Avocados are grown primarily in equatorial, tropical and subtropical areas. The most sought out variety of the avocado fruit is the creamy Hass Avocado. Evidence dating back to 10,000 B.C. suggests that avocado trees were first seen in Puebla, Mexico. The first settlers to utilize this highly beneficial fruit were the civilizations of Ancient Central America and South America.
Avocados are harvested early and then allowed to gradually ripen. An indicator of ripe avocados is its skin; if it is soft and budges on pressing it gently, then the fruit has ripened completely.
6 Health Benefits of Eating Avocado
Now that you know more about the avocado and how to eat it, let’s take a closer look at some of the top health benefits of eating avocado.
1. Contains a rich nutrient profile
In recent years, avocados have become known as a “superfood,” thanks to their many health benefits. Believe it or not, an avocado contains a large variety of the essential micronutrients and phytochemicals (or health-promoting chemical compounds found only in plants) your body needs for optimal function.
When eating an avocado, most people consume about half of the fruit at a time. Anytime you eat half of an avocado, here’s just some what you’re getting in terms of nutrient intake (assuming you’re eating 68 grams’ worth—half of the average avocado size):
- Fiber: 4.6 g
- Potassium: 345 mg
- Sodium: 5.5 mg
- Magnesium: 19.5 mg
- Vitamin A: 43 μg
- Vitamin C: 6 mg
- Vitamin E: 1.3 mg
- Vitamin K: 14 μg
- Folate: 60 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.2 mg
- Niacin: 1.3 mg
- Riboflavin: 0.1 mg
And so much more!
2. Supports overall nutrient absorption
Avocados can actually help boost your body’s absorption of antioxidants known as carotenoids. Here’s why this matters: Your liver transforms beta-carotene, a type of carotenoid, into vitamin A, which helps both to fight and prevent infections in your body.
Interestingly, a 2014 study researched the connection between beta-carotene absorption and avocado consumption. The researchers found that when participants consumed tomato sauce and carrots (both beta-carotene-rich foods) along with 5 ounces of avocado, their bodies absorbed beta-carotene than when they didn’t eat the avocado. Additionally, eating the avocado actually increased the conversion of beta-carotene into immune-supporting vitamin A!
3. Helps manage stress and anxiety
One of my favorite benefits of eating avocado is its ability to help manage stress and anxiety. As you know, I believe that chronic stress is the root of many of our major health concerns today. Amazingly, avocado is a great natural source of B vitamins, which are known to help combat both stress and anxiety, making it a great food to support whole-body health.
Here’s a look at some of the growing body of research on how B vitamins fight stress. A 2010 study on 215 healthy men revealed that B vitamins helped decrease their stress levels.And a 2014 study showed that consuming B vitamins helped reduce workplace stress by 20 percent!
The takeaway here? If you find yourself feeling a little stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed, consider that your body may be low in B vitamins and reach for an avocado to help give yourself some much-needed relief.
4. Aids digestion
Thanks to its high fiber content, one of the benefits of eating avocado is that it supports your digestion. A whole avocado contains about 10 grams of fiber, which is almost half your daily fiber content! And this fiber includes both soluble and insoluble forms, which are responsible for preventing constipation and gas buildup.
While soluble fiber supports both digestion and blood sugar, insoluble fiber helps to soften stool and prevent it from being too bulky. So, if you find that you’re prone to constipation, it may help to regularly include avocados in your diet.
5. Promotes satiety
Perhaps a more popular health benefit of eating avocado is its impact on hunger, satiety, and snacking habits. The high fat content in avocados make them more filling, which cuts down on the likelihood of overeating or indulging in unhealthy foods.
In fact, a 2019 study looked at this connection more closely. Researchers found that when participants ate either a half or whole avocado with their meals, they reported feeling more satisfied than those who didn’t eat the avocado. Furthermore, those who ate a whole avocado were more satisfied than those who only ate one-half.
This is a great example of why I recommend eating avocado once or twice a day, either in conjunction with your meals or as part of a healthy snack.
6. Supports healthy blood sugar levels
One of the last major benefits of eating avocado is its impact on blood sugar and, more specifically, type 2 diabetes. In the 2019 study mentioned above, the researchers noted that when the participants ate avocado with their meals, their blood sugar levels remained stabilized and their insulin sensitivity improved.
Additionally, other studies have shown that following a MUFA-rich diet can drop fasting blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes by as much as 30 points!When you look at the research behind this amazing fruit, it’s really no wonder why it’s called a superfood, is it?
Popular Names of Avocado
There are several different names for the fruit across the world. In many parts of India, people know avocado as ‘butter fruit‘. In certain other parts of the world, the fruit is known in the local language by words that translate to the term ‘alligator pear’.
Interesting Avocado Recipes
Apart from offering you amazing health benefits, avocado is also one of the most versatile and delicious ingredients that you can add to a variety of dishes. It is probably the only fruit that combines various textures like the creaminess of butter, vitamins and minerals from fruits, and the protein from meat in addition to a distinctly nutty flavour. Here are some exciting avocado recipes that you can use to add that extra zing to your meals:
1. Corn and Avocado Salad
It is probably the healthiest recipe involving Avocado, while also being the easiest to prepare. Take a bowl and toss in some fresh corn kernels, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and avocado. Add some lime juice and any dressing of your choice. Mix it thoroughly and enjoy the health benefits of this delicious salad.
Just scoop out the avocado from its shell and add a little lime and some parsley and mint. Mash the whole thing thoroughly to create a smooth paste. Add any seasoning to suit your palate and enjoy one of the creamiest yet healthiest dips you can get.
3. Coriander Avocado Dip
Just take some avocados, crushed garlic and pepper, chopped mint and parsley and mix with creamy yoghurt. Shake vigorously for a few seconds. Your Coriander Avocado Dip is ready for consumption.
4. Grilled Chicken Salad
Take generous amounts of avocado and mix it with juicy chicken pieces, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, pomegranate and some nuts. Add a little olive oil and lemon juice. Toss it a couple of times and have a healthy and filling snack.
5. Seared Tuna with Avocado and Spinach
Just keep it simple. Pan-sear the tuna and add some leaves of baby spinach and generous amounts of avocado. Your Seared Tuna with Avocado and Spinach is ready to be served.
6. Avocado Indian Salad
Go completely desi with this foreign ingredient. Take some chopped tomatoes, onion, cucumber, carrots and diced cottage cheese. Add a couple of green chilies, and squeeze in a fresh lemon with some chaat masala. Mix it thoroughly and enjoy a healthy Indian salad.
7. Chicken and Avocado Sandwich
Take avocado paste and spread it nicely on the bread. Now add pan-seared chicken breast and some pickled onions to the bread. Finish it with a leaf of iceberg lettuce and dig into this lip-smacking sandwich.
With so many health benefits, it is only natural that avocados are now produced in many countries. Its thick skin also protects it from damage by pesticide, making it one of the safest crops to purchase. One can eat it raw or make a dressing. You can even use avocado oil in place of butter while baking to reduce the production of fatty acids in your body.
Avocado – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What is avocado fruit called in India?
Ans. Avocado is not a typical fruit that you see in Indian markets. It was first introduced in the 20th century, where it was shipped from Sri Lanka. The Indian name of Avocado is Makhanfal.
Q. What is the benefit of avocado?
Ans. Avocado has been popular because of its numerous benefits. It is great for reducing the risk of heart diseases, treating Type II diabetes, maintaining blood pressure, helping in weight loss, etc.
Q. How do you eat avocado fruit?
Ans. Avocado is a versatile fruit that can be added raw in salads and dips or made into a puree and spread on toast.
Q. What is the best time to eat avocado?
Ans. A ripe Avocado can be consumed any time of the day, as a tasty addition to any meal.
Q. Does avocado make you gain weight?
Ans. Avocados are high in fat and calories, hence if consumed in excess, can lead to weight gain.
Q. Is it OK to eat an avocado every day?
Ans. Yes, you can have an Avocado every day without fearing any adverse effects. In fact, in 2015 the American Heart Association published a paper discussing the benefits of having avocado every day that can improve cholesterol levels in obese people.
Q. What is avocado fruit good for?
Ans. Avocado contains tons of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats that help in weight loss, improving heart health, eyesight and skin, prevents osteoporosis, etc.