Avocados, which are actually classified as fruit, can hold more health benefits than we originally thought. It is commonly known that avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, vs saturated fats. Monounsaturated fats are easily converted into useable energy, vs the harder to use saturated fats. Aside from having a typical 22.5 grams of fat (2/3 of it monounsaturated), avocados are low in fructose and provides high amounts of nutrients such as: fiber, potassium, vitamin E, b-vitamins and folic acid.
Due to their thick skin, avocados are well protected from pesticides, which eliminates the need to purchase organic avocados. It is one of the safest conventially grown foods you can buy. Furthermore, the list of potential health benefits is rather lengthy. Japanese research suggests that avocados can help prevent liver damage, aside from its known anti-inflammatory properties. A study fed mice avocados and 22 other fruits, and then exposed these mice to a liver toxin that is known to cause cell death. Of all of the fruits, mice fed avocados were seen to undergo the smallest amount of liver damage of all of the other mice in the trial.
An increase in avocado intake can also increase the amount of carotenoid, which reduces your body susceptibility to free radical damage. Avocados also have properties that enable them to destroy oral cancer cells and acts to inhibit them as well. In individuals with high cholesterol, avocados may see a 16% decrease in cholesterol levels after a week of following a diet including avocados as a monounsaturated fat source. A week-long diet of avocados also contributes to a 22% decrease of “bad cholesterol” LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides. Whereas the percentage of good cholesterol in the body rose an average of 17 % in those individuals undergoing the trials.
The dark green portion of the fruit closest to the rind is the richest in antioxidants and the nutrients that are responsible for the health benefits of this fruit. When peeling avocados, it is best to cut around the seed, twist both halves of the fruit off and cut those halves into quarters. From here, it is best to simply peel the rind off of the fruit with your thumb and index finger.
There are numerous ways to incorporate avocados into your diet. This includes being used as a fat replacement in traditional recipes, as a first food for babies, or in a salad.
The following is a recipe from the California Avocado Commission that is an excellent way to introduce avocados into your diet:
Avocado Honey Lime Ice Cream
|4||large egg yolks|
|2/3 cup||pure honey|
|2 cups||half and half|
|2 Tbsp.||lime zest|
|3||ripe, fresh California Avocados, peeled, seeded and pureed|
Whisk together eggs, honey and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
In a medium saucepan over low heat, bring the half-and-half, buttermilk and lime zest to a full simmer. Once liquid begins to bubble, remove from the heat. Cover and let steep 2 hours.
Once cream mixture has cooled, strain into another medium saucepan. Over low heat, bring to a simmer again.
Temper the egg and honey mixture by adding the simmering cream to the mixture in a ladle a little bit at a time while whisking. Then, return the mixture to the saucepan. Continue to simmer over medium-low heat, whisking constantly until the custard thickens enough to coat a spoon and the thermometer reads 170°F to 175°F, about 4 minutes (do not allow mixture to boil).
Strain mixture into a clean bowl and allow the steam to escape. Cover and chill mixture until cold (at least 3 hours, and up to 1 day).
Process the custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add avocado purée halfway through freezing.
Transfer to a bowl or tub and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours, and up to 3 days.
For more recipes including avocados, please visit: http://www.californiaavocado.com/