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The Health Benefits of Avocado

Posted Nov 16 2009 10:01pm

avocado When summer is in full swing, it is hard to resist the temptation of fresh made guacamole.  I’m a sucker for it.  The wonderful combination of avocado, tomato, onion, salt and lime is like heaven in a dip.  And, with avocado as its main ingredient, there are a lot of healthy reasons to dig in.

Avocados are native to climates where the temperature stays warm year round.  Some say that it is the most nutritious fruit, as it contains protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals and a whopping dose of fiber.  Here are some health benefits that avocados provide:

  1. Heart Disease: A rich source of oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat, avocados reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol.
  2. Cancer Fighter: Avocados have been used in both the prevention and treatment of prostate and breast cancers.  Scientists have determined that avocados contain a cancer fighting toxin.
  3. Anti-Aging: Rich in antioxidants, avocados fight free-radicals known to age our skin.  Not only do they keep our skin healthy through ingestion, but avocados can be used topically to treat skin disorders.
  4. Sexual Healing: The word ‘avocado’ comes from the Aztecian word for testicle, ahuacatl.  Apparently, the avocado was used as a sex stimulant an has been considered an aphrodisiac.
  5. Weight Loss: Because avocados are high in monounsaturated fat, they have the ability to suppress appetite.  Also, avocados are high in fiber which slows digestion.  The slower your digestion, the more likely you will feel satiated between meals.  Because avocados are a nutrient rich food, providing 20 or so vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, you are eating high quality food…making you need less.

Nutrition Facts: Per 1/2 an avocado

CaloriesFatSaturated FatPolyunsaturated FatMonounsaturated FatCarbsFiberProtein
13812.7 gms1.8 gms1.6 gms8.5 gms7.4 gms5.8 gms1.7 gms

Selecting an Avocado: Choose avocados that are unblemished and are slightly soft.  Most supermarkets sell them under-ripe, so it is best to let them sit unrefrigerated for 2 to 4 days to ripen.

Ways to Eat Them: Although a good guacamole is always enjoyable, you can throw avocados into a salad or onto a sandwich to get your daily dose.  Be forewarned though, although avocados are very healthy, they are still very high in fat, so it is best to keep to no more than a serving a day.

Are you a fan of avocado?  Do you eat them often?  How do you like to eat them?

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Aztec word for testicle, ahuacatl, presumably because of its shape and rough texture. But maybe nto. The Aztecs used the avocado as a sex stimulant, and archeologists have found the avocado seed buried with Peruvian mummies dating to 750B.C. Early Americans called it the alligator pear, becuase they could no
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