SHAFAQNA – The avocado, although often thought of as a vegetable, is actually a fruit. Avocados are a very flavorful and rich food that are pack full of nutrients our bodies need. The healthiest way to prepare avocados is to eat them raw.
Avocado is thought to date as far back as 900 AD but the first written documents found describing avocado is traced back to 1518. The Aztecs considered the avocado to be a fertility fruit.
Where Are Avocados Grown?
The avocado grows on trees in warm, sunny climates. The state of California in the United States is said to be the “Avocado Capital of the World” cultivating nearly 59 thousand acres of avocados a year. The avocado needs to be grown in climates that don’t experience frost and have very little wind as the flowers of the avocado tree need humidity to blossom. Avocados are grown around the world and there are many varieties of the fruit. Mexico produces the vast quantity of the Hass variety harvesting well over a million tons a year.
How To Grow Avocados
Avocado trees are grown from the large seed one will find after cutting into the avocado. Many people grow avocado trees in their homes as house plants. The seed can be planted directly into the soil of a large pot or it can be started in a glass of water, submerging half of the seed (fat end down) into the water with tooth picks inserted into the sides of the seed to keep it from being totally submerged. Avocado plants grown indoors don’t do as well as those grown outside as the plant needs a great deal of light to grow full green leaves. The avocado tree takes up to ten years to produce fruit; longer if the plant is grown indoors and often than not, plants grown indoors never fully develop the ability to grow fruit. Cultivators of avocados generally graft their trees to produce the fruit desired; indoor cultivation is generally just for the pleasure of the plant as they make very nice houseplants.
Nutrients Found In Avocados
Avocados are loaded with monounsaturated fat which is best known for lowering the artery clogging LDL, which is the bad cholesterol, and raising the good cholesterol, HDL.
Avocados are also a good source of folate which is a Vitamin B which helps to build and strengthen cells and tissues.
They also contain potassium which is an essential nutrient needed to maintain proper central nervous system.
Avocados also have Vitamin E which is an antioxidant that are known to destroy free radicals that damage cellular growth and cause infections as well as some types of cancer.
The fruit is low in sodium and is an excellent source of dietary fiber, which helps maintain a healthy digestive system.
Healthy ways to Prepare Avocados
Avocados are a very flavorful and rich food that are pack full of nutrients our bodies need. The healthiest way to prepare avocados is toeat them raw and uncooked adding them to salads or eating them chilled with a bit of vinegar and olive oil. Making homemade guacamole using fresh ingredients such as avocado, tomato, and chili peppers is a very healthy way to prepare avocados.
Health Benefits Of Avocados
Avocados are rich in many vitamins and nutrients, but their benefits are inquiring for maintaining a healthy heart.
In a study performed at Harvard Medical School in 160 patients, all having the average age of 53 years old, suffering from coronary disease found that adding antioxidant therapy to lipid-altering therapy did not improve the clinical outcome – it actually worsened the risk of a coronary event.
Because avocados are high in dietary fiber, they are an excellent food to add to a diet to help promote a healthy digestive systemand lessen the probability of constipation which leads to hemorrhoids.
Avocados contain antioxidants in the form of Vitamin E and Vitamin C which are essential vitamins to help promote a healthy immune system by destroying the cancer causing free radicals that invade and harm the cells in the body.
The benefits of Vitamin E are also linked to protecting against Alzheimer’s disease. The central nervous system is maintained by such nutrients as potassium, which is found in good portions in avocados.
Avocados are not only very tasteful but they are also an excellent source of many vitamins and nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy. They can be found nearly year round in most grocery stores and are always an excellent food for healthy diet.