per 100 grams , avocado contains *:
- Water: 64 g
- Protein: 4.4 g
- Lipids: 23 g
- Carbohydrates available: 1.8 g
- Soluble sugars (g): 1.8
- Total fiber (g): 3.3
Avocado: health benefits
Avocado has extensive functional benefits for our body, including anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antimicrobial activity. Here they are in detail.
- It protects the cardiovascular system and reduces cholesterol . Despite having an abundant fat matrix in the pulp, the lipid content of the fruit must not alarm. The omega 3 fatty acids it contains, in fact, are extremely important to counteract the rise in cholesterol levels . Thanks to the significant intake of folate (B9) and vitamin B6 , avocado also contributes to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Remove degenerative diseases . The combination of vitamin C and vitamin E gives avocado great antioxidant properties: together with omega 3, they help slow down cellular aging , blocking the action of free radicals. In addition, it is also rich in vitamin K1 , which is involved in the important blood clotting function .
- Helps satiate you faster. Avocado has an average energy density, important levels of dietary fiber and oils that contribute to increasing the sense of satiety. Unlike what is believed, in fact, it is an excellent ally for those on a diet .
- It has antidiabetic effects. A diet in which avocado is present produces glycemic control effects. With only half avocado per day, there is a significant reduction in blood insulin .
- Remove arthritis. A cross-sectional study reported that fruits and vegetables rich in lutein and zeaxanthin , the primary carotenoids in avocado, are associated with a reduced risk of cartilage defects and osteoarthritis onset.
- It prevents different forms of cancer. Avocados contain a substantial number of bioactive phytochemicals including carotenoids, terpenoids, D-mannoeptulose, persenone A and B, phenols and glutathione, with proven anti-cancer properties .
- It protects against intestinal pathologies . Some recent results have revealed the preventive effect of avocado extract against colitic diseases. Avocado can be considered a potential therapeutic option for inflammatory bowel disease.
Alternative uses: its effect on skin and hair
The content in minerals, vitamins and omega 3 of the avocado pulp brings many benefits also for applications in beauty treatments , in particular of the skin and hair . In fact, it is also ideal for wraps and masks .
The core is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry and in the production of cosmetics. In the past, herbal medicine made extensive use of it, using it in folk medicine, and the Incas and the Atzeks used it to treat many diseases and prevent them.
Avocado face mask: the DIY recipe
To make an avocado mask, just peel half an avocado and crush it in a bowl: add a spoonful of honey and one of plain yogurt , mixing well.
- Wash your face with warm water to dilate the pores and spread the mixture on the skin.
- Wait 10-15 minutes and then gently remove the mask with a cotton swab dipped in warm water.
In case of allergies, sensitive skin, acne, ask your doctor for advice before applying.
Avocado in the kitchen
Avocado pulp is consumed in many ways: the most classic is in salads, seasoned with oil, lemon or vinegar, salt and pepper . Variants can be added to the dressing according to taste, such as a crushed garlic clove and a yogurt sauce . Its creamy pulp can be spread on bread, for example for breakfast.
Diced avocado can also delicately enrich a fish salad with surimi, tuna and prawns, or a tartare with a sprinkling of lemon peel or grated orange.
Pair it with lemon and, more generally, with acid-flavored foods, it always works.
8 reasons to enjoy it on a diet!
1 – The fat that does not gain weight
The fats it contains help to keep the line. Mistakenly avocado is often excluded from diets because of its ‘fatty’ part. In reality there are not so many fats and they are of the ‘good’ type, of those that do you good.
In addition, avocado is a real ally for eating less and in a healthy way, with all the essential nutrients for the body.
The secret is to eat it away from other fatty foods and not eat more than half of them at a time .
2 – Avocado: the satiating fruit
Avocado has the ability to regulate sugar metabolism because it keeps blood sugar levels low . And satiety is an important element in the context of diet and weight control, as it helps to feel less fatigue than the diet.
According to a study published in the Nutrition Journal , on a sample of volunteers who ate half a fresh avocado for lunch for a few days , there was a noticeable reduction in the urge to eat in the following hours .
3 – Source of restorative mineral salts
It is an important source of potassium, more than banana! It contains 450 mg per 100 g (against 350 of the most famous banana). There is never too much potassium in the human body and if magnesium is present even better, because together they are important regulators of blood pressure. If you suffer from ipe r voltage and you’re always hunting potassium-rich foods, you will do well often eat the avocado, which with small amounts assures great results in terms of stabilization of the pressure values .
4 – Food rich in folic acid
The pregnant women should never do without avocado. Rich in folic acid , it is in fact essential for the correct development of the fetus and for the prevention of neo-natal diseases (spina bifida in primis). L ‘ Folic acid is also important for everyone, because it ensures the proper functioning of the nervous system and helps fight cardiovascular problems . Nothing better than using it to flavor dishes, especially salads .
5 – Energetic and nourishing
It favors the absorption of carotenoids present in fruit and vegetables, which otherwise would be ‘wasted’ because they are fat soluble. That is to say that without the presence of a fatty substance they are not assimilated, if not to a small extent.
These plant pigments have several positive effects on the body. They support the immune system helping it to defend itself from degenerative diseases , especially pathologies of the macula and retina and tumor forms.
Vegetables and avocados , fruit and avocados, yogurt (low-fat) and avocados are ideal combinations.
6 – Avocado: The Beauty antioxidant
It is a natural antioxidant thanks to vitamins and phytonutrients. The vitamins A and E are especially useful for the skin and make it elastic, not surprisingly avocado is increasingly used in cosmetic products to slow the ‘ aging skin.
The simple consumption of avocado, therefore, even in small but regular quantities, helps you to be beautiful and healthy.
7 – Anti-cholesterol
It has the natural ability to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raise good cholesterol , so it is of great help in avoiding cardiovascular disease . The anti-cholesterol action is mainly due to oleic acid, which favors the decrease in triglycerides and the increase in HDL cholesterol. It is rich in Omega3 which hinders and slows down the deposition of bad cholesterol in the blood, helping the arteries to keep themselves clean.
8 – Avocado: The Source of fiber
It is also a valuable source of dietary fiber . A single fruit contains 10 gr , about half of the daily requirement.
The fibers promote intestinal transit, help you prevent constipation and cleanse your body. They help to lower the levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood and help you to control those of your blood sugar, therefore they play an important preventive action on cardiovascular diseases and diabetes .
This is why avocado is not only not contraindicated but is of great help when you are on a diet. A tip in the kitchen : add it to your salads to make them tasty, filling and nutritious.