Avocados have become a popular food over the years, and it’s not hard to see why. These nutrient-dense fruits are not only delicious but also packed with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Originally from Mexico and Central America, avocados have been cultivated for thousands of years. However, it wasn’t until the 20th century that they started to gain popularity outside of their native regions.
Today, avocados are a staple ingredient in many cuisines around the world, and their popularity continues to grow.
One reason for the rise in the popularity of avocados is their versatility. They can be used in a variety of dishes, from guacamole and avocado toast to smoothies and salads. They can be mashed, sliced, or blended, and they add a rich and creamy texture to many dishes.
Another reason for the popularity of avocados is their health benefits. Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which can help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. They are also high in fiber, which can help to promote feelings of fullness and support digestive health.
In addition, avocados are packed with vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, vitamin E, vitamin C, and potassium. These nutrients can help to support healthy bones, skin, and immune function.
Fun facts about avocados you may not know about
According to Intake Health, avocados are ranked as the 8th most nutritious fruit in the world.
Mexico is by far the largest producer of avocado, accounting for about one-third of the world’s production. That is more than ten times the volume that the United States produces.
California produces 90% of the avocado crop in the U.S.
Canada does not produce avocados as there are no avocado trees there.
Avocado trees have both functional male and female organs.
At least two avocado trees planted side by side are required to successfully bear fruits. Since avocado trees have both functional male and female organs, having one next to another helps increase the chances for successful pollination.
Avocado trees belong to the flowering plant family Lauraceae, which also includes cinnamon trees.
Avocados contain 40 times more Vitamin K and two times more potassium than bananas.
Singer Miley Cyrus has a tattoo of half an avocado on her left tricep. Apparently, he loves avocados too.
Avocados are a super food packed with goodness
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect your cells against the effects of free radicals, and unstable atoms that can damage cells, causing illness and aging. These molecular species are linked to aging and cardiovascular and inflammatory disease.
Vitamin E: A fat-soluble vitamin that is required for the proper function of many organs in the body. It is also an important antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in the body.
Vitamin K: A fat-soluble vitamin that helps your body make proteins that are needed for blood clotting. It also helps increase bone mineral density for people that have osteoporosis (a disease that causes low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue) and reduces fracture rates while regulating blood calcium levels.
Vitamin B6: A multi-tasking vitamin that helps your body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It keeps the nervous system and immune systems healthy, helps prevent clogged arteries, minimizes the risk of heart disease, and is also important for normal brain development.
Magnesium: Magnesium is a mineral that plays several key roles in the body and brain, which helps regulate blood pressure, blood sugar, energy production, and muscle and nerve function.
Folate: Also known as vitamin B₉ and folacin, it is one of the B vitamins essential in red blood cell formation and for healthy cell growth and function. Folate is also important during early pregnancy to reduce the risk of birth defects in the brain and spine. This nutrient can also help people reduce depression.
Potassium: The third most abundant mineral in the body (after Calcium and Phosphorus). It helps the body regulate fluid, synthesize protein, and metabolize carbohydrates. It also sends nerve signals and regulates muscle contractions.
Lutein: An antioxidant that helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration, cataracts, and inflammation in your eyes. It also helps fight off free radicals, reduce oxidative stress, and increase the sharpness of your vision.
Beta Carotene: An antioxidant that converts into vitamin A. It helps promote eye health and protect against diseases like Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) that causes vision loss. Research shows that Beta Carotene can also help prevent heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, it can help maintain skin health and appearance.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: An unsaturated fatty acid found primarily in fish. They are considered “healthy fats” and help all the cells in your body function as they should. Some studies show omega-3s may lower your blood pressure and risk for Cardiovascular disease.
Fibre: Avocados also contain a fair amount of fiber. Although Fiber is not a nutrient since it is a carbohydrate that the body cannot digest or absorb, it does help reduce constipation. Fiber can also help maintain weight loss, improve blood sugar levels, and reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream.
Nutrition Facts (per 100g, or about one-half of an avocado):
Vitamin C: 10mg
Vitamin E: 2.1mg
Vitamin K: 21µg
When consumed in moderate amounts, Avocados can help:
• Keep your eyesight strong and protected from common eye conditions and diseases like cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma.
• Lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
• Lower your risk of macular degeneration and cataract.
• Lower cholesterol level.
• Promote heart health.
• Increase cognitive health.
• Improve digestion.
• Improve skin health.
• Reduce the risk of depression.
• Boost your immune system.
While avocados are a good source of healthy monounsaturated fats, as well as several important vitamins and minerals, it’s important to remember that avocados are high in calories and should be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced diet.