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What Is An Avocado And What Are Avocados Good For?

Avocados are well-known throughout the world

Avocado is a well known and appreciated fruit. The rich, creamy texture of avocado is enjoyed all around the world whether it’s in guacamole, on a sandwich, or perhaps as a smoothie.

But avocados are not just tasty, they are also rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can protect you against heart disease, cancer and lower the risk of depression!

Avocados grow on trees in warmer climates but are native to Mexico. They have a creamy and smooth texture and are covered by a bumpy, thick, dark green or blackish skin.

Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and mediterranean climates throughout the world.

Commercially, they ripen after harvesting. It’s not easy to know which avocado to buy when you're in the store.

Read the tips we've gathered below if you are interested in knowing how to find the best avocado.

If you are interested in buying avocado,#ad you can actually do so on Amazon. Try this Hass avocado, from California. Hass is the most common avocado and the variety with the strongest flavor. Hass has a very high nutrient content.

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What Kind Of Fruit Is An Avocado?

Unfortunately it won't produce any avocados

Avocado is by many considered a vegetable but others regard it as a fruit. Botanically it’s actually classified as a large berry with a single seed.

You can plant the seed you find in the avocado and it'll start to grow, but I’m sorry to say that it won't produce any avocados. But if nothing else you'll have a nice house plant!

We think that the culinary use of the avocado is as a vegetable and therefore we place this delicious fruit in our vegetable category.

Avocados are not the only fruit you might think is a vegetable. There are several fruits that are commonly mistaken for vegetables.

The difference between a fruit and a vegetable

The botanically difference between fruits and vegetables are that fruits and berries originate from plant parts that develop from flowers and contain seeds.

Vegetables on the other hand originate from plant stems, leaves and roots.

What Does An Avocado Look Like?

This is what the most common avocado looks like

Avocados have a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical.

Inside you'll find a big brownish core surrounded by a flesh that's light green near the middle and becomes darker green as you move outwards from the core.

Overripe avocados have a more yellow flesh than the perfectly ripe ones.

Avocado is often called "alligator pear."

This because it’s wrinkled rough green skin, of some cultivars, looks like alligator’s skin.

Some say that when cut in half, the pear-shaped variety looks like an alligator’s eye.

What Are Avocados Good For? 6 Researched Benefits Of Avocados!

Avocados contain healthy fat

Avocados are very nutritious. Avocados contain nearly 20 different vitamins and minerals.

Avocados do not contain any cholesterol or sodium. An avocado contains naturally good fat and is a good source of fiber and folate.

Avocados are a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6, as well as riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium.

They also provide lutein, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.

1. Naturally good fat in avocado

Although most of the calories in an avocado come from fat, you shouldn’t be afraid.

Avocados are really fattening, but in a very good way. Avocados are full of incredibly healthy mono-unsaturated fat. It’s the best kind of fat as it’s scientifically been proven to be good for your heart.

Contrary to previous popular belief, not all fats are the same, nor are they all classified as bad. Fat is a major source of energy and helps your body absorb nutrients from foods.

It’s important to understand the difference between two general types of fats: saturated and unsaturated.

Saturated fats

Saturated fats or trans-fats are labeled often as “bad fats” because they tend to raise “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood. This, in turn increases the risk for heart disease.

The dietary guidelines for Americans advises swapping foods containing saturated fats and trans-fats for healthier options, to lower the risk of heart disease.

Avocados are both tasty and packed with healthy nutrients and fats. Add them to your diet today!

Unsaturated fats

Unsaturated fats or mono- and polyunsaturated referrers to as “good fats” because, in the right amounts, they can be used as a substitute for “bad” fats.

The key, according to the dietary guidelines for Americans, is to limit foods that contain the “bad” fat. Swap high fat meats and processed meats, some dairy products, most desserts/pastries and replace them with foods that contain predominantly “good” fats” like avocados, most nuts, seafood and plant oils.

While saturated fats have health risks, unsaturated fats have health benefits. ODPHP (Office of disease Prevention and health promotion) .




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Right fat lowers cholesterol

According to American Heart Association, AHA Eating one avocado a day as part of a heart healthy, cholesterol-lowering moderate-fat diet can help improve bad cholesterol levels in overweight and obese individuals.

Avocado’s beneficial fats help you to keep you full and satiated.

When you consume fat, your brain receives a signal to lower your appetite. Eating fat slows the breakdown of carbohydrates, which helps to keep sugar levels in the blood stable.

Fat is essential for every single cell in the body. Eating healthy fats supports skin health, enhances the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, and may even help boost the immune system.

2. Avocado contains cancer preventing nutrients

Avocado is a widely-consumed fruit containing cancer preventing nutrients, vitamins and phytochemicals.

Studies have shown that phytochemicals extracted from the avocado fruit selectively induce cell cycle arrest, inhibit growth, and induce apoptosis in precancerous and cancer cell lines.

One result of this is that phytochemicals from the avocado fruit can be utilized for making active chemoprotective ingredient for lowering the side effect of chemotherapy.

3. Eating avocados can regulate your blood pressure

Avocados are full of potassium, something our bodies need but might have a hard time getting in adequate amounts. Potassium is known to help reduce blood pressure.

Avocado provides more potassium and magnesium than a lot of other fruits, like the banana or kiwi.

Studies have shown that having a high potassium intake correlates to reduced blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.

4. Avocado Can Help Treat Depression Disorders

Add these to your diet today!

Depression is one of the most common types of mental illnesses worldwide.

Depression is a multi factorial disorder and both genetic and environmental factors, such as diet, are thought to play important roles in its etiology and treatment.

Avocados contain dietary fats that could help with treating depressions.

Diets which lack essential nutrients have adverse consequences on overall brain function and, consequently, mental health.

In contrast, the intake of diets rich in whole grains, fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables, have been suggested to prevent depressive disorders.

According to studies there is encouraging evidence to suggest that changing and supplementing dietary fat intake, like avocado, could help improve the efficacy of antidepressant treatments.

5. Avocado helps your body absorb nutrition

There are research that points in the direction that avocado might make it easier for the body to absorb antioxidants from other healthy foods.

One study in particular, from Oxford Academic, that was published in the Journal Of Nutrition, observed a notable increase in the absorption of carotenoids from vegetable-based foods consumed with avocados.

6. Eating avocado makes you overall healthier

A study was done over a seven year period where the researchers studied the dietary habits and health of its participants. The results from the study were highly interesting. Study participants who ate avocado regularly, was found to be much more healthier than those who didn’t.

They wrote in their conclusion Avocado consumption is associated with improved overall diet quality, nutrient intake, and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome.

Dietitians should be aware of the beneficial associations between avocado intake, diet and health when making dietary recommendations.




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What Is Avocado Oil Good For?

Avocado oil is amazing

Avocado oil is less popular, than eating the actual fruit.

But avocado oil is a healthy oil that has many uses in the kitchen.

Some use avocado oil for hair and skin health.

Adding the product to your daily routine provides several key health and beauty benefits, especially when you use it in the kitchen to replace less healthy fats.

At first glance: Avocado oil doesn’t contain any healthy nutrients

At first glance you might think that eating avocado oil seems like a waste. There is no protein in avocado oil and while you get a healthy dose of vitamin C when you consume a whole avocado, you won't get any vitamin C or any other significant vitamins or minerals when you consume the oil, according to USDA data.

Also, many add avocado to their diets because of its significant fiber content. But you won't get any fiber from consuming the oil.

But take a second look! It’s absolutely amazing!

There are no carbohydrates in avocado oil. The estimated glycemic load of avocado oil is zero.

Avocado oil has a high concentration of oleic acid, you gain heart-healthy benefits when you consume it. Oleic acid is believed to lower LDL cholesterol to help decrease your risk for heart disease.

If you are looking for a good avocado oil,#ad we recommend this oil you can buy on Amazon. The oil is 100% pure and naturally refined. It's a great all-around oil that are healthy for you!

High flash point equals healthier cooking

Avocado oil has a higher flash point than other types of healthy oil such as olive oil or canola oil. The flash point, is the temperature at which an oil begins to fume. Knowing the smoke point of oils is important because heating oil to the point where the oil begins to smoke produces toxic fumes and harmful free radicals.

The flash point of avocado oil is over 271°C or 520°F. For that reason, avocado oil is a better and healthier choice then other oils to use for high-temperature cooking.

Neutral taste increases its usefulness

Avocado oil also has quite a neutral taste. The fruit has much more flavor.

The oil has a small but distinct taste described as buttery or nutty.

If you don’t want your oil to over power other flavors, avocado oil is perfect to use in for instance salad dressing.

You can also use the oil in marinades, dips, and sauces, and to grill or stir-fry foods.

You can even use it to coat pans to keep foods from sticking.

Is Avocado Good For Eczema?

The answer is both yes and no. There are studies that show that avocado can aid in the healing of for example atopic eczema.

But there are also testimonies from people that avocado can make the eczema worse.

You should always consult your doctor if you're about to make changes to your diet that might affect any diagnose you have.

Avocado can be a healthy addition to your daily diet if you don’t have eczema. Avocado contains some amounts of amines and itch-promoting salicylates, which in worst case can worsen eczema symptoms.

Many eczema sufferers say that avocado makes their itching and symptoms worse. It might be to your benefit to skip the avocado, if you suffer from eczema.

But the avocado oil has been shown to be beneficial in the aid of some eczema.

There are two smaller studies with side-by-side trials which suggest that a topical preparation of 0.07% vitamin B12 based on avocado oil has a beneficial effect on atopic eczema as compared to placebo.

Avocado oil extracted from the pulp of the fruit is rich in linoleic acid, linolenic acid and oleic acid. It also contains sitosterol and carotene.

It’s an excellent source of enrichment for dry, damaged, or chapped skin.

Research conducted on the effect of topical administration of avocado fruit extract on wound models in rats showed faster re-epitheliazation and higher hydroxyproline content of the repaired wound.




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Can You Be Allergic To Avocado?

Yes, some people have allergic reactions to avocado. The allergic reactions can be quite strong.

There are two different forms of allergy. An oral avocado allergy combined with tree-pollen allergy and the second is known as the latex-fruit syndrome.

The oral avocado allergy

The oral allergy triggers when you eat avocado and your body treats the food as an invader, alerting your immune system.

This result in mild to severe allergic responses including itching lips, mouth, and throat, usually within 1 hour of consuming or handling avocado.

The oral allergy is also associated with allergy of tree pollen, like birch pollen.

The latex-fruit syndrome

The latex-fruit syndrome symptoms tend to be more severe.

This avocado allergy can give abdominal pain, vomiting, sometimes even the life-threatening symptom, anaphylaxis.

People with the latex-fruit syndrome may also develop adverse reactions to

  • Chestnut
  • Banana
  • Mango
  • Kiwi

I advise you to be careful if you ever have had a reaction of any kind to avocado.Talk to your health professional if you have any suspicions that you are sensitive to avocado.

Is Avocado Good For Weight Loss?

Avocados provide fiber. Eating foods with fiber can help you to feel fuller and more satisfied.

Healthy eating and weight loss experts generally recommend that dieters consume foods with fiber to help them eat less and create the calorie deficit needed for weight loss.

Since avocados are high in calories and fibers, they may provide benefits if you are trying to lose weight. The fat and fiber can help you to feel full and satisfied.

You can keep this creamy food in your diet, but you need to be careful about how much you eat.

In contrast to the popular opinion, complementary and alternative medicine or special diets are not free of side effects. Strict and frequently absurd dietary restrictions can cause malnutrition. Some therapeutic procedures can be accompanied by severe allergic or toxic reactions.

You can replace the butter or margarine with avocado. It's delicious and will help you loose weight!

But to implement avocado into your already varied eating, will only do you good (this of course if you aren’t allergic to it).

You can use avocados instead of other spreads or toppings that provide less healthy fats, like butter or margarine that may contain saturated fats or trans-fat.

As long as you don’t overdo it, you'll be doing your diet a favor. Which may show on your waist line.




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How To Find The Best Avocado

A ripe avocado should be creamy, soft and the right color green, but how do you tell if an avocado is ready? There are things to consider when selecting the best avocado.

Fresh avocados do not ripen on the tree, they ripen after harvests.

Fresh avocados are quite unique because they can change their color from a very light green skin after picking to a dark-green color, leading to a deep purple almost black color when ripe.

Color can sometimes be misleading when you are about to select an avocado, as avocado “softening” can occur at a varying rate, independent of the color.

Selecting the best avocado in the store

Color of the avocado can give you clues

The first thing you need to do is check the outside color of the skin of the avocados for any that are darker in color than the others. These may be riper than fresh avocados with lighter skin.

Is the skin undamaged?

Check the skin of the avocado for any large indentations as this may be a sign that the fruit has been bruised.

Check the firmness

Then you place the avocado in the palm of your hand and gently squeeze without applying your fingertips as this can cause bruising. Check the firmness of the avocado.

If the avocado does not yield to gentle pressure it's considered still “firm” and will be ripe in a few days.

If the avocado yields to firm gentle pressure you know it’s ripe and ready-to-eat.

Overripe fruit will feel very mushy to touch. It may have deep indentations and have darker yellow or brownish colored flesh throughout the inside of the fruit.

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Plan ahead!

A tip is to plan ahead. Firm avocados are perfect to purchase a few days before you plan to serve them. This way you ensure that they will be perfectly ripe and ready to eat for your event.

Avocados that needs to ripe should be stored at room temperature about 18-23°C or 65-75°F.

Speed up the ripening process

If you missed to plan ahead you can place the avocado in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana if you want to speed up the ripening process.

What To Do With Avocado?

There are several things you can do with avocado.

The most common thing is guacamole. But with a bit of imagination there are other tasty things you can do with avocados!

For example, you can add them in salads, mash them and spread on toast instead of butter. Then there's my favourite way; slice them and use as sandwich topping! Adding avocado definitely adds another dimension to your regular sandwich.

Generally, avocado is served raw. The flesh of most avocado varieties become inedible when heated. There are though some avocado varieties, for example the most common variety called 'Hass', which can be cooked for a short time without becoming bitter.

Avocado is not sweet, but distinctly and subtly flavored, with a smooth texture. The avocado is popular in vegetarian cuisine as a substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads because of its high-fat content.




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Guacamole isn’t the only way to eat avocados

Guacamole brings out more health benefits from vegetables and other fruits. Not chips.

Most people do not really know how to incorporate them in their diet except for making guacamole. Guacamole, when eaten with corn chips, which are high in calories and sodium, won’t make the snack healthy!

To make a nice guacamole is easy. This is done by simply mashing the avocado with lemon juice and adding other optional ingredients such as onion, cilantro, chili and tomato.

I recommend you serve it as a side dish to your meal, or as dip to a nice vegetable tray. Then the avocado might help your body to absorb the antioxidants from the vegetables.

Avocado Vego poké bowl

Another great dish is a Vego poké bowl. This is a fresh dish that is both beautiful to look at, as well as delicious. Diced accessories such as avocados, cucumbers, mangoes and soybeans mixed with sesame sauce and the sweet-sour sushi rice. Beautiful flavors and colors all combined together to form a delicious dish!

Avocado with pasta

Why not try an avocado pasta with chorizo or another type of spicy sausage that you like? You don’t cook the avocado. You just dice it and mix the avocado and the sausage with your favorite pasta, after the pasta is cooked. Delicious!

Avocados in smoothies

Among the healthiest smoothies you can make

Avocados smooth and creamy texture makes them a great choice for smoothies.

As you don't heat the smoothie you can use any avocado variety.

To make a super healthy smoothie that tastes amazing, I suggest an avocado smoothie with kiwi and ginger.

Just mix avocado, kiwi and ginger.

Add some lime and pineapple juice for extra acid and sweetness.

Perfect!

Some extra inspiration

An avocado a day is a very inspiring book#ad you find on Amazon, hardcover or Kindle.

The book contains 70 recipes on how you can enjoy avocados. That's perfect when you get stuck or fed up with your guacamole recipe. I recommend the hardcover one as it can handle the kitchen environment better.

There's so much you can do with avocados!

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What Keeps Avocado From Turning Brown?

Everyone that eats avocado has experienced it, you didn't eat the whole avocado and saved half in the fridge. Almost at once, the avocado loses its green color and becomes quite brown.

The reason avocado turns brown is that it oxidizes quickly when exposed to oxygen. There are several tricks you can do to prevent this.

Use red onions to save your avocado

Here is one trick to keep avocados fresh!

Save the half where the avocado core remains.

Chop a red onion roughly and put it in a plastic jar or bowl.

Place the avocado half on the onion and close with a lid or plastic wrap and the avocado will stay green for days!

The vapors secreted by the onion can help preserve the green color and freshness of avocados.

Use lemon juice to keep avocados fresh

Lemon and your left over avocado is a good match

Another trick is to use lemon juice!

The citric acid in lemons dramatically reduces the oxidation process. You simply sprinkle lemon juice on the portion of avocado you want to keep fresh.

Another option is to place a large slice of lemon on top of the avocado if it has no core.

Put everything in an airtight container and the avocado will be fresh for 2-4 days longer.

Using lemon is my preferred way to perfect to keep avocados fresh.

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Conclusion: Avocados Are Jam Packed With Health Benefits

Avocados are full of useful nutrients that your body needs.

There are proven health benefits of this fruit. Avocados can help you with lowering your cholesterol, preventing cancer, regulating your blood pressure and even lower depression.

The avocado has become an incredibly popular food among health-conscious people. Avocado is often referred to as a super food. This is because its content of wide variety of nutrients and its amazing health benefits.

Avocado contains naturally good fat. Fat is essential for every cell in your body. Avocados are full of healthy mono-unsaturated fat.

Mono-unsaturated fat is the best kind of fat because it’s good for your heart. Avocados beneficial fats will also help you to keep you full and satiated.

Avocados may even help you lose weight.

I suggest you add avocado into your already varied diet. Because it’ll do you lots of good and dare I say one of the best tasting fruits in existence!

Simply put, eating avocados makes you healthier. Add it to your diet, today!




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Frequently asked question about Avocados

Is avocado a fruit or a vegetable?

Many believe avocado to be a vegetable. But there are also those that believe avocado to be a fruit. But botanically avocado is neither a vegetable or a fruit. In botanical terms avocado is actually classified as a large berry with a single seed!

Can I eat an avocado a day?

Yes, eating one avocado a day is good for your overall health. American Heart Association, AHA, recommends one avocado a day because of the benefits the avocado can provide by lowering cholesterol levels in especially overweight people.

What are the benefits of avocado?

Avocado is very nutritious. It contains nearly 20 different vitamins and minerals! Avocados are full of unsaturated fat that’s good for your heart. It contains more potassium than bananas, which can help regulate blood pressure. Studies show that the dietary fats in the avocado could help treat depression. They’ve also shown that eating avocado makes you overall healthier.

What keeps avocado from turning brown?

Avocado turns brown when exposed to oxygen. There are several ways to prevent this from happening. A easy and tasty method is to sprinkle lemon juice on the avocado parts that are exposed to air. Lemon juice dramatically reduces the oxidation process and will keep your avocado fresh for a lot longer.

Article written by,

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), University Diploma in Educational Information and Communication Technology, Bachelor of Science in Social Work