AVOCADOS – A Real ‘Super Food If you haven’t been watching the food network or dining out at trendy restaurants lately, you don’t know that Avocados are enjoying top billing on menus and chefs are coming up with creative dishes to incorporate them . Which is great because they’re so good for you.
Avocado has sometimes received a “bad rap” as a vegetable too high in fat.
- While it is true that avocado is a high-fat food (about 85% of its calories come from fat), the fat contained in avocado is unusual and provides research-based health benefits. Avocados are an excellent source of “healthy fat” along with organic raw butter, coconut oil, and organic pasteurized eggs, just to name a few.
- Like other high-fat plant foods (for example, walnuts and flaxseeds), avocado can provide us with unique health benefits precisely because of its unusual fat composition.
- Avocados (which are actually classified as a fruit) are rich in monounsaturated fat that is easily burned for energy. It is also very high in potassium and will help balance your vitally important potassium to sodium ratio.
What’s NEW and BENEFICIAL about AVOCADOS
- Consider adding avocado to salads, and not only on account of taste! Recent research has shown that absorption of two key carotenoid antioxidants—lycopene and beta-carotene—increases significantly when fresh avocado (or avocado oil) is added to an otherwise avocado-free salad. One cup of fresh avocado (150 grams) added to a salad of romaine lettuce, spinach, and carrots increased absorption of carotenoids from this salad between 200-400%. This research result makes perfect sense to us because carotenoids are fat-soluble and would be provided with the fat they need for absorption from the addition of avocado. Avocado oil added to a salad accomplished this same result. Interestingly, both avocado oil and fresh avocado added to salsa increased carotenoid absorption from the salsa as well. That’s even more reason for you to try our 15-Minute Halibut with Avocado Salsa a great-tasting recipe that can help optimize your carotenoid health benefits.
- The method you use to peel an avocado can make a difference to your health. Research has shown that the greatest concentration of carotenoids in avocado occurs in the dark green flesh that lies just beneath the skin. You don’t want to slice into that dark green portion any more than necessary when you are peeling an avocado. For this reason, the best method is what the California Avocado Commission has called the “nick and peel” method. In this method, you actually end up peeling the avocado with your hands in the same way that you would peel a banana. The first step in the nick-and-peel method is to cut into the avocado lengthwise, producing two long avocado halves that are still connected in the middle by the seed. Next you take hold of both halves and twist them in opposite directions until they naturally separate. At this point, remove the seed and cut each of the halves lengthwise to produce long quartered sections of the avocado. You can use your thumb and index finger to grip the edge of the skin on each quarter and peel it off, just as you would do with a banana skin. The final result is a peeled avocado that contains most of that dark green outermost flesh so rich in carotenoid antioxidants!
Source: whfoods.org (world’s healthiest foods)