Hormone Replacement Therapy: What You Need To Know
April 27, 2019
A Revolutionary Approach To Erectile Dysfunction
December 4, 2017
10 Signs of High Blood Sugar
June 4, 2019
May 6, 2014
By Dr. Maiko Ochi, N.D., L. Ac.
Yesterday was Cinco de Mayo, and many of you may have enjoyed avocados in guacamole. Or if you’re like me, you eat avocados in some form almost every day. Not only are they delicious, they are very nutritious as well.
Let’s start with a little history lesson. These fruit, also known as alligator pears, are native to Mexico and Central America and have been cultivated in these areas since 8000 B.C.E. Avocados were introduced to California from Mexico in the 19th century, and 95% of U.S. avocados are grown in southern California. Some also come from Florida.
A perfectly ripened avocado should have a high fat content, which makes the texture rich and buttery. If you’re an avocado aficionado like me, you’ve had that experience where you eagerly cut open an avocado and take a bite, only to find it disappointingly watery. Unfortunately, a high fat content isn’t something that can be judged from looking at an avocado on the outside. So stick to buying Hass avocados when they have the highest fat content, which is late winter and early spring.
Nutrition-wise, avocados are great sources of monounsaturated fat, fiber and potassium. Half an avocado, which is about 3.5 ounces, contains about 160 calories, 2 grams of protein, 14.7 grams of fat, 8.5 grams of carbohydrate, and 6.7 grams of fiber. It also contains 485 milligrams of potassium.
In one study, it was shown that people who ate avocados for seven days had lower levels of total cholesterol and LDL (the bad kind of cholesterol) and higher levels of HDL (the good kind). Avocados are packed with potassium. One fruit contains as much potassium as bananas, so if you have high blood pressure, you may want to start eating more avocados. They also don’t contain anywhere near as much sugar as bananas, so if your family history leans towards heart disease and diabetes, avocados are a great fruit to start incorporating into your diet.
Here’s a recipe adapted for Chunky Avocado Papaya Salsa by Martha Rose Shulman from the New York Times. It’s gluten-free and dairy-free.
2 medium-size ripe Hass avocados, halved, pitted and cut in small dice
1 small ripe papaya, halved, seeded, peeled and cut in small dice (about 2 cups dice)
1 tart apple, unpeeled, or Asian pear, peeled if desired, cored and cut in small dice
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 fresh red or green serrano chile, seeded and thinly sliced or minced, or more to taste
¼ cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
½ small red onion, diced small, soaked for 5 minutes in water to cover, drained and rinsed (optional)
Salt to taste
Combine diced avocados and papaya in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and toss together. Season to taste with salt. Serve as a salad or salsa.