From Dr. Oz to Dr. Weil, health care experts and dietitians all over the world are touting the health benefits and importance of incorporating avocado into your daily meal plans. Avocados, also known as butter fruit is grown in the warm southern climates of Mexico and some parts of Central America. This creamy textured fruit is considered one of the newest finds in research studies and deemed a “superfood” by medical experts unanimously due to its super nutrient rich makeup and curative properties.
Avocados are even making headlines in the treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cancer. A lipid called avocatin B is derived from the avocado, and just to paraphrase the clinical findings, it was found that the lipid avocatin B produced from avocados was able in certain clinical settings to kill certain leukemia cells without harming healthy cells; you can read about the study at Cancer Research Online.
But let’s go back to avocados in our diet and the medically proven benefits simply eating avocados can produce:
- Helps aid in nutrient absorption
- Contributes to healthy bones
- Aids in preventing age related eye disease
- Is an antioxidant to reduce aging processes
- Decreases bad cholesterol
- Increases good cholesterol
- Assists in regulating blood sugar
- Can assist in reaching your daily fiber requirements (1 medium avocado equals half your recommended daily allowance)
- Reduce your risk of stroke
- Prevents birth defects (1 medium avocado provides 23 percent of your daily folic acid requirements in pregnant women, in which studies have proven folic acid, prevents specific birth defects.)
- Protects and nourishes the skin
- Reduces risks for heart disease
- Reduces arthritis symptoms by acting as an anti-inflammatory
- Promotes weight loss
There are many ways you can include avocado into your diet, avocado can be sliced and used as a garnish on sandwiches, its creamy texture makes it a great and tasty substitute for butter or mayonnaise on toast or bread or anything you might use mayonnaise for mixing and blending. For infants mashed avocados creamy texture makes a great tasting, healthy, all natural first food for babies. The uses of avocado in your daily diet are endless and incorporating them in delicious recipes is a snap, here are a few healthy recipes you can try:
Picante Avocado Hummus Dip
(Makes approximately 2 cups)
¼ cup of tahini
¼ cup of cilantro
½ teaspoon of finely ground sea salt
1 ripe peeled and de-pitted avocado
1 can of garbanzo beans 19.5 fl. oz. (chick peas)
2 generous tablespoons of virgin olive oil
2 limes (juiced)
2 cloves of garlic (large)
Louisiana’s Pure Crystal Hot Sauce
- Combine olive oil and tahini in a small mixing bowl, whisk until well blended and set aside.
- Place garlic, garbanzo beans, avocado, cilantro, and salt into the food processor and blend until combined, stop and add lime juice, blend again. While the processor is blending add your olive oil and tahini mixture slowly drizzling it throughout the mixture. Continue blending until the mixture takes on a smooth texture (typically about two minutes). Remove finished mixture and place in serving dish.
- Garnish by sprinkling (decoratively) Louisiana hot sauce over mixture (to taste).
For a healthy snack or appetizer serve with whole grain crackers, celery sticks, or carrot chips or any fresh vegetable of your liking. This hummus can also be used to create petit fore, or as a topping on various dishes including salad, chicken, fish and poached or scrambled eggs. Mucho Gusto!
Dusted Italian Brussel Sprouts with Sliced Almonds and Avocado
¼ cup virgin olive oil (reserve approximately three tablespoons)
¼ cup sliced almonds
1 large ripe avocado cut in small cubes
1 – 2 tablespoons of finely ground sea salt
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 pounds brussel sprouts (fresh or frozen)
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons Italian bread crumbs
Fresh ground pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- In a large sauce pan blanch brussel sprouts in boiling water until slightly tender, about three minutes. Drain thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels, let stand to cool and then chop into 1/4 pieces.
- In a large bowl place brussel sprouts and toss with olive oil (less the reserve three tablespoons) sprinkle with sea salt.
- Spread brussel sprouts out on 2 baking sheets and sprinkle with ½ of Italian bread crumbs. Bake in pre-heated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, turn brussel sprouts and sprinkle with remaining olive oil and bread crumbs and bake until golden brown (about five to seven minutes). Remove from baking sheets and place in a mixing bowl.
- In a small sauce pan lightly toast sliced almonds and set aside.
- Add avocado to the brussel sprouts in mixing bowl, sprinkle toasted almonds on top and gently mix.
- Dust with freshly ground black pepper to taste and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
This dish can be served as a vegetarian meal alone, or served as a side dish with chicken or fish ideally; of course personal preferences may include shrimp, pork or other vegetarian alternatives. Buon Appetito!!
What ever your dietary preferences may be, incorporating avocado into your daily diet can be of tremendous value to your present health and welfare, both physical and emotional as well as healing existing conditions and preventing other possible ailments and disease. The benefits of avocado seem endless and may be still yet untapped as research continues.
As a caveat, it should be said that you should always check with your health care provider, dietician, or urgent care center before engaging in any restricted or enhanced dietary changes. You should always consider your present health, but also keeping in mind what the future might hold and eat accordingly!