Sept 6, 2012 by EDITOR
Superfood: Eat More Avocados
Guacamole lovers, rejoice! It turns out that not only is avocado super delicious, but you can enjoy your avocado without the guilt thanks to its mix of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.
You probably already knew that avocado was a great source of vitamin E, but did you know that because it’s so rich in antioxidants and the good-for-you type of fat, it’s also an anti-aging powerhouse? Studies have shown that the minerals in avocado even help you better absorb other nutrients, like beta carotene. They also contain a sugar called D-manno-heptulose that helps your skin produce collagen, which can prevent wrinkles.
Researchers have found that consuming avocado bolsters cells’ power centers against harmful free radicals. Atmospheric oxygen facilitated the evolution and complexity of terrestrial organisms, including human beings, because it allowed nutrients to be used more efficiently by those organisms, which in turn were able to generate more energy.
What Does an Avocado Contain?
Contains Lutein (a carotenoid along with Vitamin E), Magnesium, and monounsaturated (healthy) fats. Avocado helps fight cancer of the mouth, breast, and prostate, and improves skin tone. It also improves absorption of nutrients in other foods.Women with increased intake of lutein in their diets have been shown to have lower rates of breast cancer ( Freudenheim JL, Marshall JR, Vena JE et al: Premenopausal breast cancer risk and intake of vegetables, fruits, and related nutrients. J Natl Cancer Inst 1996; 88(6):340-348. ) Lutein is also found in high quantities in kale, brocolli and spinach.
Phytochemicals (plant chemicals) are defined as bioactive non-nutrient plant compounds in fruits, vegetables, grains, and other plant foods that have been linked to reducing the risk of major chronic diseases including cancer.
Carotenoids: beta carotene, alpha carotene, zeaxanthin shown to inhibit the growth of prostate, breast and head and neck (oral) cancers.
Vitamin E: is an antioxidant. Its role in cancer prevention is ambiguous due to several conflicting studies. Research suggests that the Vitamin E found in its natural form in foods such as avocados is indeed protective, while synthetic Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol acetate) supplements do not show this protective effect. The Nurses Health Study studied 83,234 women at baseline and sought to assess the incidence of breast cancer during a 14-year follow-up. The study showed that pre-menopausal women with a family history of breast cancer who consumed the highest quantity of vitamin E enjoyed a 43 percent reduction in breast cancer incidence compared to only a 16 percent risk reduction for women without a family history of breast cancer. The data indicates that some of the vitamin E compounds in food may account for the dramatic reductions in breast cancer incidence when dietary intake levels of vitamin E are measured.
Glutathione: Glutathione is the body's master antioxidant. When liver glutathione levels rise, the liver is able to more effectively detoxify the body and protect the cells from oxidative stress. Whey protein also increases the glutathioine levels of healthy cells while decreasing the glutathione levels of cancer cells.
Oleic Acid: Avocados are also a source of fiber and oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat. Oleic acid helps to lower unhealthy LDL plaque forming cholesterol. Increasing healthy dietary fats. Lowering cholesterol and body fat not only lead to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease but also lead to reduced inflammation and reduced cancer risk.
Oleic acid, the primary fat in avocados has been shown to offer significant protection against breast cancer. Women eating a diet rich in oleic acid have shown decreased rates of breast cancer. Oleic acid is also found in olives, olive oil, walnuts, almonds and pine nuts.
It might sound a little bit strange to talk about “healthy fat,” but there are differences between the type of fat you find in an avocado versus the fat in something like cheese or french fries. Unlike the saturated fats that you find in animal products and fried foods, avocados are loaded with monounsaturated fats, which help protect you from heart disease, and their fiber content can help fight high cholesterol.
Of course, you can eat avocado on its own or mixed into guacamole, but it’s actually a much more versatile ingredient.
8 Amazing Avocado Recipes
1.Avocado Corn Cups -- Who needs a bowl when you can eat a yummy, organic corn salad right out of an avocado?
2. Vegan Avocado Alfredo Sauce -- Who needs butter and cream? Make a decadent alfredo sauce with avocado as the base instead!
3. Creamy Avocado Potato Salad -- Mashed replaces the mayo in this healthy, tasty side dish.
4. Avocado Reuben Sandwich -- Talk about decadent!
5. Vegan Enchiladas with Cilantro Avocado Cream Sauce -- I’ve always said that avocado is perfect for mimicking the creaminess of cheese, and this recipe proves it!
6. Avocado and Basil Mayonnaise -- The avocado base for this recipe gives you the creaminess of mayo without any high cholesterol eggs.
7. Mexican Pizza -- Another delicious example of avocado standing in for saturated fat-laden cheese!
8. Avocado Lime Cupcakes -- The avocado adds a bit of richness to these decadent vegan cupcakes.