Avocado is a type of fruit that has a high fat content, about 20 times higher than other fruits. It tastes creamy and savory like butter. One of the benefits of avocado in the diet is its fat content which can substitute for the needs of animal fats such as meat.
The Latin name for the avocado plant is Persea americana, believed to have originated in Central America. This fruit was introduced to Indonesia by the Dutch East Indies around 1920-1930. The Netherlands at that time brought avocados to Indonesia to meet the fat needs of people living in the mountains.
In the commercial market, there are three known avocado races, namely the Mexican race, the Guatemalan race and the West Indies race. From about three races, there are more than 50 varieties of avocado. Indonesia is the largest producer of avocados in the world after Mexico, the only country outside America that occupies the top 10.
Avocado nutritional content
One serving of avocado (about 50 grams) contains 80 calories, 8 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbohydrates and about 1 gram of protein. In addition there are also various kinds of vitamins such as C, B6, E and K. It also contains important minerals such as magnesium and potassium.
Most of the avocado’s calories come from fat. But don’t worry, the fat contained in avocado is a healthy vegetable fat. Fat is suitable for those of you who are on a diet. Fat intake makes us feel full quickly, slows down the breakdown of carbohydrates into sugar so that blood sugar levels are more maintained.
Don’t be fooled by a low-fat diet because in fact our bodies need fat intake. This substance is useful for dissolving vitamins A, D, E and K. Without fat our bodies cannot digest these vitamins, so vitamin intake is useless.
The thing that must be considered in a fat diet is the type of fat that will be consumed. In general, there are three types of fat, namely saturated fat, unsaturated fat and trans fat. Saturated fat and trans fat are known to have adverse effects on cardiovascular health. While unsaturated fats such as those contained in avocados are believed to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood and reduce the risk of heart disease.
The fat contained in avocado is vegetable fat which is dominated by monosaturated fat. This type of fat is needed by our bodies, and even supports cardiovascular or heart health. This type of fat is rich in HDL, the good type of cholesterol that our bodies need.
Health benefits of avocado
Recent research in the US has been conducted on adults who consume avocados in a certain period compared to those who do not eat them. As a result, people who consume avocados have a better intake of fiber, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin E.
Research has also been conducted on the impact of avocado consumption on the risk of cardiovascular-related diseases such as heart disease. People who eat avocados every day have a lower risk of heart attack. It is estimated that the monounsaturated fat content in avocados plays an important role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Here is a summary of the benefits of avocado for human health. Excerpted from the Medical News Today website:
- Heart health. Avocados contain beta sitosterol which is good for the heart. Consumption of beta sitosterol and other types of sterols are known to maintain cholesterol levels in the blood.
- Eye health. Avocados contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two substances that function to maintain healthy eye tissue. These substances have antioxidant effects and protect the eyes from damage caused by ultra violet rays. In addition, the monounsaturated fat in avocados can dissolve substances such as beta carotene which can prevent age-related decline in vision.
- Bone loss. Avocados are rich in vitamin K. Vitamin K complements calcium and vitamin D to maintain healthy bones. The content of vitamin K helps the body absorb more calcium.
- Baby growth. Avocado is rich in folic acid. When consumed by pregnant women, folic acid is useful in reducing the risk of miscarriage and defects in the baby.
- Anti depression. Folic acid contained in avocados is also useful as a nutritional intake for the brain. This substance prevents the buildup of homocysteine buildup. Excess homocysteine will interfere with the production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which play a role in determining mood and insomnia (insomnia).
- Digestive health. Creamy avocado texture, rich in fiber. The fiber content helps prevent constipation and colon cancer.
Storing and processing avocados
Anyone who buys avocados in the market, will surely find them in different levels of ripeness. Avocados that have been perfectly ripe must be consumed quickly because this fruit does not last too long to be stored. To consume avocados for a longer period of time, some people buy them in a fully immature state.
Avocado fruit that is not yet perfectly ripe has a hard flesh texture. For this reason, it needs to be ripened first in order to reach the desired maturity. Ripe avocados are recommended to be stored in the refrigerator, especially if the skin has been peeled or cut.
How to quickly ripen avocado
Here are tips for squeezing avocados so that they ripen faster and have smooth flesh. Previously prepare tissue paper, tape and a sharp and clean knife:
- Wash and clean the avocado then dry the entire surface of the skin with a cloth. Try not to get dirt on the skin of the fruit.
- Cut the part of the fruit stalk, the part that is attached to the stalk, with crosswise slices.Do not cut too much, just enough so that the flesh is visible. About 0.5 cm. Use a sharp and clean knife so that the cut is perfect and the flesh is not contaminated with dirt.
- Then cover the cut with tissue paper, then seal the edges with insulator. Do not leave any exposed parts to avoid premature spoilage.
- Leave it for a few days depending on the level of ripeness of the fruit. Usually 2-3 days.
Serving processed avocado
Most of us eat avocado by way of juice. Actually there is nothing wrong with avocado juice, it’s just that this is not the best way to consume avocados. Because usually in juice added sugar as a sweetener which actually brings other problems. Here are some ways to serve avocados that are good and healthy:
- For those who like, avocados can be eaten directly like eating an apple. Simply sliced or halved and eaten using a spoon.
- Added in fruit or vegetable salads.
- You can add lime juice to bring a fresh taste and eliminate the bad taste due to the high fat content.
- Mix with chopped onions and tomatoes, add cilantro or a squeeze of lime for a delicious twist.
- Use it as a mayonnaise substitute in making sandwiches. Previously, the avocado was mashed first and then spread on the bread, or it could be sliced thinly.