By Steve Petusevsky �
From Health magazine
Although sometimes maligned for its fat content, the creamy, heart-healthy avocado can play a very versatile-and nutritious-role in your diet. Here are a few facts about avocados.
Avocados are a fruit, not a vegetable, and have more potassium than bananas.
The Aztecs, among the earliest harvesters of the avocado, used it as a sexual stimulant.
Avocados are cholesterol-free but have 30 grams of fat, most of which is heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.
Hass avocados (the most common variety) are available year-round. They’re ripe when the skin is nearly black and the fruit yields to soft pressure.
Healthy Pantry: Avocados
By Lisa Turner
As if we needed another reason to love guacamole: A recent study found that compounds extracted from Hass avocados halted the growth of oral cancer cells by killing some and preventing precancerous cells from developing. The monounsaturated fat in avocados helps the body more readily absorb all the bioactive compounds they contain, which is why avocados are also linked to other types of cancer prevention.
The Beauty Pantry: Avocados
By Hillari Dowdle
For all-around good health, it pays to increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, especially vitamin E. You can get all that in avocados-whether you eat them with chips or rub them on your skin. “avocados are naturally rich in nutrients, which get into your skin directly when you apply them topically,” says Benest. “And since they contain so much oil, they provide a great pick-me-up for dry or dehydrated skin.”
Loux likes to mash up half an avocado, stir in a tablespoon of honey, and then apply the mixture to clean skin for 10 to 15 minutes. “It gives you an instant glow,” she says. “And it’s delicious!” Orrr…
The At-Home Facial Cocktail for Softer, More Hydrated Skin
What You’ll Need:
- 1 California Avocado (California avocados are the type of choice because of their high oil content)
- 1/4 cup of plain yogurt
According to Shalini Vadhera, celebrity make-up artist and author of Passport to Beauty, the avocado should be smashed first, then the yogurt added. Once mixed, brush the mask on your face, and allow to chill for about twenty minutes.
Why it works: Avocados have been known for their hydrating properties in moisturizers from some time, as cited in a 1995 study in Archives of Dermatological Research. There is also a limited amount of evidence suggesting that avocados may improve the skin’s defensive functions, as published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science.
Why yogurt works well comes down to the milk in the product, which contains lactic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid. Although the preferred alpha hydroxy acid is usually glycolic acid (because glycolic acid increases the thickness and firmness of the skin over time, while lactic acid does not), lactic acid is able to hydrate the skin extremely well. In fact, prescription LacHydrin, with ammonium lactate (a relative of lactic acid) is used to treat dry skin.
Eat to Beat the Blues
By Lisa Turner
If you suffer from depression, make sure you’re getting enough sleep and regular exercise, which further stimulate the brain to produce mood-enhancing neurotransmitters. It’s also important to eat a balanced and varied diet that includes foods packed with these mood-boosting nutrients:
Amino acids help the body produce neurotransmitters that affect your mood. “For example, the body uses the amino acid L-tryptophan to make serotonin, and the amino acid L-tyrosine to make norepinephrine,” says Joel C. Robertson, author of Natural Prozac (HarperOne, 1998). “Both are neurotransmitters that positively affect your mood.”
Find amino acids in: Turkey, cheese, chicken, fish, beans, almonds, avocados, bananas, and pumpkinseeds.
2 large tomatoes, seeded, diced
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 to 2 large jalapeño chilies, seeded but not deveined, minced
1-2 large avocado, diced
Sea Salt, pinch or two
Combine first 6 ingredients in medium bowl. (Can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Add avocado to salsa just before serving.