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.
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:
- 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
- Put ingredients except avocado in a serving bowl. Just before serving, dice avocado, add and gently mix.
- 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
- Dressing: Whisk orange juice, oil, lemon juice, sugar, mustard, salt and pepper in a medium-serving bowl to blend.
- Cut peel and white membrane off orange. Cut in half lengthwise; slice crosswise.
- 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.
- Slice avocado and add to bowl with dressing along with orange, the salad blend and scallions; toss gently to mix and coat.
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
- Wrap tortillas in foil; warm in a 400 degree F oven.
- While the tortillas heat, sauté bell pepper and onion in butter until soft, about 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile beat together eggs and salt.
- When vegetables are done, pour egg into pan; gently stir in avocado.
- Cook, over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until soft curds form, about 3 minutes.
- Put 1/4 of the egg mixture down the center of one warmed tortilla; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese.
- Fold in top and bottom of each tortilla.
- Roll up from side.
- Repeat with each tortilla.
- 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.