Adding avocado to your diet may help prevent or fight off oral cancer.  Researchers at OSU in Columbus, Oh found that nutrients in Hass avocados are possibly able to kill some cancer cells and prevent some cells from turning into cancer.  Phytochemicals in the fruit increase reactive oxygen in the cells.  This has no harmful effect on normal cells, but causes the pre cancerous cells to die.

Hass avocado(97716)Credit: wikipedia

Avocados contain antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamin C, folate, vitamin E, fiber, and unsaturated fats.  They are very healthy to consume, with no trans fat, low saturated fat, and sodium free.  They are also available all year long and relatively easy to find in most stores or farmers markets.

 

My favorite recipe is a bean and avocado quesadilla.  For this recipe you will need the following ingredients:

1 avocado         

tortillas

refried beans

shredded cheese

one small onion

Chop onion, place in skillet and sauté.  Peel avocado and mash in a bowl.  Spread a layer of refried beans on one tortilla.  Top with onion and shredded cheese.  Using another tortilla, spread a layer of avocado on top.  Place this tortilla on top of the other one and cook in skillet over medium low heat for about 5 minutes or until lightly browned.  Then flip and cook the other side.  One avocado fruit will make 2 tortillas.  I usually make this meal a little healthier by using whole wheat tortillas, organic refried beans, and organic cheese.

 

Avocado & Asparagus wrapsCredit: http://whatscookingamerica.net/Appetizers/WrapAsparagus.htmAsparagus and Avocado Wraps

Ingredients:

24 spears asparagus

1 ripe avocado

1 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice

1 clove minced garlic

1  1/2 cups cooked long grain white rice

3 tbsp plain non fat yogurt

3 whole wheat tortillas

1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves

2 tbsp chopped red onion

Boil two inches of water in a medium sized saucepan.  Place asparagus in steamer basket, cover, and steam until tender; about five minutes.  Remove and rinse with cold water.  In a small bowl, mash avocado, lime juice, and garlic into a purée.  In another bowl, mix rice and yogurt.  Heat tortillas over medium heat in a frying pan.  Remove from pan and spread avocado mixture on tortilla.  Top with rice mixture, asparagus, cilantro, and onion.  Fold in both sides and bottom over filling and roll to close. 

Salad(97717)Credit: http://whatscookingamerica.net/LindaSandberg/Salads/AvocadoHeartPalmSalad.htmAvocado, Hearts of Palm, and Red Onion Salad

Ingredients:

1 14 oz can hearts of palm, drained

4 avocados

1 small red onion, sliced

Boston lettuce leaves

Cilantro Vinaigrette

(To make cilantro vinaigrette you will need 1 small garlic clove, 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, 3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 tsp granulated sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil.  Blend all ingredients except olive oil.  Puree and slowly blend in olive oil.)

Cut hearts of palm and avocados into 3/4 inch cubes and place in large bowl.  Gently toss with sliced onions and cilantro vinaigrette until mixed well.  Line plates with Boston lettuce leaves and top with avocado mixture. 

 shake(97718)Credit: http://whatscookingamerica.net/Beverage/AvocadoShake.htm

Avocado Shake 

Ingredients:

1 avocado, peeled and pitted

2 cups of ice

1/2 cup fat free sweetened condensed milk

1/2 to 1 cup non fat milk

Blend the avocado, ice, condensed milk, and 1/2 cup non fat milk in blender and purée until smooth.  Add additional milk for thinner consistency.  Makes 2 servings.

 

Avocado Tomato Melt

Ingredients:

4 English muffins, split in halves

1 avocado peeled and pitted

1 to 2 large tomatoes, sliced thin

salt

1/4 cup fresh chopped basil leaves

fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven broiler on high.  Toast muffins until golden brown and remove.  Top each half with sliced avocado and tomato; lightly salt.  Sprinkle chopped basil leaves over tomatoes.  Add layer of mozzarella cheese and sprinkle with parmesan.  Top with black pepper.  Broil 2 or 3 minutes until cheese is melted.  Makes 4 servings.

Avocado tomato meltCredit: http://whatscookingamerica.net/Sandwich/AvocadoTomatoMelt.htm

Many recipes can be found online for all types of avocado dishes from appetizers, salads, main dishes, to desserts.  Avocados are delicious, and the possible added health benefits of fighting oral cancer make them well worth adding to your diet.