The avocado, avocado or avocado (Persea Americana) is a plant that comes from Central America, specifically from Mexico and Guatemala. Its fruit also receives the name of avocado and has such virtues for health that it has gone through its own merits to swell the following list of superfoods.
There was a time when the mistaken belief prevailed that avocado was not a healthy fruit due to its high fat content (in this case healthy fats). Today, the proximity of the low sugar era allows us to enjoy a food that is very beneficial for our body, given its great properties.
If you want to know much more about avocado, stay with us because this fruit has plenty of reasons to be part of your diet. Ally with her and you will, among other things, lose weight more easily.
Know the avocado
Its exquisite hazelnut flavor, at the same time so smooth, and its creamy and tender consistency, allow it to be added to a large number of delicious recipes, when combined with any food.
- Its cultivation has spread to various countries of the world, including Spain, which is among the top 15 avocado producing countries.
- The avocado tree is a perennial tree belonging to the family of the Lauraceae, just as it happens to other known species such as laurel or cinnamon
- Its shape is pear, although it can also resemble cucumber or apple
- Its wrinkled surface
- Its skin is green, although its tone and texture differ depending on the variety in question.
- Its pulp is also green and it is very creamy, covering a large brown seed that is not edible
- The fat content of its pulp ranges from 15 to 30% depending on the variety chosen
- This fruit is collected from the plant between the months of January and June
How to preserve and eat it
When you go to buy avocados, differentiate between
- If you are going to consume them immediately, for which the pieces must yield to light pressure. Also try to shake them and check that the bone moves slightly inside (a sign that they are ripe)
- If they are for later consumption, such as within a week, you should choose firmer pieces
Accelerating its maturation process is possible. To do this, put them on a newspaper that you will also introduce an apple, a banana or any other fruit, and keep them until you consider that they are suitable for consumption, which will occur in 2-3 days.
Another way for them to ripen earlier is to leave the avocados at room temperature, between 18º and 24º, thus ensuring that they can be consumed within approximately one week. Take care to keep them out of direct light.
Preventing their maturity is also in your hands. For this, we recommend that you put avocados in the fridge and keep it refrigerated at a temperature ranging from 4º to 6º. Another option is to wrap them in plastic wrap or in an airtight container that prevents air from reaching them.
You also have the possibility to freeze the avocado. To do this, extract your pulp beforehand, crush it properly and mix with a little lemon or lime juice.
How to cut it
- Place the cutting board on a surface that won’t slip, like a damp piece of kitchen paper on the counter, preventing it from slipping.
- Place the avocado on the board. Hold it so that it does not escape and with the help of a knife, cut it in half.
- Hold it with both hands and gently twist the two sides through the center cut, in opposite directions. The normal thing is that this way you manage to release the bone and the avocado is divided into two halves.
- Stay in the palm of your hand with half the avocado that has the bone and take a spoon that you will insert into it directly against it. Gently slide the spoon around the bone and continue to use this utensil to remove it.
- Finally, insert the spoon between the dark skin of the avocado and its greenish flesh. Follow the line of the skin to slide the spoon around the entire edge of the fruit. When you notice that you have completely separated the skin, you will be ready to get up from it, continuing with the help of the spoon.
- Repeat the same process on the other half.
Prevents its oxidation and discoloration once cut, sprinkling its surface with a pinch of lemon juice, lime or white vinegar.
If what you want is to keep half the avocado that you are not going to consume at the moment, leave the bone inside and sprinkle it with the juices that we have discussed. This will keep it in perfect condition until the next day.
Nutritional properties of avocado
100 grams of edible portion of avocado are composed of:
|Vitamin A||12 ug.|
|Vitamin C||6,00 mg.|
|Vitamin E||1,30 mg.|
|Vitamin K||19 ug.|
|Vitamin B3||31,42 mg.|
As for the nutritional properties it brings to our body, if you get used to consuming avocado regularly you will be able to benefit from the following positive effects:
- Delayed aging. Its high content of vitamin E will allow you to stay young for longer, due to its antioxidant action.
- Care of the cardiovascular system. The avocado is rich in omega 3, which qualifies it to take care of your cardiovascular system. Its high healthy (monounsaturated) fats prevent the accumulation of harmful fats that cause disease in the body.
- Optimal functioning of the nervous system. The fact that it contains magnesium makes the avocado promote the proper functioning of the nervous system, as well as the muscle and small intestines, while promoting the strengthening of the immune system.
- Favoring weight loss. Its richness in potassium, from which it is a much greater source than banana, also helps to avoid fluid retention, making it an ideal food for those who are in the process of losing weight.
- Regulation of blood sugar levels. Its richness in fiber contributes to this, which makes avocado also prone to preventing diabetes and avoiding being overweight, as it is a satiating food.
- Promotion of the development of vital functions. Insofar as it contains a large amount of vitamins, such as A, C, K and group B, it acts as a precursor to these functions, favoring the body to carry them out without difficulty, which avoids many health problems derived from the absence of these micronutrients.
- Benefit for pregnant women. As it contains folic acid or B9, pregnant women should take it to avoid problems such as malformations during pregnancy, and its intake during lactation is also highly recommended.
Do you think you have enough reasons so that the avocado is not missing from your table? Well, you still have a lot to know about this nutritious and versatile superfood!
Avocado cultivation began in Mexico, the country that produces and exports the largest quantity, probably already eight millennia before Christ. Others of its great producers are Guatemala, certain regions of Southeast Asia, the west coast of the United States and California.
To think that all avocados are the same is to depart from reality, since there are more than 50 varieties of this fruit spread all over the world. The most common to find in supermarkets are:
Hass. Its shape is oval and its seed is not too big. It is characterized in that the color of its skin changes from green to purple once it has matured. It has a creamy structure and represents 95% of the avocados produced in California.
Strong. Its skin is different from that of the hass, with a smooth texture. Its size is somewhat larger than that of the hass, as is the case with its bone, although its pulp is used equally well. Its flavor is exquisite and has the peculiarity that its skin remains green even if it matures. It is mainly cultivated in Mexico and other Central American countries.
Pinkerton. Its skin is rough and thick, similar to that of the hass, dark green in color and with protruding granules. Its fruit is pear-shaped and its neck is elongated. The small size of its seed allows a better use of its tasty pulp. Developed in California, its name is because it was patented by John Pinkerton.
Bacon. With less fat than the other varieties, its bone is large, so its pulp is less usable compared to the other varieties. Its flavor is also less powerful. It was developed by James Bacon, from whom it received its name, coming from California.
Other varieties that you may know are the reed avocado, of great size and smooth flavor and the lamb hass avocado, considered a hybrid of the hass and that differs from the latter for its greater resistance to winds and high temperatures.
At this point, we already know many more facts about the avocado, but this fruit is still a box of surprises with a pleasant flavor. Did you know for example that …?
- Avocado is a drupe, or what is the same, a fleshy fruit with a unique seed inside, which is popularly known as stone
- Avocado – Fruit or Vegetable? For all those who have always wondered if it is a fruit or a vegetable, it is actually a fruit
- If you use it in an adequate amount, it can serve as a substitute for butter in your recipes. In a small amount it will not provide greenery and its calories will be less than those of butter
- The term avocado derives from the Nahuatl “ahuacatl”, whose meaning is testicle. It is thought that the Aztecs called it that because of the resemblance to such an intimate part of the male body
- The avocado seed is used to make an oil similar to our olive oil and which has great applications in the cosmetic industry.
- For the Aztecs it was a symbol of love and fertility, which is explained because, for proper pollination, avocado trees need to grow in pairs, which responds to a requirement of their monoecious condition
Where to buy avocado
Perhaps you are already a fan of avocado but you are a little tired of spending money on this fruit and then it does not meet your expectations. Follow these simple tricks and enjoy the best avocados in all their fullness:
- Choose them correctly checking that your skin does not have defects such as spots or black spots, or indentations in its shell, which may be indicating excessive maturation
- Do not touch the fruit in order to check its degree of maturity, since you can deteriorate it
Some varieties, such as the hass avocado, which is the best known to all of us, are available for purchase all year round, both in markets, greengrocers, specialized food stores and online establishments that represent attractive and varied virtual showcases of this spectacular fruit.
Sources and References:
- Avocado composition and potential health effects
- Essential fatty acids in avocados
- Self Nutrition Data