Avocados, One of the Ancient Super Foods

[sticky post]One of the Proven and Tested Super foods

Sometime around 12th-16th centuries, a Native American civilization named a green pear-shaped fruit as "ahuacatl" from their own N’ahuatl language. This Aztec word is where avocado got its name. The Aztecs were probably the first people who have found and used this very nutritious fruit. We’re talking about no other than the avocados, also colloquially known as “Alligator Pear”.  Perhaps the Aztecs could testify the goodness of avocados since they were so fond of eating them and turning them into extraordinary dishes like the guacamole.

This is probably why the Aztecs were once the mightiest empire in their time because beneath avocados’ good taste, lies so many powerful phytonutrients and antioxidants. Avocados are considered one of the most nutritious fruits ever and one of the top super foods that could halt the effects of aging. This jam-packed fruit leaves you with an inconceivable health benefit from your head to toe.  Indeed, that’s true and researchers will agree. Let me show you the proofs why avocados are hailed as one of the “proven and tested” super foods since time immemorial. 

Unique Ways to Relish the "Superfruit" Avocado

1860938f12ec454285b7c5e7cdf4552b_largeSince we’ve already discovered the several compelling benefits of our favorite superfruit, avocados, it’s now time to learn lots and lots of ways to eat this fruit without getting bored or getting used to it. Through these unique simple ways, you’ll feel guilty not to include avocados in your regular diet.

Give guacamole a break this time. It has been the most popular and most common way to eat avocados but we must know that avocados are way more than this dip. We can enjoy avocados in many delicious ways you couldn’t imagine.

First off, if you have avocados in your kitchen but you’re not sure if they’re mature enough. You can simply wait for several days for them to fully ripen or you can speed up the ripening process by storing them in a paper bag together with one piece of banana and leaving the bag at room temperature.

Now you’ve finally got your fully ripe avocados, you can try these simple and unique ways to enjoy this fruit.

avocado-oliveoil-saltSimply Naked and Pure Avocados. For a super quick snack, peel or scoop out avocado flesh and sprinkle with some sea salt and a little lemon juice. For a quick flavorful snack, cut avocados into chunks and drizzle over with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pepper and salt. For a nutritious fruit dessert, you may cut your avocados into chunks and slather with a glaze of honey or dip the chunks into milk and chill in the fridge.

Avocados in Salads. You can make a simple avocado salad my combining avocado slices with tomato slices, red onions, olive oil, fresh tarragon and champagne vinegar. Or, you can make a slightly sophisticated salad by tossing avocado chunks with onion bits, grapefruit flesh, jalapeno and crab meat and then seasoned with salt, pepper, olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon. For a meaty avocado salad, combine avocados with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped celery, salt, pepper, whole grain mustard and then dressed in plain yogurt.

You can also try another meaty avocado salad with a seafood touch. Simply combine avocado chunks with large shrimps, fresh lemon juice, chopped fresh tarragon, Belgian endive pieces and then season with salt, pepper, olive oil and Dijon mustard.

Avocados as Bread/Toast/Crostini Topping. Mash your avocados thoroughly, season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Spread avocado mixture over breads, toast, crostini and muffins and finish it by topping with any of the following: tomato and onion slices, thin cucumber slices, sliced kiwi, red pepper flakes, or poached egg.

Avocados in Soup and Smoothies. Stir avocado cubes into warm coconutmilk soup and enjoy this healthy soup during the cold winter months. For a refreshing summer treat, blend avocados along with milk or yogurt to make a healthy smoothie.

Avocados as Side Dish. Sprinkle avocado chunks with salt or any of your preferred seasoning and then serve next to steaks, chicken breast or grilled pork. 

All About the Ancient Super food, Avocados

Avocados’ Origin.

Scientifically known as Persea Americana, avocados have been one of the primeval fruits consumed in Mesoamerica. The earliest archaeological evidence of avocado consumption comes from Coxcatlan region of Puebla, central Mexico, which was almost 10,000 years ago. From here, avocados were domesticated and spread from North to South America, Europe and to the rest of the world.

Today, avocado is one of the world’s most important and traded tropical fruits, with Mexico as its major producer. It is also one of the most nutritious fruits and one of the top super foods that could offer remarkable health benefits. Aside from the Aztecs, the ancient inhabitants of Mexico, a lot of Mesoamerican people had cultivated and domesticated avocado trees. These people include the Maya, the Mokaya and the Olmec. However, the Aztecs are most renowned for consuming avocados in the form of the famous Mexican dip, guacamole. This dish up until now had been enjoyed by a lot of people. Moreover, archaeological evidences suggest that avocados were exported from Mexico to different portions of America and Europe including Ecuador and Northern Peru.  

Why Avocados are hailed as One of the Ancient and Remarkable Super Foods?

  •          According to recent research, avocados could significantly increase the body’s ability to absorb two major carotenoid antioxidants, lycopene and beta carotene. When one cup of fresh avocados (150 grams) or avocado oil is incorporated into a salad of romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots, our absorption of carotenoids from this salad is increased between 200-400%.
  •          Despite their deep green skins and light green flesh, avocados are one of the excellent sources of carotenoids. Research has shown that the highest concentration of carotenoids in avocados is found just beneath their skins, in the primary layer of the dark green flesh. Hence, we should peel avocados the same way we would peel a banana by following a method called the nick-and-peel method. First, slice the avocado lengthwise. You’ll have two halves with the seed still attached in the mid portion. Hold both halves and gently twist them in opposite ways until the both halves detach. Remove the seed, and slice each of the halves into long quartered sections. Now, with this long quartered avocado section, you can naturally peel off their skins by just using your hands. Researchers believe that avocado's amazing array of carotenoids is a major aspect in the anti-inflammatory properties of this fruit. The list of carotenoids found in avocados includes well-known beta-carotene, alpha-carotene and lutein, as well as many lesser known carotenoids like neochrome, neoxanthin, chrysanthemaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and violaxanthin.
  •          Avocados are high in fats, but they contain the good fats. The essential fats contained in avocado are extraordinary, providing us with research-based health benefits. They contain three types of essential fats. The first ones are the phytosterols that control inflammation. Second are the polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PFA’s), which also provide anti-inflammatory benefits. The anti-inflammatory benefits of these fats found in avocados are most renowned for managing problems involving arthritis.  Last but not the least is the oleic acid, which is responsible for increasing the digestive system’s ability to absorb fat-soluble vitamins like carotenoids and lycopene.
  •          The ability of Avocados to fight and reduce inflammation is due to five basic nutrient categories:

1.      Phytosterols, including beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol, and campesterol

2.      Carotenoid antioxidants, including lutein, neoxanthin, neochrome, chrysanthemaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, violaxanthin , beta-carotene and alpha-carotene

3.      Avocados’ other (non-carotenoid) antioxidants, including the flavonoids epicatechin and epigallocatechin 3-0-gallate, vitamins C and E, and the minerals manganese, selenium, and zinc

4.      Omega-3 fatty acids, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid, in which you can obtain approximately 160 milligrams per cup of sliced avocado)

5.      polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PFA’s)

  •          According to researches, consumption of avocados may improve several metabolic aspects of the heart health, including levels of inflammatory risk factors, levels of oxidative risk factors, and blood fat levels, as well as level of total cholesterol. Moreover, it is not unknown to us that heart health is primarily improved by intake of oleic acid (the primary fatty acid in avocado) and of omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in avocados in the form of alpha-linolenic acid. 

Find out more about avocados and its nutritional profile here.

Recipes from YouTube: Avocado Salads and Smoothies

Studies show that avocados are a great salad ingredient not only because they enhance the overall flavor of the salad, but because they increase the body’s ability to absorb lycopene and carotenoids from other salad ingredients like tomatoes and carrots. In this videos, learn how to make two different types of avocado salad, the classic avocado tomato salad, and the unique avocado bread salad. Both salads are great to bring with you when you’re invited over in a potluck or family gathering. The bland taste of avocados makes them blend so well with other flavors of vegetables and condiments. So the combination of flavors is really great. Watch the video for avocado and tomato salad and give the recipe a shot. It is great when you’re planning to have a tacos or tortillas for the night! 

This video shows how to make a unique and amazing salad for potluck or any family gathering, the avocado bread salad! The ingredients used are all unique, savory and nutritious!

Now, smoothies are my top favorites when it comes to avocado preparation. The richness and creaminess of avocados brings a natural ice-cream like texture to the smoothie. With just a few ingredients, you're good to go! Making avocado smoothie is also a very effective way to get the nutrients from avocados. The essential fatty acids, vitamin E, and other nutrients in them are so much easier to absorb in the form of this refreshing drink


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