The first avocado may have been eaten by a Mayan Princess and was considered "The Fruit of Royalty." You've heard it time and time again, "Avocados are a superfood!" And you do not have to be a member of a royal family to eat them. Even fast food restaurants like Subway have jumped on board (Yes, sorry. Subway is a fast food restaurant). Pre-mashed avocado at fast food restaurants often contains manufactured citric acid and other chemicals to keep them from browning, but whole fresh avocados prepared at home may help with just about anything that ails you. That is to say, they provide more health benefits than most people realize. Here is a short list:
So how does the magical, mystical avocado work?
Lowering Cholesterol: The bad news is avocados are high in fat, 30g per average sized fruit. The good news, it's monounsaturated fat! Monounsaturated fat will lower LDL cholesterol and leave the HDL cholesterol alone. One study in Australia showed that eating one half to one-and-a-half avocados for three weeks can lower total cholesterol by 8% without lowering your HDL cholesterol. A low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet has been shown to lower LDL and HDL at the same time. Avocados also contain 10g of fiber and beta-sitosterol, which both help lower cholesterol.
Help Stop Stroke: Potassium, magnesium and fiber combat stroke. Avocados are packed with all three.
Control Blood Pressure: As already mentioned, avocados contain lots of potassium. In fact, one avocado contains two-and-a-half times more potassium than a banana. Potassium lowers blood pressure. Magnesium relaxes blood vessels and allows for freer blood flow resulting a lower systolic (top) number.
Battle Diabetes: Scientists in Mexico put 16 women with diabetes on a high-fat diet where most of the fat came from avocados. The result was a 20% drop in triglycerides. Women on a higher-carbohydrate plan had only a 7% drop in tryglycerides. The New England Journal of Medicine found that a high-fiber diet (50g per day) lowered cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose and insulin levels.
Combat Cancer: High fiber diets have been shown to prevent certain cancers, such as colon and breast. Avocados also contain powerful antioxidants. Gluthathione and vitamin C fight cancer by neutralizing free radicals that can damage your cells. Gluthathione may help prevent oral and throat cancers and vitamin C has been linked to lower rates of oral, breast, lung, stomach and cervical cancers.
Increase Fertility: A preliminary study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, referred to here, indicated that eating avocado could increase IVF treatment success rates. If you believe in the "Energetics of Food," you believe that foods are shaped like the body part they heal. Carrots, when sliced, look like eyes, kidney beans for kidneys and blood, red food for blood flow and avocados for fertility (shaped like a womb). Avocados contain a large amount of folate, thought mostly to be found in green leafy vegetables and beef liver. A study of 18,000 women showed that folate aids in fertility. Also, a lack of folate can lead to a grumpy disposition leading to less "In-the-Mood" time and that really wrecks your chances of conceiving.
Smooth Skin: Many people use avocados to enrich their skin health. Avocados contain moisturizing power and can be applied as a facial to soften and smooth the skin. Just wash your face of all dirt and makeup and mash some avocado with milk or oatmeal. Apply to your face and leave it for 10 minutes.
Many times we hear that you cannot use "this oil or that oil" to cook with because it cannot stand up to high heat without turning carcinogenic. Well, avocado oil has a higher viscosity and smoke point (255 degrees Celsius), making it safer for cooking. Avocado oil can also be used as a non-toxic, non-chemical sunblock.
Avocado trees also help our environment to thrive. They reduce soil erosion and storm run-off and also improve the quality of water. The biggest benefit to the environment is how avocado trees improve air quality. Avocado trees absorb carbon dioxide and other air pollutants as well as produce large amounts of oxygen per year. Two developed/mature avocado trees can provide the amount of oxygen required by a family of four to breathe for one year's time, or remove the amount of carbon dioxide a single car produces in over 4 years time.
This is just a short list of things that avocados can do to improve your health every day. So what are you waiting for? Make some guacamole and invite me over!