Avocado: a powerful and healthy superfruit | Photo: Shutterstock

There are over 80 varieties of avocados. It is one of the few fruits that can provide you with high amounts of fat and protein.

Avocados have grown in Central and South America for almost 10,000 years.

Ancient Aztecs considered the avocado a fertility fruit, and the Mayans used it as an aphrodisiac.

The word "avocado" comes from the Spanish "aguacate," which in turn comes from the Aztec expression "ahuacati," meaning "testicle tree."

Today, they are extremely popular in the United States. Around 45 percent of US households buy avocados regularly.

The avocado capital of the United States is San Diego County. It accounts for 40 percent of all the avocados grown in California.

The Golden State produces 90 percent of all avocados in the US.

Avocados: California produces 90 percent of all avocados in the US | Photo: Creative Commons

A Healthy Superfruit

The avocado is classified as a flowering plant and is part of the berry family. Its botanical name is Persea Americana.

The avocado tree can produce about 500 avocados a year, even though the average is 150 units.

The most popular types of avocados are Hass, Pinkerton, Miguel, Bacon, Brogdon, Bernecker, Lula, Reed, Oro Negro, Gwen, Russell, Fuerte, Zutano, Simmons, and Choquette.

How many calories are in an average avocado? A 200-gram avocado has around 320 calories.

To find out if an avocado is ripe, look under the dry little spot on the stem end. If it's green, the avocado is perfectly ripe; if it's brown, the fruit is overripe.

Interestingly, an avocado ripens quicker when placed beside a banana or apple.

Why? Because bananas and apples release ethylene, a hormone that triggers ripening in mature fruit.

Avocados are among the vegetables and fruits with the lowest pesticide residue.

Their skin also protects the inner fruit from pesticides, and the need to purchase organic varieties for protection from pesticides.

Avocados: try them in a smoothie | Photo: Creative Commons

You may slice it, mash it, and puree it.

For the ultimate guacamole, mix mashed avocados with tomatoes, onions, and other ingredients like lime juice, garlic, serrano or jalapeno peppers, and cilantro.

You can add them to salads, desserts, and even sandwiches for sweet flavor or use them as a fat replacement for oil and butter.

The benefits of avocados are as follows:

1. They're Highly Nutritious

With nearly 20 minerals and vitamins, a 200-gram avocado is rich in vitamin K (50 percent of the daily value), folate (40 percent), vitamin C (34 percent), potassium (28 percent), vitamin B5 (28 percent), vitamin B6 (26 percent), and vitamin E (20 percent).

The pear-shaped superfruit also contains traces of vitamins A, B1, B2, and B3, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, and phosphorous.

Avocados are an excellent food for babies.

2. They're Rich in Potassium

Because they're rich in potassium, avocados will prevent kidney failure, strokes, and heart attacks.

They will also help reduce blood pressure and contain more potassium than bananas.

3. They're Monounsaturated Fatty Acid Superfruits

Avocados are one of the fattiest plant foods out there.

Therefore, its healthy oleic acid is associated with preventing cancer and reducing inflammation.

Avocados: the perfect ingredient for a healthy salad | Photo: Creative Commons

4. They're Fiber Bombs

Avocados contain insoluble (75 percent) and soluble fiber (25 percent.

They reduce blood sugar spikes, feed the friendly gut bacteria in the intestine, and help in weight loss.

5. They Lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

The avocado is a powerful weapon against heart disease.

It reduces low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol) levels significantly and increases high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol).

6. They're An Antioxidant Formula for Your Eyes

Avocados are rich in antioxidants.

Zeaxanthin and lutein are known for reducing macular degeneration and cataracts in older people.

7. They Help Prevent Cancer

According to test-tube studies, avocados help reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.

The results also reveal that this superfruit might inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells.

Avocados: there are hundreds of recipes you can try using this superfruit | Photo: Creative Commons

8. They Relieve Symptoms of Arthritis

Avocados have been linked to preventing osteoarthritis.

They're a good source of Vitamin E, a nutrient with anti-inflammatory effects.

9. They Help You Lose Weight

By including avocados in their diets, obese adults will be more satisfied and feel less desire to eat.

But they are also extremely low in carbs and high in fivers, so they will definitely help with weight loss.

10. They Reduce the Risk of Depression

People struggling with depression will find in the avocado a superfood rich in tryptophan, a precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin.

Combined with medical treatment, it will help promote good mental health.

11. They're a Natural Detox

The famous creamy avocado smoothie will help your body detoxify and cleanse.

Just mix a banana, half an avocado, half a cup of almond milk, and a touch of agave or honey.

Avocado: peel it, pit it, and eat it | Photo: Creative Commons

12. They Help With Digestion

The avocado is the perfect fruit for a healthy digestive tract.

It will help prevent constipation, lower the risk of colon cancer, and prevent bad breath.

13. They Improve Skin Health

Avocados nourish and moisturize your skin and work as a natural sunscreen.

You can use them to make a facial mask or scrub to exfoliate your skin. Avocados also help get rid of bags under your eyes.

Try using them as a hair mask or conditioner to rejuvenate your scalp and hair.

14. They're a Powerful Food for Athletes

If you're an athlete or someone who exercises regularly, avocado is a fantastic food for your meals.

Just peel it, pit it, and enjoy it. It will provide the fats that you'll need to maintain healthy energy levels.

15. They Help Overcome Morning Sickness

Avocados contain vitamin B6, a nutrient connected to reducing vomiting and nausea.

Pregnant women tend to experience morning sickness, so eating avocado will help combat nauseous feelings.

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