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The Wellness Column By Anchan Vegetarian

Avocados are very healthy

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 spherical.
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 health benefits.
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!!!

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Avocados are very healthy