Avocado is an evergreen tropical flowering plant with green, pear-shaped fruit which belongs to the Lauraceae family and scientifically known as Persea americana. The fruit of the plant avocado is also called as butter fruit or avocado pear or alligator pear, it is a berry containing a single large seed. The term avocado refers to both tree and fruit. Avocado is a unique fruit as most of the fruits are dense in carbohydrates, whereas butter fruit is loaded with healthy fats rendering a host of healing health benefits.
As per the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, avocados are fruits which do not hold a significant glycemic index as it contains a minimal amount of carbs and high in healthy fats. The creamy and delicious butter fruit is popularly known as venney pazham in Tamil and Malayalam, Makhanphal in Hindi, Benne Hannu in Kanada and Venna Pandu in Telugu.
Butter fruit is cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean regions all over the world. The green-skinned fruit with the fleshy body is often ripened after harvesting process. The trees are self-pollinating, and a new plant is grown through grafting to keep up the standard and quality of the fruit. Mexico is the world’s largest producer of avocado and it is also widely cultivated in Guatemalan and West Indian Countries. It is not a commercially grown crop in India and it is cultivated scantly in south-central states of India like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra and the eastern state of Sikkim.
The tree usually grows up to a height of 20 m with alternately arranged leaves and the flowers bloom from the axils of leaves, the greenish-yellow flowers are not very visible and attractive. The tree yields fruit, which is larger, fleshier with a thinner exocarp. The pear-shaped butter fruit is 7-20 cm long and weighs between 100g-1000 g with a single large central seed.
More than a hundred varieties of avocados are available and cultivated across the world and classified as A-type or B-type cultivars based on the pollination and flowering nature. The most popular variety is Hass avocado and most varieties of avocados are hybrid.
Why Avocado Is Called A Superfood?
This amazing fruit is blessed with nutrients and antioxidants like potassium, magnesium folate, vitamins, C, E and K. It is also one of the fruits which contain a whopping amount of healthy fatty acids and fibre. Butter fruit works as a powerful nutrient booster and when melded with other foods has an amazing potential to facilitate the absorption of cancer-fighting nutrients and combats against several forms of cancer. The profuse nutrient profile makes butter fruit a superfood. Also Read:5 Superfoods To Keep Good Cholesterol Up
Uses Of Avocado
The richness of monounsaturated fatty acids makes this fruit a staple one in the regimen of all fitness enthusiast. Avocado owing to its healthy fatty acids is also processed to produce a natural avocado oil. The pulp of the fruit is pressed to extract heart-healthy oil rich in oleic acid with a high smoking point. Avocado oil is costlier than most other cooking oil, and the oil is used specifically for making salad dressing and dips. The fruit is not so sweet and renders a subtle unique flavour with a velvety texture and is used to make a spectrum of savoury and sweet dishes like soup, salads, sushi rolls or omelettes to mention a few.
The goodness of healthy fatty acids in avocado finds a place in vegetarian cuisine as an alternative for meat in sandwiches and salads. Usually, avocado is consumed raw as prolonged cooking may render a bitter taste due to the chemical reaction. Guacamole is a very popular Mexican dip made using avocado, this creamy and delicious guacamole dip goes well with toast, rolls and tortillas.
Avocado milkshakes, desserts and ice-creams topped with butter fruit are very famous desserts in the Philippines, Brazil, Indonesia, Vietnam and Kerala (Southern India).
Butter fruit is endowed as a superfood owing to its indispensable nutritional properties and myriad of wellness benefits. The wealth of nutrients present in avocados include essential vitamins and minerals. Avocados are a splendid source of folate or vitamin B9, vitamin K, E, C, B5, B6 and potassium. Avocados contain more potassium than bananas which helps to maintain nerve cells and regulates blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart disease. It also contains minimal amounts of vitamin B1, B2, B3 and A and some amounts of magnesium, copper, iron, zinc and phosphorus.
A serving of avocado gives you 160 calories, 2 gram of protein and 15 gram of healthy fatty acids and just 9 grams of carbohydrate of which 7 grams are fibre and ideally giving 2 grams of net carbs making it a very low carb fruit. It is absolutely low on cholesterol, saturated fat and low on sodium making it an ideal fruit for all health-conscious individuals.
Nutritional Facts - ½ Avocado Per Serving
10.5g total fat
1g saturated fat
6mg vitamin C
0.2mg vitamin B6
* Source As Per The USDA
Butter Fruit Juice
Butter fruit juice is a nutrient treat which is an instant hit with all fitness enthusiasts. Delicious butter fruit juice can be prepared by blending scooped pulp of butter fruit with milk to get a creamy and delectable drink. You can add honey or any vegetable of your choice to make it healthier and tastier.
Is Butter Fruit Juice Good For Health?
A glass of butter fruit juice offers you with manifold health benefits and dense nutrient profile. This juice provides you with instant energy, boost metabolism, supports lose weight, improves skin, hair and eye health and remedies cardiac ailments. Also Read:3 Healthy Fruit & Veggie Combination Juices For Weight Loss
Health Benefits Of Avocado
Avocado For Heart
Avocados are one of the few fruits that are abundant in heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids oleic acid. Butter fruit is proven to lower cholesterol, levels of triglycerides and at the same time increases good cholesterol (HDL).
Avocado is a healthy addition to the diet which aids in treating high cholesterol and lowers the risk of heart ailments. It is reported that as the fruit is ripened the level of saturated fat decreases significantly and elevates the oleic acid levels (monounsaturated fatty acids). Moreover, avocados being a good source of potassium control blood pressure and uplifts heart health.
Sustain Weight Loss
If you are looking to shun those extra kilos, then avocados are the must to have fruit in your diet. Thanks to the dense fibre and rich oleic acid content which helps to curb appetite, reduce the intake of calories and remarkably reduce the BMI, maintain weight and boost metabolism.
Remedies Cancer Treatment
The phytochemical plant compound avocation B in avocado is well-known to specifically hinder the growth of cancerous cells and cause the death of tumour cells. Being abundant in fibre, healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, avocado triggers the production of immune cells lymphocytes which shield the body from foreign bodies. Studies have also disclosed that phytochemicals in avocados facilitates to combat prostate cancer cells and reduces the risk of other cancers.
Avocados are imbued with a storehouse of antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene all of which are powerful to enhance healthy vision. The rich profile of phytonutrients in avocado is valuable in averting the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataract and other eye conditions. Research has revealed that adding avocado in meal plan promotes the absorption of beta carotenes which eventually lessen the eye damage from UV rays, boost eye health, and promotes vision.
Being a storehouse of antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein, avocados lessen the risk of cartilage damage associated with osteoarthritis. Ample amounts of the mineral boron, zinc, phosphorus, selenium in avocados stimulates calcium absorption and strengthens bone density. In addition, the presence of vitamin K enhances bone formation and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Scientists have proved that butter fruit plays a pivotal role in treating arthritis. Avocados loaded with monounsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid) and vitamin E possess strong anti-inflammatory properties which can lower inflammation and ease the pain associated with arthritis. Apart from these, avocados are full of beta-cryptoxanthin which is valuable in treating rheumatoid arthritis.
Improves Brain Function
Avocados naturally rich in monounsaturated fatty acids is well-known to bolster cognitive functions. Rich in antioxidants lutein and carotenoids, avocados uplift the cognitive function of elderly people. As per the study published in the Journal of Nutrients regular consumption of avocados augments lutein level in the brain and can boost the brain functions, sharpen memory and enhance the decision-making skills in healthy older people. Also Read: Feed Your Brain With Healthy Foods! Netmeds.com Guide To Healthy Living!
Enhances Gut Health
Butter fruit aids in the smooth functioning of the digestion process owing to its richness of fibre content. It is also heaped with potassium which averts constipation, promotes digestion and lowers the risk of colon cancer. Furthermore, it has a minimal amount of fructose which is less likely to cause indigestion and flatulence.
Avocados serve as the best fruit to treat diarrhea as it is plentiful in potassium which assists in restoring the fluid balance and treats other digestive issues.
Butter fruit is low on carbs and a good source of fibre and essential fatty acids making it an ideal choice of fruit for diabetics. Being naturally low in sugars and carbohydrates and overpowered with monounsaturated fatty acids avocados prevent blood sugar spikes and regulate blood glucose levels. Also Checkout: World Diabetes Day: 5 Natural Foods To Manage Diabetes-Infographic
Promotes Liver Health
Avocados enriched with healthy monounsaturated fatty acids and also contain certain chemical compounds that are proven to alleviate liver damage. The presence of glutathione in avocados aids in cleansing the liver and clearing out harmful toxins, thus stimulating liver function and shields the liver from various health conditions.Avocado For Sexual Health
Avocados are prized fruit that stimulates libido and promotes sexual health. Immense amounts of vital nutrients in avocados such as potassium, zinc, iron, copper, healthy fats and vitamin B complex boosts your vigor and sex drive. Besides, an ample amount of monounsaturated fatty acids in avocados aids in augmenting testosterone production.Butter Fruit For Pregnancy
The plethora of nutrients in butter fruit such as folate, vitamins A, C, E, K and minerals potassium, iron, zinc and copper plays a pivotal role in the growth and development of the foetus. Being rich in fibre avocados helps in the smooth functioning of the digestive system and combats digestive related issues during pregnancy. Butter fruit juice helps pregnant women to avert unnecessary weight gain.
The richness of folate in avocado is a key nutrient that ensures proper brain development of the foetus. The substantial proportion of potassium and calcium in avocados can aid to offer relief from leg cramps in pregnant women. Moreover, the goodness of vitamins C and B also benefits pregnant women to ease morning sickness.Avocado For Keto
Avocados are the perfect fruit for those on a ketogenic diet. It is in fact, the only fruit that has a good fat content and a minimal amount of carbs. This wonder fruit though high on calories can ideally be added on keto meal plan as half a serving of avocado offers just 9 grams of total carbohydrate of which 7 grams are fibre and giving just 2 grams of net carbs which makes it a low carb fruit. The richness of fibre, healthy monounsaturated fatty acids in avocados finds a healthy reason to be added in a keto diet plan which helps to curb appetite, control hunger pangs, boost metabolism and promotes weight loss.
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Benefits Of Butter Fruit For Skin Health
Avocados with a copious amount of vitamins E, A, C all of which serve as potent antioxidants which shield the skin from free radical cell damage and slow down ageing. The richness of healthy oils diffuses the skin from deep within and assist in nurturing, softening and hydrating the skin cells. The hydrating properties of avocado oil are valuable in fading wrinkles, lessening fine lines and uplifts the skin glow and health.
Studies reveal that avocados creams are effective in treating psoriasis, vitamin B12 enriched cream containing avocado was found to be beneficial in curing psoriasis. Besides healthy monounsaturated fatty acids in butter fruit combats inflammation and assists in treating psoriasis.
How To Eat Butter Fruit?
Take a knife and slice around the center of the butter fruit, take a spoon and start scooping around the edges and carefully pull out the fruit. Apparently, there are a host of phytonutrients present in between the leather-like outer skin and pulp so ensure when you remove the skin not to do away with that part. Scooped avocado can be either eaten as such or made into delicious milkshakes, juices, salads, soups, dip, and with toast.Recipes
Butter Fruit Milkshake
Butter fruit milkshake is extremely nutritious, creamy and delicious which offers you with a wealth of essential nutrients.
1 medium-size avocado
2 cups of milk
3 tbsp brown sugar powder
¼ tsp vanilla essence
1 scoop vanilla ice-creamMethod
Cut the avocado and scoop the pulp and add it to the blender.
Add all the remaining ingredients and ice cubes.
Blend well in a blender till smooth.
Pour in glasses and serve avocado milkshake immediately.Nutritional Facts
Avocados, being a good source of essential fatty acids, vital vitamins and minerals promotes energy, bolsters immunity and enhances heart health. Milk added in the milkshake meets the requirement for protein, calcium that fortifies bone health and growth. Brown sugar renders sweetness and an instant source of energy.Guacamole
Guacamole is a healthy and nutritious dip made using ripe avocados and spiced up with onion, garlic and green chillies to add to its flavour.
1 ripe avocado
1 finely chopped, onion
1 finely chopped, green chilli
1 finely chopped, garlic
½ tsp black pepper powder
1 finely chopped tomato
1 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
½ tsp lemon juice
Salt to tasteMethod
Slice the avocado and scoop the pulp.
Add all the remaining ingredients, salt and lemon juice.
Thoroughly mash the avocado while mixing it and finally add tomatoes.
Serve the guacamole with toasted bread or nachos.Nutritional Facts
Avocado dip is quite popular for its dense nutrient profile and imbued with the richness of oleic acids. Avocado dip or guacamole serves as a perfect dip in weight watchers’ menu. Avocados are valuable in bolstering brain power, healthy skin and vision, lowers the risk of heart ailment and also assists in losing weight. Onions, rich in antioxidants and vitamins detoxify the system and triggers the immunity. Garlic potent anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties are effective in keeping diseases at bay. While green chillies, coriander leaves add to its flavour and taste.
Avocados with the wealth of nutrients and indispensable therapeutic properties are generally considered safe for consumption. However, do not eat in huge amounts, as the fruit is dense in fat eating large quantities may lead to weight gain. Furthermore, people who are suffering from latex allergy should restrict the consumption of the fruit.
Avocado or butter fruit is an incredible fruit which is valued as a superfood. The overabundance of the nutrient profile makes butter fruit versatile and unique fruit which offers you with a myriad of health benefits.
Avocados loaded with potassium, folate, fibre, healthy fatty acids, antioxidants and essential nutrients renders you with a host of healing health benefits. The wellness incentives of adding avocados in your diet include enhancing in brain function, aids in losing weight, healthy functioning of liver, heart, fortifies bone health to mention a few.
To sum up, avocados are a true superfood which offers you with a plethora of health benefits. To reap the wellness incentives of this wonder fruit add them in regular diet to uplift your overall health and well-being.