Avocados are a seasonal pleasure in Thailand, though
increased growing ranges as well as imports have made this delicacy available
nearly all year round. They are a commercially valuable plant species included
in the food forests of the Royal Project Charity Foundation, started by HM The
King to enhance the livelihood of ethnic minorities and to prevent them from
growing illegal crops. Originally native to Southern Mexico, they are now
cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. They
have a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or
Trees are only partially self-pollinating and often are propagated through
grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit. Avocados
have a high diversity in fats and nutrients, with a typical avocado containing B
vitamins, as well as vitamin E and vitamin K. About 75% of an avocado’s calories
come from fat, most of which is monounsaturated fat. Avocados have a high fiber
content of 75% insoluble and 25% soluble fiber.
Let us take a closer look at some of the many health benefits of avocados.
One of the health benefits of avocado is that it has anti-cancer benefits.
Avocado is said to be rich in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients. On
the other hand, the lack of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients is among
the risk factors that are equated to cancer. The nutrients present in avocado
have been observed to improve inflammatory and antioxidant stress levels in
healthy cells. On the other hand, in cancer cells, the nutrients present in
avocado cells have been observed to facilitate even greater oxidative and
inflammatory stress which may cause cancer cells to die.
Another important benefit of avocado is its anti-inflammatory benefits. As
mentioned earlier, avocado is rich in anti-inflammatory nutrients such as
polyphenols and flavonoids. In addition to helping prevent cancer, these
anti-inflammatory nutrients also play an essential role in helping prevent
inflammatory diseases such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Many people are plagued with cholesterol problems. Another health benefit of
avocado is that is helps regulate cholesterol. Avocados are rich in what is
called oleic acid, as well as beta-sitosterol, which are known for helping
decrease cholesterol contents significantly. Experiments conducted using avocado
showed that avocado can help reduce cholesterol levels by up to 17 percent.
With its rich taste, avocado is misconstrued by a lot of people to be fatty and
bad for the heart. The opposite, however, is actually true. Avocado is rich is
many nutrients which are considered to help combat heart disease such as the
following: oleic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B-6, folic acids, and
foliate. Based on studies, researchers have noted that people who have a
foliate-rich diet are better protected from cardiovascular diseases as compared
to their peers.
Avocado is very rich in potassium. Consuming the right amount of potassium per
day can greatly help protect one’s self from circulatory diseases like heart
diseases, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Avocado is rich in carotenoid lutein. Carotenoid lutein is known for combating
oxidative stressing, cataracts and eye muscle degeneration. These two eye
conditions are often results of aging. Thus, it would be beneficial to introduce
avocado to one’s diet as one becomes older in order to avail of its numerous
The high amount of foliate in avocado also serves as a protection for pregnant
women. Foliate is said to be essential in preventing birth defects such as
spina-bifida and neural tube defect.
With applications in kitchens all over the world, we shouldn’t forget its roots
in Mexican kitchen. So it seems unfair not to share the recipe of guacamole with
you, a dish that belongs on the world heritage food list.
2 ripe avocados
1/2 red onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
1-2 chilies, stems and seeds removed, minced
2 tablespoons cilantro (leaves and tender stems), finely chopped
1 tablespoon of fresh lime or lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
A dash of freshly grated black pepper
1/2 ripe tomato, seeds and pulp removed, chopped
Blend the harder ingredients in a blender, mash the softer ones with a fork and
combine to taste. Excellent as a dip, spread or to accompany a meal as a salad,
for which you leave it a bit more coarsely mashed. Enjoy!!!