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Avocados – Super Foods; Super Nutrition

Posted by Trudy Prevost on October 27, 2010

Avocados are locally refered to as “pears” or “zabokas”. Many people avoided them in the past as a result of the common misconception that they are fattening and contain dangerous levels of unhealthy oils and cholesterol.

Studying the Centenarians Lifestyle helped me to stay on a healthy path; seeing they had no ill effects from eating masses of avocados in season; I just kept on enjoying them.

I am very glad I took the path less travelled as the true value of avocados has come to light recently.

We now know eating avocados can be an enjoyable way to help protect ourselves against many illnesses and it may even delay the processes of aging.

Eating avocados contributes to a strong immune system and healthy muscle, brain and bone development.

Avocados are very nutrition-rich per calorie. They are excellent sources of: vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamin E, vitamin C, folacin, niacin, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, and pantothenic acid.

A study published in the Journal of Nutrition in March 2005 showed that adding avocados to salad increased absorption of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lutein, 7.2, 15.3, and 5.1 times higher, respectively, than the average amount of these carotenoids absorbed when avocado-free salad was eaten.

The avocado contains three important antioxidants; vitamins E, C, and A or beta-carotene, as well as copper and iron, two mineral constituents of antioxidant enzymes.

Avocados are high in healthy, monounsaturated fat that has been found to reduce harmful (LDL) cholesterol while maintaining beneficial cholesterol (HDL) and increasing metabolic rate.

Avocado oils stimulate production of anti-wrinkle collagen, which, together with vitamin E, makes them the best food to eat for a plump, youthful skin and healthy complexion.

The avocado has large amounts of both soluble and insoluble forms of fibre. High fibre intake lowers the risk for cardiovascular disease, some cancers, hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, and obesity.

Among fruits, avocados are exceptional for the quantity and quality of their protein. The avocado protein contains all the amino acids essential for humans – unlike most plant sources.

To quote William Sears, M.D., author of several books on infant nutrition; “Avocados are an ideal first food for infants.”

The avocado can be part of a successful weight-management program. Its high nutrient density can make the diet more wholesome and better balanced, thus promoting better general health. Its high fat content gives a quicker feeling of satiation, which helps reduce overeating and the temptation to binge on foods high in processed carbohydrates, sugars or unhealthy fats. Its monounsaturated fat speeds up the basal metabolic rate.

A study in Australia reported that a control group who ate either half or a whole avocado per day for a month all succeeded in lowering their cholesterol levels and most also lost weight even though their caloric and fat intake had increased.

Avocado has a very high content of a natural plant compound called Beta-Sitosterol – a phytosterol. Studies in the US found that phytosterol may inhibit growth of some cancer tumours in animals.

The British medical journal, the Lancet, reported on a test among 200 men suffering from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Those given Beta-Sitosterol showed significant improvements in urinary difficulties.

A study of stroke conducted by the Schools of Medicine of the University of California San Diego and Cambridge University in England found a 40% reduction in stroke risk was associated with an average daily increase in potassium consumption of about 400 mg, the amount supplied by less than half an avocado!

Blood pressure, a stroke factor, has been linked to a potassium-sodium imbalance, namely to a sodium excess. The avocado has about 52 times as much potassium as sodium.

Avocados can be served in many variations in: hors d’oeuvres, soups, salads, garnishes, sandwich spreads, dips, the half-shell, entrees, desserts and even beverages. Substitute avocado for butter, margarine, and cheese.

Avocados are soothing to the alimentary tract. Native Americans have, for many generations, recommended avocados especially for the ill.

The pulp from the fruit has been used as a hair pomade to stimulate hair growth and topically to hasten wound healing.

Avocado has a long history of internal use as an aphrodisiac.  

Historically, American Indians used the seeds, leaves, and bark internally to treat diarrhea.  

In skin care, the two major advantages of the avocado are its marked softening and soothing nature and its rate of absorption.

Among eight plant oils, avocado oil proved the most effective sunscreen.

The flesh of a ripe avocado soothes sun burnt skin. Just cut the fruit in half and rub it gently over the affected areas.

The pulp is also believed to be both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. 

Avocado can be found as an ingredient in skin moisturizer, cleansing cream, makeup base, sunscreen, lipstick, bath oil, and hair conditioner.

Check with your doctor before eating avocados if you are using antidepressants.

Eat local! Eat Healthy! Eat Avocados!

The article above is for your information and is not meant as any kind of medicinal guidance.


3 Responses to “Avocados – Super Foods; Super Nutrition”

  1. Trudy Prevost said

    During this avocado season try making your own avocado mask – good for all types of skin as the type of fats in avocado do not clog pours. Just add a little lemon/lime juice to avocado pulp; mash it up into a paste. Lightly massage your face with the avocado pulp using gentle upward strokes. Leave on for as long as you want then rinse off. If the juice is irritating for your skin just replace it with a little vegetable oil.

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