That round green ball that makes such good guacamole packs a powerful health punch!
Where does the avocado come from?
The avocado is believed to have originated in Puebla, Mexico. The oldest evidence of the avocado was found in a cave in Puebla, Mexico and dates back to around 10,000 BC. Native to Mexico and Central America, the avocado is classified in the same family as camphor and cinnamon.
Is the avocado a fruit or vegetable?
An avocado is botanically, a large berry that grows on a tree that can reach 6 feet tall. Just like a banana, the avocado ripens 1-2 weeks after being picked. They are considered to be a fruit!
Avocados are often referred to as one of the healthiest foods due to its impressive nutritional value.
An avocado contains the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B9
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
In addition, avocados contain much more nutritional benefits.
Potassium: An avocado contains more potassium than a banana. Avocados have 14% and a banana contains 10% potassium.
Folate: Folate is a B vitamin present in the avocado. Avocados have 23% folate, Vitamin E, monounsaturated fats and glutathione. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant. Folate is important for the processes of methylation. Folate is also essential in the prevention of birth defects such as spina bifida and neural tube defect.
Carotenoids: Eating avocados helps our body’s absorb 5 times the amount of carotenoids (lycopene and beta carotene). Avocados contain more carotenoid lutein than any other fruit, protecting against macular degeneration and cataracts. Again avocados are a fruit! The avocado plays a role in eye health.
Beta-sitosterol: High in beta-sitosterol, avocados can assist to lower bad cholesterol, raise good cholesterol, and also lower blood triglycerides.
Oleic acid: Studies show high oleic acid may inhibit breast cancer, inhibits tumor growth in prostate cancer and seeks out precancerous and oral cancer cells and destroys them. Many folks are deficient in oleic acid.
Fiber: Avocados are high in fiber and will help you feel fuller longer, potentially helping with weight loss. High fiber helps metabolic health and steadies blood sugar. Fiber is good for the flourishment of the gut microbiome! The microbiome is the first line of the immune system in the gut.
Pholyphenols and Flavonoids: Pholyphenols and flavonoids within avocados have anti inflammatory properties.
Avocado Oil: Avocado oil greatly nourishes the skin and may be a beneficial treatment for psoriasis and other skin irritations.
Glutathione: Avocados contain a potent antioxidant called glutathione that is important in preventing oxidative stress and improving detoxification. Glutathione also fights free radical damage.
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Who would think an avocado would carry so much goodness!?
Maybe the saying should go – “An avocado a day keeps the doctor away!”