The avocado is a large pear-shaped fruit with hard skin. It has a large seed and is surrounded by a fleshy pulp. Originally from Central America, it is now grown in most tropical and subtropical countries. The avocado has more fat than any other fruit, except olives, but the fat is quite healthy. It is easily digestible. It is best eaten raw in order to preserve all the nutrients. Adding avocado or avocado oil to your salads and food makes the food healthier.
Botanical Name – Persea americana
Indian Name – Makhan Phal
Common name – Butter fruit, Avocado
Health benefits of Avocado
Avocados are a good source of fibre, potassium, vitamin C and K, folate, and B6. The healthy monosaturated fats in avocado help to absorb better, the antioxidants in food such as lycopene and beta-carotene. Research shows that the greatest concentration of carotenoids in avocado occurs in the dark green flesh that lies beneath the skin. Hence, the best method of peeling the avocado is like peeling the banana.
Is the fat in avocado good fat?
Even though avocados are rich in fat, the fat is said to be unique and has health benefits. The fat in avocado consists of phytosterols, polyhydroxylated fatty acids (PFAs), and oleic acid. Phytosterols account for a major portion of the fat in the avocado. Both phytosterols and PFAs keep inflammation under control. Oleic acid helps the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like carotenoids. As its a mono-saturated fatty acid, it has enormous health benefits and helps lower the risk of heart disease.
Anti-inflammatory health benefits
Avocado helps prevent inflammation and is especially helpful in cases of arthritis. Avocado has the ability to prevent osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This is because of the phytosterols, carotenoid antioxidants, flavonoids, and omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linolenic acid.
Helps Absorption of Nutrients
Avocado has some of the key carotenoids like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lutein. To absorb all these phytonutrients, one needs the right amount and combination of dietary fats which avocado provides, as it includes oleic acid. Adding avocado to any food you eat helps increase absorption of the nutrients in the food.
Avocado health benefits for Digestive disorders
It is a very good remedy for digestive disorders. Being bland, it soothes the stomach lining and the lining of the duodenum. It also helps to combat biliousness. The juice of this fruit is prescribed for colic and chills in the stomach and ulceration of the intestines.
Health benefits for Cardiovascular Health
There are many aspects of heart health that avocado improves, like anti-inflammatory risk, oxidative risk, and blood fat levels. Since oleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids are good for the heart and are found in significant quantities in avocado, they may help to keep the heart healthy. Oleic acid inhibits the absorption of dietary cholesterol and triglycerides into your bloodstream.
May regulate blood sugar
Avocado is a relatively low-carb food. It also has low sugar content and falls very low on the glycemic index. At the same time, it is relatively high in fibre. All these properties of avocado may help regulate blood sugar.
Ant-cancer health benefits
The avocado may have anti-cancer benefits because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients. Cancer factors invariably include inflammation and oxidative stress. Preliminary studies have shown that avocado helps prevent the occurrence of some cancers in the mouth, skin, and prostate gland.
Natural remedy for better hair and skin quality
Avocado has a significant amount of vitamin C and vitamin E. These vitamins are involved in skin growth and regeneration. The application of avocado oil is said to reduce age spots. Avocado oil has lecithin, and when applied topically, protects and moisturizes hair and skin.
Home Remedies with Avocado
- Avocado is a very effective home remedy for treating dry skin. As it is high in vitamin C and E, it nourishes the skin. Mix a tsp of almond oil to a mash of half an avocado and smear it on the skin. Wash after 15 minutes.
- Warm avocado oil and massage it into your head and hair. Leave for as long as possible. This is an excellent home remedy to deep condition your hair and leaves it soft and shiny when you wash it. It is a natural medicine to condition your hair.
- Reports show that including avocado in your diet regularly (once or twice a week), helps fight cholesterol.
- Avocado is considered a natural remedy for Acne. Mix avocado, honey, and water to form a paste, and apply this to your face. Leave it on for 30 mins and then wash. Avocado oil too helps treat acne. More on treating Acne.
- The oil of avocado is beneficial for the treatment of psoriasis. Apply the oil to the affected parts. It helps to take the scales off.
- The avocado helps to combat bad breath caused by intestinal putrefactions and decomposition.
- In cases of hyperacidity, avocado and papaya are recommended as the staple diet.