Friday, August 27, 2010

Not Just For Guacamole

An article in the September 2010 issue of Southern Living featured avocados. As I read the article, I was surprised by a couple of tidbits regarding the health benefits, particularly the statistics relating to lowering cholesterol. The lovely avocado has been given a reputation for being "bad" and I'm thrilled that the "good" has been highlighted.

5 Avocado Health Benefits

1. They protect your eyes from disease.
Avocados have a high content (more than any other fruit) of the carotenoid lutein, which protects against cataracts and macular degeneration—a leading cause of blindness.

2. They will lower your cholesterol.
Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a natural substance that has been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. In one study, 45 people saw an average drop in cholesterol of 17% after eating avocados for just one week.

3. They help regulate and reduce blood pressure.
Avocados are a great source of potassium, containing even more than bananas. Studies confirm that eating foods high in potassium (and low in sodium) can lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of stroke.

4. They are a great source of vitamin E.
Avocados are the greatest fruit source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects against many diseases and helps maintain overall health.

5. They will moisturize your skin.
Avocado butter and oil, two deep-conditioning emollients, will soften skin, eliminate dry patches, and restore your skin’s elasticity. Try some of our favorite beauty products, enriched with avocado butter and oil, at right.

Jessica S. Thuston|From the September 2010 Magazine Issue

I currently use avocado oil in beauty products (homemade) and can eat a gallon of guacamole, love plain old avocado all by it's lonesome, in salsas, and in BLTs, but here are a few additional ways I plan to sneak a little more of the green stuff into my diet over the next few weeks. Click each description for a link to the recipe.

How will you add more of this powerhouse into your health and beauty routine?

Sheila Denise

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