Do you share my love for avocado? I eat them daily with eggs for breakfast.
Avocados are in the spotlight as a staple of healthy diets. Their popularity has steadily risen and consumption has doubled in the past 10 years. Mexico, Latin America and California are the main suppliers of this amazing fruit. There are a THOUSAND different types of avocados but here in the US, we usually see the Hass variety. Because of the avocado’s thick skin, and because that skin is not consumed, pesticide levels are not generally considered significantly high so buying organic is not mandatory.
Why are Avocados SO Amazing?
- Avocados stabilize blood sugar and fight insulin resistance. People who eat avocados routinely tend to have a more balanced diet, eat significantly more vegetables and fruit and have higher intakes of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than non-avocado eaters. They also have lower weight, blood sugar, blood pressure, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. They are considered low-glycemic, therefore do not raise blood sugar and due to the healthy fat content, they satiate your hunger and help you burn fat and lose weight.
- Avocados show Cancer Prevention Properties. Avocados play a big part in inhibiting cancer cell growth with powerful phytochemicals, some as powerful as chemotherapy. They help stop cancer from growing in pre-cancer and cancer cells. They also fight cancer with effective anti-inflammatory agents, attacking prostate, breast and skin cancer and improving immune function.
- Avocados help you lose weight! Healthy fat does not make you gain weight, sugar and overly processed oxidized (rancid) fat, makes you gain weight. Fats have been vilified over the past 40 years because they are calorically dense. However, by reducing hunger and allowing more time between meals, you eat less and that contributes to a healthier weight. Healthy fat also helps you absorb more vitamins and minerals from the other foods you eat.
- Avocados contain oleic acid, the same healthy fat in olive oil which helps lower bad cholesterol and fight cancer. Unlike highly processed vegetable oils (canola, seed oils), avocado oil regulates blood sugar, and acts in a protective manner for brain and heart health.
- Avocados contain Lutein and carotenoids, valuable antioxidants, good for eye health. It also contains zeaxanthin, Vitamin E, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, all helpful in reducing inflammation, boosting immunity and promoting healthy growth and development.
- Avocados boost brain health. Your brain is 60% fat and multiple brain processes require saturated fat for proper functioning. Eating a diet rich in monosaturated fats, like avocados, is essential for healthy weight, blood sugar, and many other body processes.
- The phytochemicals and antioxidants in avocados help skin, hair and nails grow healthy. These nutrients fight damage caused by the sun and our toxic environment to relieve osteoarthritis and other inflammatory diseases, and improve the appearance of wrinkled skin.
How Do I Eat Them?
Avocados are really versatile and may be eaten alone, with olive oil and lemon juice, or with savory soups, salads, sides or main dishes. Guacamole is America’s favorite dip and avocados are the star. They are popular in ethnic foods and can be added to traditional American recipes as well. Avocados pair nicely with hot or cold dishes, savory or spicy, can be eaten with foods for breakfast, lunch or dinner or mashed for guacamole. A simple recipe for guacamole is mashed avocados, salt and a little lemon or lime juice for acidity. You may also choose to add cilantro, chilis, onion or diced tomato to taste.
What’s the Best Way to Cut and Save an Avocado?
Slice an avocado with a sharp knife, all the way around, lengthwise. Twist the two sides to separate; the pit will remain in one side. To remove the pit, strike it with a sharp knife until the blade “sticks” into the hard shell, pull away from fruit and discard. Grasp half the fruit in the palm of your hand, and with a dull instrument, slice the fruit in horizontal cuts, then scoop out with a spoon. Repeat with the other half. To save an avocado, leave the pit in the fruit, brush the cut edge with lemon juice, wrap with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge. They may also be mashed and frozen, although this will affect the creamy texture. Previously frozen fruit is best used for guacamole and not eaten alone. When storing avocado, remove all the air and make sure all the fruit is touching plastic wrap or waxed paper to prevent oxidation.
Avocados are a GREAT source of healthy fat and should be consumed daily. Remember, Fat is NOT the enemy. Low-fat diets cause heart disease and many other chronic diseases. Enjoy healthy fats with every meal.