Avocado is the name given to a tree from the American continent and its fruit. The tree, from the Lauraceae family, is called Persea americana and can measure up to twenty meters. It has alternate leaves and small yellow flowers, although its most prominent feature is its edible fruit.

In this sense, it can be said that the avocado (or avocado pear) is a green fruit that has a large seed at its core, which usually measures more than five centimeters in height.

Due to its high levels of fat and calories, it is recommended not to eat avocado in excess. Thus, this food provides several classes of proteins, vitamins and minerals, so it is beneficial for the body in its fair measure.

There are many ways to eat avocado. One of the simplest forms of consumption is through salads: just peel the avocado, remove the core and cut it into pieces.

It is also possible to prepare guacamole, a sauce that has avocado as the main ingredient. In addition to crushed or ground Persea americana fruit, guacamole contains green pepper, onion, lemon juice and salt, among other ingredients that can be added according to each person’s preferences.

It should be noted that the avocado can even be used for medicinal or cosmetic purposes. There are those who attribute various properties to the fruit, the oil obtained from it and even the leaves of the tree, such as its ability to function as an expectorant or to beautify the skin.

Avocado is a food that has already suffered many judgments due to its amount of fat, but did you know that most of them are monounsaturated, that is, they are good for the body?

Avocado calories will depend on the size of the fruit. In 100 g of food, there are 96 calories and 8.4 g of fat. In addition, it contains fiber, vitamins from complex B, K and C, as well as potassium and copper. There are many different types of avocados, varying in color, size and shape.

In a balanced diet, consuming avocado helps provide various benefits to the body. So eat a moderate amount without guilt and enjoy the nutritional advantages of food. See benefits details below:

1- It can lower blood pressure

Avocado consumption helps to reduce blood pressure. This happens due to the presence of potassium in the food. This nutrient helps control hypertension and several studies show that having a high potassium intake lowers blood pressure as it helps with vascular tone.

It is known that avocado has three times more potassium than banana and this mineral also combats sodium in the body, reducing blood pressure.

2. Keeps away cholesterol

Despite being a food rich in fat, avocado helps fight bad cholesterol in the body. The fruit has unsaturated fats that act by reducing the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine and its synthesis by the liver.

Therefore, it assists in the control of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) and increases HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol), in addition to reducing the body’s triglyceride levels.

3. Decreases cortisol, the stress hormone

The fruit also has in its composition an antioxidant substance called glutathione, which is produced naturally by the body. Therefore, by consuming avocados, a person can reduce cortisol, the “stress hormone”.

The fruit also helps control anxiety due to potassium and lithium and also contributes to ensuring a good night’s sleep. Vitamin B3, found in avocado, acts on the nervous system by contributing to the maintenance of the production of some hormones that provide a feeling of relaxation in the body.

5. Contributes to the functioning of the intestine

Avocado is a source of soluble fibers, helps in regularizing the functioning of the intestine. In addition, the monounsaturated fats present in the food can help lubricate the stool. In this way, the regular consumption of the fruit contributes to the person not becoming constipated and facilitates the time of evacuation.

6. It’s good for the eyes

The food has antioxidants such as the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are extremely important for eye health. Consumption of these substances helps reduce the risk of diseases such as cataracts (which occur when the lens becomes opaque) and macular degeneration (which leads to progressive loss of vision).

Hence, eating avocado regularly benefits long-term eye health.

7. Helps you lose weight

Avocado is a fruit that increases the feeling of satiety and thus postpones hunger. It also lowers the glycemic load of the meal and helps reduce inflammation in cells, which can result in less body fat.

8. Prevents osteoporosis

Minerals present in avocado such as zinc, phosphorus, copper, calcium and selenium are beneficial for bones, decreasing the risk of osteoporosis as they increase bone mineral density.

Osteoporosis is a health problem that makes bones more porous, fragile and brittle. In addition, the fruit has vitamin K and D, which together help in the regeneration of bones.

Benefit under study

It can prevent cancer and help those who are treated against the disease: a study carried out in test tubes showed that avocado consumption helps reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.

And avocado extract also helps by inhibiting the growth of prostate cancer cells, according to with research from the University of California (USA). But human trials have not yet been carried out to prove these benefits.

Risks and contraindications

There is no contraindication in the consumption of avocado, but it is a fruit that, despite its benefits, is quite caloric. Therefore, it should be enjoyed in moderation. ideal amount can vary between a small avocado or half of a larger fruit. The recommendation is to consume about three times a week.

There are people who can be allergic to the fruit, but it is usually something quite rare. In specific diets, where fat or calorie restriction is necessary, avocado should be avoided or consumed sporadically.

how to consume

Avocado is quite versatile and can be consumed in sweet and savory recipes. A very common form in Brazil is the avocado smoothie with milk and sugar blended in a blender. Many people also like the fruit mashed with sugar or lemon.

The food has also gained popularity in Mexican cuisine with a dish known as guacamole accompanying nachos. The avocado is mashed until it becomes almost a puree and seasonings such as salt, olive oil, lemon, among others, are added. The fruit can also be part of salads and toast fillings.

For those who like to dare in the kitchen, it is possible to innovate with avocado mayonnaise and side dishes with potatoes, for example. You can combine avocado with green leafy vegetables like kale and fruits like bananas, pineapples or berries to make a variety of smoothies.

Ways of conservation

Avocado is often not consumed right after purchase or whole. The fruit darkens quickly after being cut. For this reason, it is important that the cut happens only at the time of consumption. If using only half of the fruit, store the other part in the fridge with the pit and wrap it in plastic wrap.

It is also recommended to pass a little lemon on the pulp. Don’t buy overripe ones, as they tend to spoil quickly.

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