(NaturalHealth365) The avocado versatility comes from two elements, one its wide range of health benefits; second its broad range of uses. The avocado is one of the most versatile plant foods; from salads to desert it is clearly convenient, unique, and distinctive. It is a tasteful addition that can rev up any meal. Avocados are rich and creamy and can effortlessly be used in most dishes.
The avocado is sometimes called the Alligator Pear, because of its appearance. Avocados have a mild taste, but their shape and outer skin plus the color and texture gives it that name. Some species of avocados grow on an evergreen tree that can reach heights of 65 feet.
Avocados are native to Central and South America, and have been a stable since 8,000 B.C. In the 1700’s they were brought to Jamaica and spread to the Asian tropical regions in the mid-1800. In the early 20th century they were cultivated in the United States. The best known avocado in the United States is the Haas variety. California and Florida are known for cultivating avocados. The weight of the fruit varies, from 8 ounces to 3 pounds depending upon the variety.
The functional benefits deserve a closer look. The combination of its natural benefits and ease of use makes this fruit increasingly popular. They have a stellar array of nutrients. They possess alpha-linolenic acid; this is an omega-3 fatty acid, and oleic acid. They are a source vitamin K, B6, B5, C, and folate. They are higher in potassium than a medium banana.
Avocados have a high fat content which is between 71 to 88% of their total calories amounting to 30 grams of fat. This is one of the reasons avocados were considered a high fat food to be avoided. The world has come to its senses, and now recognizes that the fat in avocados is health-promoting. These are monounsaturated fats and with those come a wide array of phytonutrients. This list includes phytoserols, carotenoids (beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, flavonoids and so much more.
The avocado should be just what the doctor ordered, it immunizes against so many conditions. It can turn out to be your own bodyguard, protecting you from all sorts of chronic conditions. Avocados increase the absorption of beta-carotene and lycopene.
There was a study by researchers at the Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social in Mexico, which can be found in the Archives of Medical Research. This study examined the health benefits of consuming an avocado every day for a week. They found that the 45 volunteers had an average drop of 17% in total cholesterol. Their levels of LDL (the so called bad cholesterol) and triglycerides went down, while the HDL, the good cholesterol went up.
Researchers now know that avocados are rich in beta-sitosterol, a natural substance known to significantly lower cholesterol levels. An article in the American Journal of Medicine pointed to the fact that beta-sitosterol reduced cholesterol in 16 human studies.
The rest of the story is in the fact that omega-3 fatty acids in the avocado are heart healthy.
Avocados regulate blood sugar. Dr. Abhimanuv Garg, MD, professor at the Center for Human Nutrition at the university of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, who was quoted in the Doctors Book of Food Remedies stated avocados have high amounts of monounsaturated fats that are known to control sugar and some of the other conditions associated with diabetes. That along with the 7-8 grams of dietary fiber makes this a wonderful source of sugar-regulating plant food.
It seems crystal clear that avocados are capable of treating common conditions. The expanding knowledge shows the avocado to be good for the skin preventing wrinkles and sun damage. The avocado is such an easy way to deliver better health.
About the author Blanche has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She had the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in Natural Healing including Naturopaths, Scientist, and Energy Healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.