Avocados

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Avocados, also known as Persea Americana, are large berries which are native to Mexico and South America. The dark green outermost flesh of the avocado is rich in carotenoid antioxidants and fiber and one cup of avocados contains as much as 30% of your daily fiber intake.

Your mission this week is to add avocados to your diet. They are great in salads, salsas, tasty in a smoothie and oh yes, let’s not forget about guacamole!

Why Should You Eat Avocados?

Avocados contain essential fatty acids called monosaturated fats which help lower unhealthy LDL plaque-forming cholesterol, leading to reduced inflammation and reduced cancer risk. The addition of avocados has also been shown to dramatically increase beta-carotene absorption which may impact cancer prevention.

There have been several studies about the effects of avocados on multiple cancers, specifically breast, prostate and oral. One study was conducted by Ohio State University on avocados and their impact on oral cancer. Steven M. D’Ambrosio, a member of the molecular carcinogenesis and chemoprevention program at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center, wrote about the study: “As far as we know, this is the first study of avocados and oral cancer. We think these phytochemicals either stop the growth of precancerous cells in the body or they kill the precancerous cells without affecting normal cells. Our study focuses on oral cancer, but the findings might have implications for other types of cancer. These are preliminary findings, and more research is needed.”

The results of this study, published in Seminars in Cancer Biology suggest that individual and combinations of phytochemicals from the avocado fruit may offer an advantageous dietary strategy in cancer prevention.

The Ohio State University study also found an increased rate of absorption of beta-carotene and when an avocado was added to a meal containing tomatoes and carrots. The addition of an avocado to a tomato-sauce meal more than doubled (2.4 times) beta-carotene absorption and more than quadrupled (4.6 times) the conversion of provitamin A (inactive vitamin form) to vitamin A (active vitamin form).

Similarly, researchers found that adding a raw avocado to carrots (150 g) significantly increased beta-carotene absorption (6.6 times), more than quadrupled (4.8 times) alpha-carotene absorption, and significantly increased (12.6 times) the conversion of provitamin A (inactive vitamin form) to vitamin A (active vitamin form).

How Do You Cut An Avocado?

Here’s a video from Epicurious that demonstrates how to safely cut an avocado and remove it for slicing.

Recipes

Keep The Doctor Away With This Apple & Avocado Green Smoothie
Avocado y Huevos Caliente
Quick Vegetarian Chili with Avocado Salsa
Chilled Cucumber-Avocado Soup
Avocado and Artichoke Salad
Fresh Tuna Salad with Avocado
You can use albacore tuna or fresh tuna in this recipe.
Guacamole
And last but not least, guacamole! Enjoy!

More Reading

Selective Induction of Apoptosis of Human Oral Cancer Cell Lines by Avocado Extracts
Avocados a Super Cancer Fighting Food
Avocados are Not Recommended For Breast Cancer
Differences Between Types of Avocados

 

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