Avocado has become one of the new magic words in the kitchen. Is one of the fruits with the most demand in recent years in Spain, both in production and consumption.
The avocado fruitPersea americana) considered the new “green gold”, it has a creamy, greenish or pale yellow texture, with a hazelnut flavor and to which aphrodisiac properties are attributed “justly or unfairly”.
Its name derives from the Aztec “ahuacatl” What does it mean “testicle”Because of the shape it presents when it is still in the tree. The Aztecs already attributed special characteristics to it, considering it an excellent sexual enhancer. With the arrival of the Spanish, the avocado became known as “Indian pear”, Certainly much less suggestive. But was it still an aphrodisiac?
We eat more fruit and vegetables
Whether or not it is due to the aphrodisiac properties, its consumption has increased among the Spanish population. In general, the consumption of fruits and vegetables has risen in the last year by 11% compared to previous years with values that are around 190 kilos per person. Data endorsed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food confirming this increase of about 20 kilos per person per year in the last year.
Among the fruits, the most consumed in Spanish households are still the oranges with 724 million kilos, 6% more than the previous year, followed by the banana with 590 million kilos (+ 13%), the apple with 468 million kilos (+ 16%) and the watermelon with 437 million kilos (+ 17%) .
However, although it does not lead the ranking of the most consumed fruits, we highlight the avocado, with a production that is close to 100 million kilos in 2020, with production in 2019 of about 94 million, in 2018 of 74 million and in 2017 it was around 55 million kilos.
The data supports it as one of the crops with a greater projection in Spain, being the second largest supplier to the EU with 14% of the volume behind the Netherlands.
A complete food
The poet Juvenal already said it in his satires: “We must pray that there is a healthy mind in a healthy body”. But what are the virtues that it provides to that “body“The intake of avocado?
A biochemical analysis of its composition presents it as one of the most complete foods. To begin with because it has a high amount of monounsaturated fats (up to 23% of its weight) that protect us against cardiovascular problems by normalizing total cholesterol, reducing LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increasing HDL or “good cholesterol”, with a high capacity to control blood pressure values.
In addition, it is the source of 70% of the amino acids what do we need. It has a high content in fiber, which helps as satiating, prevents constipation and regulates blood glucose levels.
Regarding the vitamins, we find vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, which makes it an excellent antioxidant with high astringent capacity. On the other hand, it has a high content of minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, copper and zinc). It stands out for its ability to promote calcium absorption due to its high content of vitamin D, thus reducing decalcification of the bones.
A study conducted in the Yale university praised the virtues of this fruit for the high presence of monounsaturated fatty acid. It is quite similar to that of oleic oil (that of EVOO), and could help combat the effects caused by diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
In fact, in the study, patients with sclerosis had lower than usual values of these fatty acids. Those patients who consumed foods rich in oleic acid had a better prognosis. The authors themselves stress that more similar studies are needed to corroborate their hypotheses.
It seems indisputable that, due to its biochemical composition, avocado stands out as a food that contributes to an improvement in our “body“Already one” mens sana“. Therefore, Directly or indirectly, it helps us in all vital aspects, including those that make us consider it as an aphrodisiac.
* Antonio Viñuela Sánchez is a contracted professor at the University of Castilla-La Mancha.
* Alicia Mohedano is Associate Professor, University of Castilla-La Mancha
** This article was originally published on The Conversation