HERE IS A LIST OF THE MANY GREAT HEALTH BENEFITS OF AVOCADO:
- Avocados contains fourteen different minerals
- It is rich in magnesium which helps the body absorp calcium which helps form strong teeth and bones, and also helps prevent abnormal blood clotting in the heart
- Avocado contains oleic acid which helps to lower blood cholesterol levels
- They contain beta-sitosterol which may significantly lower cholesterol levels
- Avocado has a high potassium content which aids in the regulation of blood pressure
- It contains sodium which reduces the risk of high blood pressure
- They have a low sugar content which makes them great for hypoglycemics and diabetics
- It's filled with antioxidants
- Avocado contains the vitamins A, B complex, C and E
- It contains mono-unstaturated fat - which lowers the risk of heart disease
WHAT IS THE FAT CONTENT OF AN AVOCADO?
A lot of people avoid avocado thinking it has too high of a fat content. It's true that avocado's are rich in fat, they are known as 'butter pears' after all. Just one medium sized avocado might contain as much fat as a quarter pounder burger, but the good news is that most of the fat is good fat - monounsaturated - which means that it actually helps to lower blood cholesterol levels. So it's ok to eat avocados as part of a balanced, healthy diet.
There was a study in Mexico in 1996 which monitored volunteers who ate avocados every day for seven days. The results were startling. The volunteers experienced an average 17% drop in their levels of cholesterol. Avocados do contain a lot of calories, so you shouldn't over indulge on them, but they make a much healthier alternative to butter or mayo.
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH AN AVOCADO?
My mom used to serve it as a stand alone dish at mealtimes. She added a touch of lime or lemon juice which gives it a real lift. You can also spread it on your bagel or toast in the morning instead of cream cheese or butter.
HOW CAN YOU TELL IF AN AVOCADO IS RIPE?
There are different types and varieties of avocado. Generally speaking, the darker the skin the more ripe the avocado. So the ripest avocados might have some black around their skin. Pick it up and give your avocado a little squeeze. It shouldn't be too hard. If you are not going to eat the avocado straight away it's ok to pick a lighter green, harder one and let it ripen at home. Avocados ripen more quickly if they are placed near apples or bananas. You can also place them in a paper bag which also helps with the ripening process.
It looks like avocados deserve to be called one of nature's super fruits! Treat yourself to an avocado today!