Originally from Central America, the avocado is now also grown in most tropical and subtropical areas and has become very popular in recent years. Quite justified, because avocados are real health boosters.
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Why are avocados healthy?
Although avocados contain an enormous amount of calories (217 per 100 grams) – which is mainly due to the proud 24 grams of fat per 100 grams – they are mostly good fat. More precisely, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids . They have a positive influence on blood lipid values and can even prevent cardiovascular diseases. In addition, avocado contains many other good ingredients that you should eat every day.
1. biotin improves the skin texture
Biotin, also known as vitamin B7, improves the skin structure and ensures a fresh complexion. Fingernails and hair are also strengthened by a good supply of biotin and look healthier. If you take too little biotin in your diet, you will notice this by skin disorders and pale skin colour, hair loss and brittle nails.
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By the way: Avocados affect your skin both internally and externally. So you can also conjure up a pleasant face mask from the flesh of the fruit. For this you mix the flesh of an avocado with a tablespoon of curd cheese and the juice of a lemon. Simply apply the paste after cleansing your face and let it work for 20 minutes. Your skin will already be radiant.
Avocados have a positive effect on your health – fortunately they taste so good. © Milenie / Shutterstock.com
2. linoleic and linolenic acid can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
The two healthy fatty acids are so-called essential fatty acids. Your body cannot produce these itself, so you must take them in with your daily diet. Among other things, they reduce the ‘evil’ LDL -cholesterol and thus protect your blood vessels from calcium and fat deposits – also known as plaques, which can lead to a heart attack. The fatty acid is also needed to produce other important substances, for example cell membranes.
These foods are particularly rich in unsaturated fatty acids
3. B vitamins increase your memory
Do you have to concentrate for several hours? Then grab an avocado – because the minerals, B vitamins and fatty acids it contains improve the exchange of stimuli between brain cells (neurons). They also ensure that what you have learned reaches your long-term memory faster and stays there.
4. folic acid and vitamin C strengthen the immune system
Avocados contain 13 milligrams of vitamin C and 30 micrograms of folic acid per 100 grams. The good thing about it is that folic acid enables your body to make better use of vitamin C, which is known to strengthen the immune system.
Avocados provide you with many important minerals and vitamins. © Natalia bulatova / Shutterstock.com How to strengthen your immune system
In addition, folic acid and vitamin C together promote the absorption of iron. This means: Your body can absorb more iron if vitamin C and folic acid are present. This is especially beneficial for us women, as we regularly lose more iron during our periods. Iron is a component of the red blood pigment – a deficiency leads to tiredness, paleness and shortness of breath, among other things.
When is an avocado ripe?
An avocado is ripe when it is already soft but cannot be dented too much. If the avocado is still hard when you buy it, you can let it ripen for a few days at room temperature. This is especially fast if you store apples, pears or bananas next to the avocado. Their gases accelerate the ripening process. If you don’t want the avocado to continue ripening, we recommend storing it in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator.
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The two best known avocado varieties are the ‘Hass’ and the ‘Fuerte’ avocado, which look different but taste hardly different. The ripeness of the ‘Hass’ avocado can be recognised by the colour of the skin, in addition to the pressure test: when unripe, the skin is green and becomes dark brown-violet to black as it matures. It is also called “alligator fruit” because of its nubby and rather leathery skin. In the Fuerte avocado, on the other hand, the skin is smooth and juicy green.
It does not change its colour during ripening.
What do brown spots in the flesh mean?
If the avocado has brownish spots in the flesh, you don’t have to throw it away right away. A brownish colouring can have the following causes:
- The avocado is oxidized: If you cut an avocado open, but only eat half of it and put the other half in the refrigerator, it will look brownish the next time you take it out. This is because the avocado reacts with oxygen from the air, also called oxidation. Wherever air gets into the avocado, brown spots form. If you want to prevent this, you can sprinkle the avocado with lemon juice or put it in a bowl of water. This prevents oxygen from getting to the flesh of the fruit.
- The avocado is overripe: If you can already see brownish spots when cutting the avocado, the avocado is probably overripe. However, you don’t have to throw it away – only when mould has formed. Small brownish spots can be eaten without hesitation, while larger spots should be cut out.
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Avocados taste fantastic and you are welcome to add them to your menu more often. The healthy fatty acids and the many other minerals and vitamins make the avocado a real health booster.