Avocado is an edible fruit highly consumed in a great diversity of countries. And it is possible that, in a certain sense, the name avocado does not sound completely familiar to you, especially if you are Spanish or European. But what if we told you that it is the name by which avocado is also known?
It is characterized by being an exquisite fruit where there is one (although on many occasions it has come to be considered erroneously as a vegetable), highlighting its very important nutritional properties.
What is avocado?
The name avocado comes from an Aztec word, ahucatl, which means “testicle”. Finally, it was the Spaniards who ended up naming it as the pear of the Indies. More specifically, it comes from the Quechua language, whose name was used to name the avocados, an Amerindian ethnic group that inhabited the north of Peru and the Loja (Ecuadorian province).
With this name, many Latin American countries know the traditional and delicious avocado, a wonderful but exquisite fruit belonging to the Lauraceae family and scientifically named Persea americana. In fact, it is known by this name in countries such as Argentina, Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Uruguay.
It is a fruit originating in Mesoamerica (a region of the American continent comprising the southern half of Mexico, Belize and El Salvador, passing through western Costa Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua), domesticated by the various indigenous peoples around 7000 years ago. In fact, today it is mainly cultivated in areas that have mostly tropical climates, and also Mediterranean.
Discover: Avocado oil: benefits for skin, hair and how to use it
Most important benefits of avocado
One of the main benefits of avocado (or the properties of avocado, in short) is that it is not only a nutritionally beneficial food, but also useful for beauty. But let’s go by parts.
Avocado nutritional information
100 grams of avocado provide:
Energy: 160 kcal.
Carbohydrates: 8.53 g
Protein: 2 g.
Fats: 15 grams of fat, of which 8.5 are monounsaturated fats, as well as polyunsaturated fats
Water: 75 grams.
Vitamins: The contribution of vitamins A, B (B1, B2, B6), C, E and K is particularly noteworthy.
Minerals: calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, iodine and potassium.
Ideal in slimming diets as it provides satiety
It is common that many people believe that avocado, due to its caloric content, becomes a fruit not recommended in slimming diets. However, the reality is that it is a remarkable food in this sense, because it is capable of improving the metabolism.
It provides a feeling of satiety, so its consumption is interesting when it comes to controlling or reducing appetite. Furthermore, although it has a high fat content, it is healthy, and its benefits compensate for this caloric contribution.
High antioxidant content
It is also useful for calming both the intestines and the digestive system, while its high content of antioxidants makes it a healthy option for preventing the effects of free radicals.
Very suitable in pregnancy
Folic acid, as you surely know, stands out as an essential vitamin during pregnancy, since it helps prevent defects in the baby’s development, and is also very important for the health of the mother-to-be. Therefore, it is vital to ensure the consumption of foods that provide this vitamin.
In this sense, avocado stands out due to its folic acid content, so it is a food recommended for pregnant women and people with anemia.
Properties of avocado in beauty
Did you know that avocado also provides interesting benefits for our skin? And from a more natural beauty point of view, avocado is ideal to moisturize the skin. In fact, both its pulp and its oil (obtained directly from its pit) are ideal for the natural treatment of skin and hair.
Its qualities do not end with its external application on the skin or hair. Once consumed, we can also enjoy its benefits for the skin, thanks to its contribution in vitamin E, helping to reduce the harmful effects of sun exposure and also slowing down the natural process of skin aging.
Allergy to avocado and its main contraindications
Although avocado is a healthy food, whose consumption is advised within a healthy and varied diet, the truth is that as any other food, it has its determined contraindications.
Thus, for example, its consumption is not recommended in case of allergic reaction to avocado, mainly in people with allergy to tree pollen.
In this type of people, local symptoms may appear in both the mouth and the throat after eating avocado.
There may also be what is medically known as latex fruit syndrome, whose symptoms range from widespread hives to vomiting and abdominal pain.