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The Health Benefits of 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

Calories Fat Saturated Fat Polyunsaturated Fat Monounsaturated Fat Carbs Fiber Protein
138 12.7 gms 1.8 gms 1.6 gms 8.5 gms 7.4 gms 5.8 gms 1.7 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?

Related Topics:

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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Posted in Brett's Blog, Nutrition Tagged with: , ,
  • I became addicted a few years ago. I think it’s the most amazing food on the planet. It’s especially compelling in salads when it mixes with the vinegar and creates a delicious paste type thing. But I had no idea they were this healthy. I’m gonna go eat one now! Thanks Brett!

  • Right On Brett! I LOVE avocados and have them regularly!

  • Avocado is very healthy and has many health benefits. It is rich in nutrients and is excellent as conditioner and makes one’s locks lustrous and smooth, it helps to get rid of the frizz from hair, also helps preventing hair loss and its nutrients helps for good hair growth.

  • Michael

    LOVE avocados! We live in Florida and in December and January the massive (softball sized), beautiful Florida avocados are in season. I’ll never eat another Haas, the Florida avocado is an amazing fruit needing almost no added lime because of its light-lime background flavor.

  • John

    2 avocados mashed, chopped cilantro, diced half white onion, diced tomato, 2 chopped anaheim peppers, squeeze half of lime equals great guacamole. Sit on top of a triscuit with thin sliced hard salami, havarti cheese, and a dash of sour cream for a sublime snack.

    Recipe came from a chef on PBS

  • DaleinOklahoma

    Avocados are wonderful! I eat them normally with just a spoon, but add a little sour cream and salsa and you have instant guacamole. In fact my 10 month old ate a smashed avocado today for lunch and loved it! Hands down my favorite food.

  • nik rahman

    I love avocados sandwich in its simple way.So do my family members.Serve well as breakfast or snacks.Just slightly toast 2 pieces of wholemeal or multi-grain bread,thin spread of butter on one piece of the toast and arrange the cut pieces of 1/2 avocado on the unbuttered toast,topped with the other one…it’s yummy!

  • Ben

    I’ve eaten them regulalarly since I was a kid. My mother grew up in southern California, and was raised on them also. I prefer the Calavo type of avocado because they have less strings in the meat. I’ve always found the Florida ones to be too stringy. I usually eat them halved, with a little salt.

  • Bob

    1 can Black beans (rinsed & drained)
    1 diced avacado
    1 diced red onion
    1 (or more) diced jalapeno
    1 1/2 cups defrosted frozen corn
    fresh cilantro to taste (about 1/4 cup for me)
    vinagrette dressing-
    1/4 cup EVOO
    3 tbls red wine vinegar
    2 tbls fresh lime juice
    salt & pepper
    (or use store bought Italian dressing)

    Great tasting vegetarian meal. Easy to make. Very healthy.

  • Cory

    I love them and didn’t know they were good for the hair too. My 12 year old boy got me hooked on them.

  • Chris

    you’re right about the fat – my black labrador discovered the avocado tree in my garden when we lived in Africa, and even though he was on a diet and had loads of walks he kept getting fatter until one day he was spotted having a fat morning snack! Had a superb shiny coat though!!

    • brettblumenthal

      Somehow, this amuses me 🙂 My cat actually eats Avoderm which includes avocado for his coat, but he isn’t overweight. So, once again, everything in moderation, even for our pets!