Avocado (latin Persea americana) is classified among the healthiest foods. The often asked question is: What is avocado, a fruit or a vegetable? This evergreen plant is one of the tropical fruits and comes from South America. Anyway, because of its specific taste, it is mostly used as vegetable, in other words, for preparation of various appetizers and salads.
The avocado fruit is green and pear-shaped, and for its rough skin, a long ago in England it was named as "alligator pear". Avocado is a rich source of precious vitamins, minerals and other beneficial materies. In developed countries of the world it is favourite because it has low energetic value in comparison to many other foods, so it is commonly used in different diets.
However, avocado contains many beneficial vegetable fats and monounsaturated fatty acids. In comparison to other fruits, avocado is high in calories, but despite that, it is highly appreciated dietetic product. First, because this fruit lowers the level of "bad" cholesterol in blood. Then, it is recommended for persons who suffer from anemia, atherosclerosis and hypertension. Generally, it has good influence on cardiovascular system. Nutritionists often recommend the consumption of avocado to persons who suffer from constipation, gastritis or diabetes. It is important to say that this fruit is a good antioxidant, so it protects the organism from harmful effect of free radicals and prevents the aging process.
The less known, but the true fact is that regular consumption of avocado has positive effect on central nervous system. So, thanks to potassium, this fruit stimulates concentration, desreases tension, eliminates fatigue. Potassium participates actively in the process of electricity and nerve impulses transmision in the body. It also regulates the sodium-water ratio in the body, so as the muscle function. Beside high amounts of potassium, avocado also contains: fibers, vegetable fats, proteins, carbohydrates, folic acid, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, calcium, iron, sodium, zinc, selenium, copper, and vitamins (A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, K). It's quite a long list, we must admit.
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