Do you like avocados? Seems we either love them or hate them. No one I asked said “They’re ok”. I didn’t think I liked avocados. Like many foods that I’d tried when I was younger, avocados did nothing for me. Perhaps the one time I tried one it was too ripe, which gives it a slimy feel. Texture is important to some people and I’m one of them. Perhaps I didn’t like them plain; I still don’t. I recently started hearing more and more about the health benefit of this Mexican fruit that is always in season. Things I heard weren’t just from the news or something I read online, but from people who love them. One man I work with told me his doctor told him an avocado a day would keep your liver healthy. I expressed my distaste for the fruit and he suggested I try eating it mixed with other foods, that avocado would take on the flavor of foods it was mixed with. This conversation led me to start reading about the health benefits of this green pear-shaped fruit from our neighbors south of the border.
Avocados are a powerful cancer-fighting food. They contain phytonutrients and antioxidants, both of which fight cancer. Many people avoid avocados because they believe them to be fattening, but they contain monounsaturated fat, a “good” fat that lowers cholesterol and has many other benefits. Half an average-sized avocado contains about 12.5 grams of fat. When eaten with an otherwise low-fat meal, one can keep the fat grams to a minimum while reaping the maximum health benefits of this fruit. Just take a look at what avocados can do!
Avocados have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.
Oral Cancer Defense
Research has shown that certain compounds in avocados are able to seek out pre-cancerous and cancerous oral cancer cells and destroy them without harming healthy cells.
Breast Cancer Protection
Avocado, like olive oil, is high in oleic acid, which has been shown to prevent breast cancer in numerous studies.
Avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other consumed fruit. Lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts, two disabling age-related eye diseases.
Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. In one study, 45 volunteers experienced an average drop in cholesterol of 17% after eating avocados for only one week.
One cup of avocado has 23% of the RDA of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets high in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don’t. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.
The high levels of folate in avocado are also protective against strokes. People who eat diets high in folate have a much lower risk of stroke than those who don’t.
Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, an important antioxidant that researchers say is important in preventing aging, cancer, and heart disease.
Avocados are the best fruit source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin that protects against many diseases and helps maintains overall health.
Well when I learned all this I decided I need to add avocados to my diet. After experimenting with a few recipes I found online, these two are the ones I like best. I’ve tried incorporating these recipes into my lunches at least every other week.
Tomato and Avocado Salad
Strawberry Avocado Salad
Now, about cycling….*sigh*….can I just say snow, snow, snow! Ok, it’s February. It snows in February. I know that. A gal can hope though, can’t she? I am still enjoying cross country skiing and doing so helps keep my cycling muscles strong. Being that today is President’s Day, I had a three day weekend which meant I could enjoy the great outdoors three days in a row. Fifteen miles of wooded trails over three different areas of MA have felt my skis this weekend! Notchview Reservation in Windsor, MA, in the Berkshire Mountains, has 25 miles of groomed trails and the conditions were perfect on Saturday. Sunday on our way home from the Berkshires we stopped at another favorite spot in Templeton, MA where snowmobile trails abound. Snowmobile trails make good cross country ski trails due to the grooming affect of the snowmobiles. Today, staying closer to home, was alongside the Wachusett Reservoir; a favorite spot with the locals.
2014 Pan Mass Challenge
This is my passion. On August 2 & 3 I’ll be riding the 192 mile route of the Pan Mass Challenge. Every penny raised by riders will go directly to the Jimmy Fund at Boston’s Dana Farber Cancer Institute. My goal in life is to help eradicate cancer and I feel this is how I can help. Besides keeping me healthy, my bicycle is a tool in the fight against cancer. Last year I raised $8,700 for the cause. My goal this year is $10,000. Would you consider sponsoring me? You can do so at http://www.pmc.org and click on “donate” then enter my name, Jackie McCrillis in the search field. This will bring you to my fund raising page.
Thanks for reading my blog!