Avocados are nutrient powerhouses and considered one of the richest fruits in vitamin E, iron, protein, B6, and fiber. They are esteemed for their rich flavor and heart-healthy fat profile. Interestingly, during the ripening process the fat content increases making them one of the richest fruits in high-value nutritional fats.

Disease/Ailments:

High cholesterol / Arteriosclerosis
Coronary heart disease
Digestive disorders
Circulatory disorders
Anemia (iron dependent)
Diabetes
Nervous disorders
Cancer prevention

Health Benefits:

Reproductive system: Avocados are the richest in vitamin E among fruits. Vitamin E is known for its ability to promote optimal reproductive functions.
Anti-oxidant: Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, thus protecting against cellular aging and cancer.

Circulatory benefits: Iron is essential in red blood cell production. Those suffering from anemia due to blood loss or iron deficiency can benefit from eating avocados regularly. Also, avocados are highly recommended for those with arteriosclerosis, hypertension, and coronary heart disease.

Digestion: Avocados are rich in fiber and can be beneficial for those suffering from digestive disorders.

Lower cholesterol: While it may be counterintuitive that avocados lower cholesterol due to their high fat content, the balanced fat profile and high fiber content actually lowers cholesterol levels.

Nervous system: Avocados are rich in linoleic acid and phospholipids, which are very important for the metabolism of the nervous system. In addition, B6 is extremely important for proper neuron function.

Good source of:

Vitamin E, C, iron, B6

Purchasing, storing, & enjoying:

Purchasing: A ripe avocado should be slightly soft and have no dark sunken spots or cracks. If not needing an avocado right away, buy avocados that are firmer and can be ripened at home. You can speeden the ripening process by placing it in a paper bag with fruit for a few days. Avocados are available year-round, but their peak season is in June.

Storing: Avocados should be stored at room temperature away from sunlight. If you won’t be using them soon, store them in the refridgerator. If storing already cut avocado, leave the seed in and squeeze a little lemon or lime juice over the exposed flesh. Cover the avocado with plastic wrap so that there is no air inbetween the plastic and the avocado.

Enjoying: Avocados are most commonly enjoyed raw.

  • They’re great in sandwiches, salads, and wraps.
  • Due to their high fat content, they can also be used as a fat substitute in cooking or baking.

Resources and recipes:

How to cut an avocado: http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/07/knife-skills-how-to-cut-an-avocado.html

Creamy Avocado Pesto Pasta: http://acozykitchen.com/avocado-pesto-pasta/

Lime and Avocado Tart: http://www.eatingbirdfood.com/2013/03/creamy-lime-and-avocado-tart-vegan-gluten-free/

 

References:

Grant, W.C. Influence of avocados on serum cholesterol. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med., 104: 45-47 (1960).

Alvizouri Munoz, M. et al. Effects of avocado as monounsaturated fatty acids on plasma lipid levels. Arch. Med. Res., 23: 163-167 (1992)

Nagy, S.; Shaw, P.E. Tropical and subtropical fruits. Westport (Conneticut), The AVI Publishing Company, Inc., 1980, p.142.


About the Author

Ashley Kim

"Our bodies are our gardens—our wills are our gardeners." – William Shakespeare

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