Avocados are often considered as a superfood due to their high amount of nutrients. It seems as the list of its benefits is never-ending, but I will be listing the main ones and 5 easy ways how to cook avocado, below. Before starting the health benefits, let me tell you a funny fact: The word avocado comes from Nahuatl language that was spoken by Aztecs and means testicle. 😀
1. Healthy Heart
One of the main benefits of avocado is the role it has in a healthy heart. The element of Beta-Sitosterol found in avocados maintains cholesterol levels. Avocados have high levels of potassium, that helps with hypertension as well. Potassium is called “Vasodilator”, which helps relax the tension of blood vessels and as a result decreasing the chance of heart attacks and clotting.
2. Antioxidant Properties
Avocado is rich in vitamin E and C, which have antioxidant properties for the human body. It also has other antioxidants like neochrome, epicatechin, violaxanthin etc. Antioxidants have responsibility for several conditions of the body like cognitive disorders, cardiovascular disease, cancer and premature aging.
3. Anti-Cancer Properties
The consumption of avocado lowers the risk of breast and prostate cancer as they contain carotenoids and monounsaturated fats which help reduce cancer cells. According to the studies, avocados have some organic compounds, which make cancerous cells to undergo to an automatic cell death called Apoptosis.
4. Anti- Aging
Consumption of avocados is related to healthy aging. It has high amounts of Xanthophyll, rich in antioxidant properties. Based on the studies, xanthophyll decreases the aging process all over the body.
5. Skin and hair care
Avocado is the key to having a healthy skin as they enrich the dry and damaged skin. Many cosmetics have avocados as the main ingredient because of their ability to nourish and glow the skin. They are the main elements as well for face masks. For a variety of healthy face and hair masks, read my DIY section.
6. Source of Folic Acid
Folic acid is responsible for DNA replication in humans, especially in pregnancy. Women, during the first months of pregnancy, is advised to take a dosage of acid folic to avoid deformities of the fetus called Spina Bifida. Avocado is an excellent source to add to your diet rich on this ingredient.
Do you know that consuming too much avocado can cause some problems for our health?
- A migraine
- Sensitivity to light
If you have any of above concerns, stop using avocado.
Peach, Pistachio and Avocado Salad
- 3-4 Riped peaches, cut into wedges
- 2 Avocado cut into wedges
- 1 Shallot, finely chopped
- 1 Fresh chili, chopped
- 1/2 Cup fresh mint
- 1/3 Cup roasted pistachios
- Ground black pepper
- 2 Tsp Honey
- 3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tbs olive oil
- In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, honey, lemon juice shallot and chile. Pour over the chopped peach and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let sit for about 20 minutes.
- Now put on the serving plate and arrange the avocados as well. Top with pistachios and some fresh mint.
- This delicious and healthy salad is ready to eat. Bon Appetit.
Cheese, Ham and Avocado Sandwich
- 2 Slices of bread of your choice
- 1 Slice of ham or Prosciutto
- 1 Slice Gouda, Cheddar or Provolone cheese
- 1 Leaf Romaine lettuce
- 1/2 Ripe Avocado, peeled and sliced
- 2-4 Slices of ripe tomato
- 1/2 Teaspoon Mayonnaise ( I prefer Hellman’s)
- 1/2 Teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 Drops balsamic vinegar
- Ground black pepper
- In a cup, mix mayonnaise, mustard, and vinegar all together and spread on both slices of the bread.
- Place cheese and then the slice of prosciutto.
- Next add the avocado, tomato and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Top with lettuce and the bread slice layered with the mustard mayo.
- Press with hands and if you like the bread toasted, put on the grill for 2-3 minutes. This yummy sandwich is ready to enjoy. Bon Appetit.
Avocado and Cheese Quesadillas
- 1 Avocado sliced
- 4 Soft flour tortillas
- 2-3 Handful rocket leaves
- 2 Cups grated Gouda or Cheddar
- 4-5 Tablespoons refried beans
- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- Over the tortillas, spread sliced avocado, rocket salad, cheese and refried beans. Top each of them with another tortilla.
- Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Place tortillas for 2-3 minutes until crispy. Remove from heat and cut into quarters. This super quick and healthy snack is ready to eat.
Spaghetti with Avocado Pesto
- 400 gr Spaghetti
- 1 Large ripe avocado
- Juice of 1/2 Lemon
- 1 Garlic clove, chopped
- 1/2 Packet fresh basil
- 5 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 Cup grated parmesan, plus shavings for serving
- 1 Red chili, deseeded, finely chopped
- Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add some salt, a pinch of olive oil and the spaghetti. Cook 5-8 minutes, until al dente.
- Meanwhile, prepare the avocado sauce. In a food processor place the halved avocado, lemon juice, torn basil, olive oil, parmesan, and chopped garlic. Pulse until a textured pesto-like sauce is formed. Let aside.
- In a frying pan pour some olive oil and chopped chili. Now add the avocado pesto as well and parmesan cheese. Mix everything together for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Drain the spaghetti and whisk well with the pesto. Serve into some pasta plates. Sprinkle with some parmesan shavings if you like.
Nachos with Avocado Salsa
- 200 gr Tortilla chips
- 70 gr Mature cheddar cheese
- 300 gr Ready prepared beef ragu
For the salsa
- 1 Tomato, finely chopped
- 1 Ripe avocado
- Juice of 1 lime plus wedges for serving
- A handful of fresh coriander, chopped
- 1 Red chili deseeded and thinly chopped
- Preheat oven to 200 C. Place a small pan over medium-high heat and pour the beef ragu. Let for 5 minutes or until hot.
- Layer the tortilla into 2 heatproof dishes and top with beef ragu. Add the cheese and put in the oven for 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and crispy.
- Meanwhile, half and peel avocado and then cut in small pieces. Mix well with the chopped tomato, red chili, coriander and lime juice.
- Add the avocado sauce and the lime wedges, over the nachos.
- Serve hot.
Note: If you like, you can prepare yourself the beef ragu with chopped onion, ground beef, seasoning, beef stock and red wine. I like to buy it, to save time.