by Jess Murden
Some people say it’s a texture thing; other people say it’s the green coloring that deters them. I say, get over it and start stocking up on avocado. This weird-looking fruit actually provides some of the most essential nutrients that our body needs on a daily basis.
Avocados are native to Mexico, with the first evidence of avocado use dating back to 10,000 BC in a cave near Puebla, Mexico (reference to the Paleo Diet connection). They tend to have a pear shape and are therefore sometimes referred to as an alligator pear. The avocado is considered a fruit because it is a large berry that contains a large seed. Avocados mature on trees but ripen off of the tree.
The average avocado tree produces roughly 500 avocados annually. Thank the lucky caveman drawings for this because CrossFitters and Paleo Diet advocates alone eat enough avocados to keep the market on the up swing. So let’s side track to the nutritional benefits. Avocados are of the good fat family; meaning they are the kind of fat that a person should include in their diet. Roughly 75% of an avocado’s calories come from fat (monosaturated fat, however; the kind of fat that has positive affects on health, such as lowering cholesterol). They are also sodium and cholesterol free.
Avocados naturally contain the following vitamins:
Vitamin K – known as a clotting vitamin; it helps the body’s blood clot.
Vitamin E – acts as an antioxidant; it is also necessary for the formation of red blood cells.
Vitamin C – used in the growth and repair of tissues; it is also an antioxidant.
Vitamin B6 – helps the immune system produce antibodies; it also helps maintain normal nerve function.
Potassium – essential for the proper function of cells, tissues and organs; it is necessary for building muscle.
Avocado Fun Facts:
The word ‘avocado’ comes from the Nahuatl word ahuacatl, meaning testicle, a reference to the shape of the fruit.
Avocados were known by the Aztecs as the fertility fruit.
San Diego County is the avocado capital of the U.S.
Avocados contain more potassium than bananas
Avocados have the highest protein content of any fruit.
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