An Avocado A Day Does A Body Good

I’ve never liked them, but after reading the newly released study done by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a program of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), I am inclined to force myself to develop a taste for avocados—-or at least try.

The study followed more than 17,000 American adults for 7 years and found that the people who ate any amount of avocados over a 24-hour period had better overall diets and health indicators than those who did not eat avocados.

On average, the avocado consumers in the survey ate about one half of a medium-size avocado, with men eating slightly more than women.

What’s so special about avocados?

They contain 6 vitamins (A, C, D, E, K and the B complex), monounsaturated fats, potassium, magnesium, and lutein, an antioxidant carotenoid that is important for supporting eye and skin health.

In the study, the avocado consumers showed significant numerous health indicators:

  • Higher intakes of important nutrients including 36% more dietary fiber, 23% more vitamin E, 13% more magnesium, 16% more potassium and 48% more vitamin K than non-consumers.
  • Significantly higher intakes of “good” fats (18% more monounsaturated and 12% more polyunsaturated) and total fats (11% more) than non-consumers, although average caloric intake of both groups was the same.
  • Significantly lower BMI values than non-consumers.
  • Significantly smaller waist circumference measures than non-consumers (an average of 4 cm smaller).
  • They weighed significantly less than non-consumers (an average of 7.5 pounds less).
  • Significantly higher HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels.
  • The study found that avocado consumers had a 50% lower odds ratio for metabolic syndrome compared to non-consumers. Metabolic syndrome is a name given to a group of risk factors which, when they occur together, increase the risk for coronary artery disease, stroke and type-2 diabetes.

Recipes

Everyone knows about guacamole and adding avocado to your salad or sandwich. But there are loads of other ways to enjoy avocados. Here are a few recipes to try:

Tropical Salsa

  • 3/4 cup(s) diced fresh or juice-packed pineapple
  • 1/4 cup(s) finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup(s) finely chopped red bell pepper
  • cup(s) lightly packed cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon(s) lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon(s) honey, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) hot pepper sauce, or to taste
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ripe avocado

Directions

  1. Put ingredients except avocado in a serving bowl. Just before serving, dice avocado, add and gently mix.
  2. Serve with lean fish, meat or poultry.

Orange and Avocado Salad

  • 3 tablespoon(s) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 5 1/2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
  • 5 1/2 teaspoon(s) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) pepper
  • 1 navel orange
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1 bag(s) (10 oz) salad blend
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Dressing: Whisk orange juice, oil, lemon juice, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper in a medium-serving bowl to blend.
  2. Cut peel and white membrane off orange. Cut in half lengthwise; slice crosswise.
  3. Cut avocado in half lengthwise around seed; rotate halves to separate. Scoop out seed with a spoon. Place halves cut side down; pull off skin.
  4. Slice avocado and add to bowl with dressing along with orange, the salad blend and scallions; toss gently to mix and coat.

– See more at: http://www.womansday.com/food-recipes/30-awesome-avocado-recipes-36194

Yummy Tomato Soup 

  • (11-in. diameter) flour tortillas
  • ½ cup 
diced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup 
diced green bell pepper
  • ⅓ cup 
chopped onion
  • 3 Tbsp. 
butter
  • 8 
eggs
  • ¼ tsp. 
salt
  • ½ cup 
shredded low-fat pepper jack cheese
  • 1 
ripe, Fresh California Avocado seeded, peeled and diced
  • Sour cream for garnish

Tomatillo or tomato salsa for garnish

Directions

  1. Wrap tortillas in foil; warm in a 400 degree F oven.
  2. While the tortillas heat, sauté bell pepper and onion in butter until soft, about 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile beat together eggs and salt.
  4. When vegetables are done, pour egg into pan; gently stir in avocado.
  5. Cook, over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until soft curds form, about 3 minutes.
  6. Put 1/4 of the egg mixture down the center of one warmed tortilla; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese.
  7. Fold in top and bottom of each tortilla.
  8. Roll up from side.
  9. Repeat with each tortilla.
  10. Garnish each burrito with a dollop of sour cream and a spoonful of salsa.

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.

For more recipes visit: http://www.californiaavocado.com/home/

I bought a couple of avocados today, and I even smashed one and put it on top of my veggie burger. Not bad. I think I’m converted.

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