AvocadoAn avocado is the fruit of the Persea Americana tree. This tree belong to the Laurel family, and the leaves of the avocado tree can be used like bay leaves as a spice. Avocados contain almost no sugars in comparison to other fruits, but they are full of healthy unsaturated fatty acids. The avocado is also a good source of protein. The protein from the avocado has a very high bioavailability which means that your body can use these proteins very efficiently.
 
The avocado is native to Central America but nowadays it’s grown in several places around the world. A number of different varieties are grown commercially, each growing better in different climates. The Hass variety is often touted as the tastiest. I prefer this variety with a black grained shell from Guatemala also. It may be that I’m a little bit biased, because I’ve stayed with my wife on an avocado farm in Guatemala for a while (see picture).
 
On an avocado farm in Antigua, GuatemalaAn avocado ripens only after it has been picked, in about one week and preferably at room temperature. When you put an unripe avocado in the refrigerator it’s cells get damaged which will cause that the avocado will no longer continue maturing. When an avocado is ripened you can still preserve for a few days in the refrigerator without degradation. When you would like to preserve half of an avocado it’s best to sprinkle it with some lemon or lime juice to prevent browning. Also keep the pit with the cut piece because this will also prevent the browning.
 
Avocados are pretty much always used raw. When you cook an avocado it gets a strange egg-like taste. You can put a slice of avocado on your sandwich or you could turn it into a guacamole salsa, a delicious salsa from Central America made from avocado, tomatoes, onions, limes and spices. When you make a smoothie, you can replace the yogurt by an avocado for a delicious green smoothie, which has the same consistency. The avocado is also very good to use for baby food, it has a good consistency and it’s packed with healthy nutrients.
 
Here are some reasons to buy an avocado once in a while:
 
  • The avocado is a good source of healthy unsaturated fatty acids.
  • The avocado is a source of high quality protein, ideal after an intense workout.
  • The avocado is a natural multi-vitamin because it contains more than 20 vitamins and minerals.
  • The avocado keeps your heart and blood vessels in a good condition.
  • The avocado is effective in combating the Candida fungus.
  • The avocado ensures strong bones.
  • The avocado contains powerful antioxidants that may protect against deterioration of the eyes which often occurs later in life.
  • The avocado is full of fatty acids, vitamins and other substances that are all good for your skin.
  • The avocado can lower your blood pressure because it’s loaded with potassium. Half an avocado contains the same amount of potassium as a whole banana. Bananas are often recommended as a good source of potassium. Potassium is the counterpart of salt which causes your blood pressure to rise.
  • The avocado is an ideal food for pregnant women. Avocados are rich in folate, the active form of folic acid. Folic acid assists the formation of novel DNA and cell division. Folic acid tablets are recommended during pregnancy to prevent the baby from spina bifida.

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