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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Stuff yourself with this fat and get healthy!

Stuff Yourself with This Fat
And Get Healthy!

    This raw food is a complete protein source, contains three times as much glutathione — a priceless antioxidant -- as any other fruit, and provides an entire RDA of healthy fats.

  It is a true SuperFood. But it was denounced during the decades of the 'low-fat craze' because it's very high in fat. You remember when almost everyone believed fat was the devil — the cause of heart disease and who knows what else?

  I bought into it myself — but not anymore. Now we know carbohydrates are the true devil, while a high-fat diet can be good for you. But there's a catch — we're not talking about butter and T-bone steaks, we're talking about healthy fats. And the high-fat food I'm going to talk about now is not only one of my favorites but one of the healthiest. Keep reading and I'll unveil the mystery...

Continued below...

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    The rich, fat, superlatively healthy food I'm talking about is the avocado.

    Its high protein content makes it ideal for vegetarians. Its overall nutritional profile makes it perfect for anyone looking to enhance their health and well-being. Some call it the 'Food of the Gods'. Others claim it's the single best daily food to improve your health — although I can't subscribe to the notion of a one-food diet.

    Foods are often called SuperFoods when they have superior qualities that are truly out of the ordinary. Such foods are usually loaded with a high concentration of fatty acids, antioxidant phytonutrients, and essential amino acids.
Have You Shunned Avocados
Because They have 'Too Many Calories'?
    If so, you've got lots of company. If you just consider the fat content without considering the kind of fat, eating avocado is just about like eating butter by the tablespoon. But despite their bad rap, avocados are one of the best anti-aging SuperFoods you can eat.

    They were treasured by the Aztec Indians long ago. But the oldest known evidence of their use as a food was discovered in a cave in Puebla, Mexico, in writings believed to date back to 10,000 BC.

    Avocado is sometimes called the Alligator Pear, a reflection of its shape and leather-like skin. Though most people consider them a vegetable, avocados are actually a fruit. They grow in tropical areas like Florida, California, and Central America, on evergreen trees that can soar up to 65 feet tall.

    Even more astounding is that...
This Fruit Can Shut Down Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria
    A Danish scientist recently discovered that a natural compound in the Chilean avocado targets the drug-resistant yellow staphylococci.

    Jes Gitz Holler, PhD, from the University of Copenhagen, found that a natural substance in Chilean avocado plants acts against resistant bacteria, in combination with traditional antibiotics.

    As he explains it, resistant bacteria have an efflux pump in their bacterial membrane that efficiently pumps antibiotics out as soon as they gain access. The newly-discovered substance in avocado inhibits the pumping action — breaking down the bacteria's defense mechanisms to allow the antibiotics to work. These results were published in the Journal of Microbial Chemotherapy.

    Naturally, the drug companies are all over this, trying to use it to create a new anti-bacterial (i.e. antibiotic) drug. However, the drug companies face a lack of incentive because they make less money off antibiotics than they make off chemotherapy drugs, statins, and other drugs for chronic conditions.

    But assuming you'll be eating avocados grown in the States and not in Chile, let's talk about their overall health benefits — because there are many.
7 Ways Avocados Can Boost Your Health
    Despite being wrongly labeled as a high-calorie, high-fat food, avocados can be a boon to your health. At 204 calories per ½ cup pureed fruit, you might not want to go hog-wild on them. But they do deserve an honored place in your daily diet.

    Proof of the avocado's terrific nutritional profile shows up in the USDA Nutrient Database.

    Though calorie-dense, its benefits outweigh concern over the total fat content (19.9 grams). The same ½ cup of pureed avocado contains 2.4 grams of protein, 3.1 grams of fiber, and a mere 8 grams of carbs.
  1. Proteins. 

    Unlike a steak, which can be hard to digest and absorb, avocados contain a predigested protein. The sun starts the process of breaking down the protein into easily digestible amino acids while the avocado is still ripening on the tree.

    Avocados provide all 18 essential amino acids needed to create a complete protein source. You need to get essential amino acids from your diet because the body can't make its own.

    If you're trying to reduce your intake of animal proteins, or if you're a vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist looking for ways to get more protein, avocados are a terrific ally to include in your diet.

    Unlike meats, avocados don't putrefy in your intestines, and pose no threat of constipation because they have a high fiber content. Furthermore, they don't contain manmade antibiotics or hormones, unlike many animal proteins you might consume. And unlike the animals they haven't been fed with GMO corn.
  2. Fats. 

    It's important to understand that you need fatty acids — regardless of what the popular press tells you. Omega 3 fatty acids are sorely lacking in the Western diet. This contributes to the bad health and disease experienced by millions.

    Avocados can easily provide an entire day's supply of omega-3 fatty acids — the good fat your body needs.

    Avocados contain no cholesterol (only animal products contain cholesterol). But they're a rich source of beneficial fats which your body needs. Although the avocado is high in fat, 60% of it is monounsaturated and 20% is polyunsaturated, while only 20% is saturated.

    Like olive oil, avocados boost your HDL ("good") cholesterol level, and can help protect you from free radical damage. This cholesterol also regulates triglycerides and prevents diabetes…

    A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that a vegetarian diet that includes HDL-promoting fats can slash LDL ("bad" cholesterol) levels as effectively as statin drugs.

    So, are avocados the fatty acid culprit? Not likely. It's more likely that processed sugars and high fructose corn syrup in processed foods are linked to poor health — along with pasteurized dairy, cooked starches, and factory farm meats. Healthy fats help protect your heart, brain, joints, and more.
  3. Carotenoids. 

    Though many think carotenoids are only linked to red and orange produce, avocados are also an excellent source of this phytonutrient.

    Avocados offer an array of carotenoids — including beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and lutein, as well as lesser known types. Whenever you eat carotenoid-rich foods, you deliver first-class vitamin A to your body, which protects eye health, among other things.

    Carotenoids enhance your immune and reproductive health. Since they are fat-soluble, avocados' nutrients are easily absorbed by your body.
  4. Anti-Inflammatory. 

    Avocados' unique combo of vitamins C and E, carotenoids, selenium, zinc, phytosterols and omega-3 fatty acids helps reduce inflammation. And considering how many chronic diseases are influenced by chronic inflammation — which can go undetected for years — dealing with inflammation is a health 'must'.
  5. Heart Health.

    Avocados' fat content — which has caused uninformed "experts" to label them as unhealthy — actually protects against heart disease.

    Studies show that oleic acid — the primary fatty acid in avocados — improves cardiovascular health. Many people now take omega-3 supplements to slash their risk of heart disease. Avocados deliver a whopping 160 mg per cup of alpha-linolenic acid.
  6. Live Enzymes.

    Avocados are bursting with enzymes. Plus, they're rich in minerals, including magnesium, which is involved in more than 300 metabolic functions in your body.
  7. Nutrients.

    Avocados also provide many B vitamins, as well as vitamins A, C, E, and K. They contain more protein, beta carotene, potassium, magnesium, folic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, pantothenic acid, vitamin E and vitamin K per ounce than any other fruit.

    Two beneficial compounds — beta-sitosterol and glutathione — also abound in avocados.

    Beta-sitosterol is a widely prescribed anti-cholesterol substance that disrupts cholesterol absorption, thereby lowering cholesterol levels. Lab analysis shows that avocados contain 76 mg of beta-sitosterol per 100 g of raw edible avocado — four times that of oranges, the next richest source of the compound.1

    Last but not least, avocados contain 17.7 mg of glutathione per 100 g of raw edible fruit — more than three times that of any other fruit.

    Studies link high glutathione intake with a lowered risk of oral cancer and pharyngeal cancer — and very likely other cancers. Interestingly, this reduced risk only occurred with the glutathione from raw fruits and veggies.
    You'd have to conclude that there aren't many tasty foods that pack the nutritional punch of avocados.

    And yes, there is a cancer preventive aspect to avocados too, besides the brief mention above.
Delicious Cancer Prevention
    Avocados are highly recognized by researchers and nutritionists around the world.

    The Hass avocado, a U.S. variety, shows tremendous potential for preventing certain types of cancer.

    Studies conducted by Ohio University showed that the nutrients of this fruit help thwart cancer cells. Avocados' nutrients not only kill cancer cells, but also prevent the development of pre-cancerous ones.

    Although you've heard before that a diet of healthy fruits and vegetables helps prevent cancer, the avocado's dense nutritional profile and high phytonutrient and phytochemical content makes it especially important.

    The biggest success noted in this study was related to oral cancer.

    Further study will likely reveal new findings, but I don't think you can go wrong with adding avocado to your balanced diet of healthy foods.
And the Rest...
    Prevention magazine, January 2001, discussed the benefits of avocados for skin and hair.

    To add luster to your hair, mash an avocado and rub it into your hair for five minutes after washing. Or apply it to your skin to relieve itching and redness caused by eczema or dermatitis.

    If you plan to use it for medicinal purposes, investigate more before self-medicating. Unripe avocados are said to be toxic, as are the leaves of some varieties.
Buying, Storing and Eating Avocados
    California varieties are considered the cream of the crop when it comes to rich and creamy tasting avocados. And they're less perishable than the Florida ones.

    Avocados mature on the tree, but don't begin to ripen till picked. The tree's leaves put out a hormone that inhibits the production of ethylene, the chemical that ripens fruit. Avocados in the store are often firm and unripe. Allow three to five days at room temp for them to ripen. To speed it up, put them in a brown paper bag with an apple, at room temperature.

    Choose heavy fruits with unblemished, unbroken skin. If you need one that you can eat immediately, squeeze gently. The fruit should respond to gentle pressure much the way a peach does. A dent indicates it is overripe and will have blackened flesh. But if you open your avocado at home and find it has a few black spots, don't worry. In my opinion they taste fine and do you no harm. They just don't look very attractive. If they bother you, cut them away and eat the green parts.

    How you peel it is important. The healthiest part is the darker part just under the skin. So you want to cut straight into the avocado, then peel back the skin without disrupting the fruit.

    Avocados are highly susceptible to oxidation (the tendency to turn brown when in contact with oxygen). Sprinkling lemon or lime juice on them will slow the darkening process. I don't find the darkening affects flavor.

    The oil of avocado is richly flavored, with nutty fruity undertones. Use it raw on salads to add a special gourmet touch. It should only be purchased in small quantities and used quickly, because it becomes rancid quickly. Stored in the refrigerator, it'll keep for a few months.
    Eat your avocados raw. The tannins give them a bitter flavor when heated. Besides that, heating destroys valuable nutrients. Raw foods offer greater nutritional benefits.

    One more caution about avocados…

    Probably the most popular food made with avocados is delicious guacamole. Guacamole is my favorite avocado dish. I have to confess I eat tons of the stuff. Most recipes include some lime or lemon juice, which helps guacamole keep for days in the fridge. The top layer exposed to air will turn dark, but it tastes fine; it just looks less appetizing than fresh, green guacamole.

    But here's the thing… How many times have you eaten healthy guacamole with unhealthy corn chips? Corn chips are a very high-fat food - and this time, friends, the fats aren't healthy. In fact, they've probably been rendered toxic by being heated to high temperatures. Certain oils, including corn oil, form toxic chemicals when overheated.

    I eat my guacamole with organic rice crackers. They're delicious.

    Or you can try spreading guacamole on an organic chicken breast, or eat your avocado on (or as) a salad drizzled with olive oil. By the way, if you don't want to make it yourself, you can buy your guacamole as a carryout dish at Mexican restaurants and skip the chips.

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