13 de janeiro de 2013

Viva o abacate!

O abacateiro, uma laurácea, é cientificamente conhecido como Persea gratissima. Trata-se de uma árvore de crescimento rápido e de grandes dimensões, nativa do México, onde cresce espontaneamente ao longo dos rios. Hoje, seu cultivo está difundido em todo o mundo, nas regiões de clima tropical e sub-tropical. No Brasil foi introduzido no século XIX. O fruto do abacateiro, o abacate, é uma drupa com formato de pêra, casca verde e um grande caroço central.abacate

Ao contrário do que ocorre com a maioria das frutas, os abacates só começam a amadurecer depois de colhidos. A fruta já desenvolvida pode ser deixada na árvore por seis meses sem que se estrague. Uma vez colhido, entretanto, o abacate verde amadurece em poucos dias. O abacate é rico em vitamina E, gorduras monoinsaturadas, a mesma do azeite de Oliva, vitaminas, sais minerais e glutationa, um poderoso antioxidante. Seu acentuado valor energético é relacionado ao seu conteúdo em gorduras, responsável pelo aumento do colesterol HDL, considerado o bom colesterol, pois protege as artérias ao invés de destruí-las. A polpa do abacate, amarelada e cremosa, fornece em cada 100g, um número de calorias superior ao de um bife de carne bovina.

O abacate é antiinflamatório, auxilia na desintoxicação do fígado. Suas substâncias ativas, testerol e lecitina, o tornam eficaz no tratamento das artroses, reumatismo e gota. O chá de suas folhas ou o pó do seu caroço torrado e moído acabam rapidamente com diarréia. O uso do caroço triturado e tostado, em forma de chá, elimina a tênia e outros vermes intestinais. Externamente, elimina a caspa, fortalecendo os cabelos e combatendo a calvície.

O curioso é que muitas pessoas acham que o abacate aumenta o colesterol, o que é um erro. Em primeiro lugar, o colesterol é uma gordura animal, então não existe no abacate. Em segundo lugar, as gorduras monoinsaturadas presentes no abacate ajudam a reduzir o colesterol e os triglicerídeos. Outro benefício do seu consumo é que ele pode auxiliar no processo de emagrecimento. Devido ao seu teor de fibras, promove maior saciedade e ajuda no funcionamento do intestino. Mas alguns cuidados são necessários, principalmente em relação a quantidade. Você não precisa comer o abacate inteiro de uma só vez, coma somente uma fatia pequena e guarde o restante na geladeira. Para retardar a oxidação, guarde-o ainda com o caroço.

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