An Avacado a Day?

By bettymachete Latest Reply 2014-02-12 06:49:43 -0600
Started 2010-06-28 08:51:31 -0500

Here is an interesting article on the benefits of avocado. Does anyone eat them on a regular basis? When I was younger growing up in Cali I ate them almost every day when they were in season. My Mother's ignorance about the fruit scared us out of eating them for awhile, stating they were high in fat and had no nutritional value. I now eat them all the time.

A historical legend tells us, a Mayan princess ate the first avocado in 291 B.C. Fortunately, you don't have to be royalty to garner the rewards of this tasty tropical fruit.

Avocados, are nicknamed "alligator pears" because of their bumpy skins, and come in several varieties. Some have a green covering while others are dark purple or almost black. Avocados can be either smooth or bumpy. Some are small, and others weigh as much as 4 pounds. Yet, when you slice them open, they all have the same delicious light green, nutty-flavored flesh inside.

The avocado got its name from the ancient Aztec word for "testicle." Maybe that's why men once thought eating avocados would boost their virility.

In earlier times, avocado pulp was used as a hair pomade to stimulate hair growth and to help heal wounds. Native Americans treated dysentery and diarrhea with its seeds. Even today, its oil can be found in many cosmetics.

But the avocado probably should have been named after the Aztec word for "heart," considering how it can help this vital organ. Loaded with monounsaturated fat, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants, the avocado fights high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

But that's not all. The "alligator pear" also snaps its mighty jaws at diabetes and cancer.

6 excellent ways avocados keep you healthy

1- Crushes cholesterol- The avocado is high in fat - 30 grams per fruit, but it's mostly monounsaturated fat. This fat helps protect good HDL cholesterol, while wiping out the bad LDL cholesterol that clogs your arteries. That means you not only lower your bad cholesterol, you also improve your ratio of good HDL to total cholesterol.

But there's more than just monounsaturated fat at work. An avocado contains 10 grams of fiber, as well as a plant chemical called beta-sitosterol. These both help lower cholesterol. Throw in vitamins C and E - powerful antioxidants that prevent dangerous free radicals from reacting with the cholesterol in your blood - and it all adds up to a healthier you.

In fact, one study from Australia demonstrated how eating half to one-and-a-half avocados a day for three weeks could lower your total cholesterol by more than 8 percent without lowering your HDL cholesterol.

During the same study, a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet also lowered the participants' total cholesterol - but slashed the "good" cholesterol by almost 14 percent.

2- Bashes high blood pressure- You've probably heard that bananas are a good source of potassium. What you probably don't know is that avocados, with over 1,200 milligrams of potassium per fruit, contain more than two-and-a-half times as much potassium as a banana. This is important because many studies show that potassium helps lower your blood pressure.

Magnesium, another important mineral found in avocados, could help lower your blood pressure, too. Some researchers think magnesium relaxes blood vessels and allows them to open wider. This gives blood more room to flow freely, reducing blood pressure. But results have been mixed. Some studies show magnesium lowers blood pressure, while others show no effect.

3- Strikes out stroke- When it comes to taking on a deadly killer like stroke, who wants to fight fair? Gang up on stroke with avocado's three heavy hitters - potassium, magnesium, and fiber.

In the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which included more than 43,000 men, researchers found that the men who got the most potassium in their diet were 38 percent less likely to have a stroke as those who got the least. Results were lower for fiber (30 percent) and magnesium (30 percent).

4- Hammers heart disease- By controlling your cholesterol and blood pressure, avocados can help reduce your risk of heart disease.

But avocados offer more protection. If you increase your daily fiber intake by 10 grams, the amount in one avocado, you decrease your risk of heart disease by 19 percent. Vitamin C, potassium, and folate, part of the B-vitamin family, have also been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.

Folate also helps your heart by keeping homocysteine from building up to dangerous levels. Homocysteine, a by-product of protein metabolism, can harm your arteries and increase your chances of a heart attack or stroke.

According to the California Avocado Commission, avocados have more folate per ounce than any other fruit.

5- Defends against diabetes- If you have diabetes, you're probably looking for ways to replace the saturated fat in your diet with more carbohydrates.
Instead, consider substituting some of those carbohydrates with monounsaturated fat, the kind you get from avocados. Not only do avocados lower your LDL cholesterol without lowering HDL cholesterol, they also can reduce the amount of triglycerides, another type of fat, in your blood. A high triglyceride level can be a warning sign of heart disease.

Eating high-fiber foods, like avocados, can benefit people with type 2 diabetes in several ways. One study published in The New England Journal of Medicine found that a high-fiber diet (50 grams per day) lowered cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose, and insulin levels.

Avocados have earned the backing of the American Diabetes Association, which has included avocados in its collection of suggested recipes.

6- Curbs cancer- Another reason to eat a lot of fiber is its possible protective effect against certain cancers, particularly colon and breast cancer.

Researchers looking at data from The Seven Countries Study recently concluded that adding 10 grams of fiber to your daily diet could cut your risk of dying from colon cancer by 33 percent over 25 years.

Although a few studies have found fiber ineffective in preventing cancer, many experts still recommend eating plenty of high-fiber foods.

Avocado's arsenal of powerful antioxidants - glutathione and vitamin C - also help fight cancer by neutralizing harmful free radicals that can damage your cells. Glutathione may ward off oral and throat cancers, and vitamin C has been linked to lower rates of oral, breast, lung, stomach, and cervical cancers.
And don't forget about beta-sitosterol and folate. They may protect you from colon and breast cancer, too.

Some Pantry pointers

Ripe avocados should be soft enough to "give way" to gentle pressure. If you can't find a ripe avocado in the store, choose a heavy, unblemished one and let it ripen in a paper bag for a few days at room temperature.

To get at the good stuff, cut an avocado lengthways around the seed and rotate the halves to separate. Using a spoon, remove the seed, then scoop out the flesh.

When exposed to air, an avocado discolors quickly, so use it as soon as possible. Squeezing lemon or lime juice on the cut avocado will help prevent discoloration.

Karen Duester, a spokesperson for The Food Consulting Company in Del Mar, Calif., says, "The avocado provides more of several nutrients than 20 of the most commonly eaten fruits. Including avocado in an otherwise healthful diet can be considered a healthy and tasty way to add variety to your meals."

If you'd like to take advantage of this nutritional powerhouse, try Duester's healthy suggestions:

- Mash the soft fruit and mix with salsa.
- Float avocado cubes in a bowl of hot tomato soup.
- Spread avocado with jam on a bagel.
- Toast a tortilla-wrapped avocado wedge.
- Mash potatoes with a peeled and seeded avocado.
- Crown crackers with chunks of avocado.
- Fill egg white halves with guacamole for a new twist on deviled eggs.

You can also add avocado slices to salads or sandwiches or just eat the fruit plain. For a healthy alternative to mayonnaise, butter, or cream cheese, try mashed avocado.
Article Source: International Adoption Articles Directory

37 replies

TopazDee 2014-02-12 06:49:43 -0600 Report

There are loads of reasons I should eat avocado's have tried to but I just don't like them they make me gag.

gregsteele 2010-07-27 16:40:52 -0500 Report

I love them probably my favorite fruit thanks for bringing attention to this often overlooked gem love to all GREG

Armourer 2010-07-27 01:25:09 -0500 Report

Thanks for posting this! I love avocados. But why do they have to cost so much? My wife just yelled at me for spending the bucks for three of them. Perhaps it is because only I will eat them!

bettymachete 2010-07-27 14:14:17 -0500 Report

Well one reason they are costly is because they ripen very quickly. So your grocery store may buy a crate of them a week but only are able to sell half before they have ripened and then pass the point of sale. This cost gets passed on to you. But if you know when your produce gets new shipments you can generally catch a sale of these fruit. I picked up 3 for $1.00 today but they will be used tonight and breakfast tomorrow morning.

Mama Dee
Mama Dee 2010-07-26 13:18:01 -0500 Report

Happy day.
This has been interesting reading. I have picked up some good reciepes & advice concerning avacados. I make some of the best homemade Pico there is & I've learned how to make quacamole last year those 2 together are the boom. One thing to people that are allergic to limes (as I am) lemons will do as well & the taste is off the chain. Thanks for the subject & the conversation on avacado. Be blessed & peace to all.

Working 4 Jesus, & Loving it.

RCLafnjack 2010-07-26 12:55:20 -0500 Report

and Avacado makes a crazy good Chocolate Pudding..

bettymachete 2010-07-27 09:31:57 -0500 Report

Wow how neat, I just may try that recipe!

RCLafnjack 2010-07-27 11:30:43 -0500 Report

I started thinking about it this morning, had a small avacado and made a nice dish of it. added a little cinnamon and some fresh cut strawberries. ;)

Mama Dee
Mama Dee 2010-07-27 11:56:23 -0500 Report

Happy day RCLafnjack,
Let me get this correct are you saying that you mixed avacado cinnamon & fresh strawberries together ate @ one time ? So how did that taste ?

Working 4 Jesus, & Loving it.

Mama Dee
Mama Dee 2010-07-27 15:55:05 -0500 Report

Thanks will try & find the site. Have a fantastic rest of the week.

Working 4 Jesus, & Loving it.

Germaine 2010-07-25 23:42:35 -0500 Report

i use to eat avocados but now i can't it gives me a bad queasy feeling. i am not sure if it's natural oil or fat, but when i bite into an avocado now, i feel like i am going to vomit. why do i have this change? i use to eat them like once a day few years ago, now they make me sick in my stomach

bettymachete 2010-07-26 00:11:24 -0500 Report

Do you have an egg allergy? It is possible you have developed an intollerance to it or allergy. Avocado's are considered a common food allergen. I ask about the eggs because many people who are allergic to avocados are also allergic to eggs, nuts. fish. It could also be the type. Hass avocados (small dark bumpy skin) don't bother me at all but the Fuerte Avocado (large rich green smooth skin) gives me a slight upset stomach especially if they weren't totally ripe.

ccritch 2010-07-01 08:38:08 -0500 Report

Mi Abuelos have an Avocado tree in their yard, in Puerto Rico, I can remember climbing the tree and sitting on a branch and eating them til I got to the pit. One of my favorite fruits with any dish or just alone.

Memory lane The tree is still growing but no one to eat those delicious avocados abuelo died and abuela is in a nuring home she has gone blind and is paralyzed. Dios quida a mis abuelos.

Thanks for sharing!

God Bless

DFW 2010-06-30 19:00:01 -0500 Report

I lived most of my life in Dallas…there was luckily an almost year round availability of good ripe California Haas Avocados (from Whittier) coming into our grocery stores. It was a staple food as far as I was concerned. Good ripe Haas Avocados are so distinct with their rich nutty flavor and texture.

These days it's still made into guacamole and eaten with multi-grain chips or sliced and put on sandwiches and salads. I was at a sandwich shop many years ago and they turned me onto the greatest sandwich combination ever created! Turkey, swiss, and avocado slices on multi grain bread with a little mayo! It's a taste explosion that defies belief.

My Guacamole is pretty simple these days…mashed avocado, a bit of minced garlic, diced serrano or jalapeno pepper (pickled), salt, pepper, and lime juice. I let it sit in the fridge for 5-10 minutes before serving… the garlic, pickled hot pepper, and lime flavors infuse in to the entire guacamole quite nicely. Personally I've always loved "Spicy".

I fondly remember carnitas (slow roasted and shredded pork) tacos in fresh corn tortillas topped with fresh guacamole. I always added liberal amounts of chopped cilantro, fresh pico de gallo made with chopped green jalapenos, and a squeeze of lime all over it.

RAYT721 2010-06-29 17:00:27 -0500 Report

One day it's spaghetti squash and the next it's avocados… are you actively dating the produce guy??? :) Seriously keep this information coming! I really enjoy new and healthful tips, recipes, etc.

bettymachete 2010-06-29 21:00:23 -0500 Report

Aww thanks Ray! You know dating the farmers at the local farmers market is a tough job but someones gotta do it. They need love too!

GabbyPA 2010-06-28 17:38:48 -0500 Report

I love those green little meanies. I didn't used to because I never had a properly ripened one. They are such a wonderfully flexible fruit that no on in my family will eat but me...needless to say, I don't buy them often. I love them on just about anything and I found a great recipe here that I just love!

My other favorite one is this one:

Nothing better than lime and avocado...yum

bettymachete 2010-06-28 20:15:35 -0500 Report

Gabby I had all the ingredients for the chicken salad with mango tonight! Guess what I had for dinner … Thank you!!!!

Diane987 2010-06-28 16:05:49 -0500 Report

I love avocados but apparently I am not eating them as often as I should. I did buy a few at the grocery store yesterday. They will be going in my salad for dinner tonight. Thanks for the article Betty.

Katsarecool 2010-06-28 10:14:41 -0500 Report

I found this out accidentally many years ago that avacados lower glucose. I went through a phase of eating lots of them at that time. I worked at a hospital and it was required that we have yearly check ups. The day after mine I received a frantic call from the lab saying my glucose was in the high 20's. She asked me if I felt okay. I said I was a bit tired is all. Dah! I had no idea how bad that was. She ran it three times to make sure. Hmm thinking it is time to head grocery shopping again. LOL

Thomas508 2010-06-28 12:34:50 -0500 Report

High 20's? I didn't think a person could even be conscious and functioning in the 20's is that a typo?

Katsarecool 2010-06-29 17:04:17 -0500 Report

No it wasn't a typo. When I got to work the nurses told me what to do. They said if I had come through the ER as a patient they would have hooked me up to DW-10; forgetting what that means after all these years.

Katsarecool 2010-06-29 22:54:27 -0500 Report

I watched out after that how many avacados I ate. I still get a craving thins slices with lemon juice and a small dash of salt.

gregsteele 2010-06-28 09:10:33 -0500 Report

Excellent post i was born and lived the first 11yrs of my life in whittier cali, there was a giant orchard of avocado trees about a half mile from home i ate them all the time and still include them in my diet its nice to learn of all the benefits they afford THANK YOU! love to all GREG