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Top 5 Benefits of Eating Heart Healthy Avocados

Heart Healthy Food

Avocados = Heart Healthy Food

Silky texture, great flavor and a nutrition powerhouse! You gotta love those avocados.

Native to Central America and Mexico, avocados are also known as “alligator pears” because of their leather-like appearance and the texture of their skin. Mostly grown in tropical and Mediterranean climates, avocados differ in weight depending upon the variety.

Rich in vitamins and essential nutrients, avocados are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods. Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of adding avocados into your diet:

1. Heart Healthy food

Heart disease is the major cause of death in the USA. Some of the major contributing factors that increase risk of developing heart disease include leading a sedentary lifestyle and a dietary intake high in processed foods and “bad” fats.

Avocados are Mother Nature’s heart health medicine. They are rich in folic acid, and vitamin B6 that help regulate homocysteine levels in the blood. Avocados are also an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin, vitamin E that helps prevent LDL cholesterol oxidization. Avocados are also high in the heart healthy “good” fat, the monounsaturated fatty acid called oleic acid, known to help promote cardiovascular health and prevent heart disease.

2. Reduce cholesterol

Avocados contain a phytosterol compound known as beta-sitosterol that has been shown to be effective in lowering cholesterol (LDL). This pear-shaped green skinned fruit is also great source of potassium – the spectacular blood pressure lowering mineral superstar.

3. Good for eyes

The presence of the carotenoid lutein in avocados helps protect your eyes against cataracts and age-related macular degeneration—the leading cause of blindness in older Americans.

4. Regulate blood sugar levels

Avocados are rich in soluble fiber, the type that helps maintain blood sugar levels. Avocados also contain a nice amount of soluble fiber—the kind of fiber that contributes to digestive health.

5. Keeps skin healthy and nourished

Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, vitamin C and many other nutrients that are great for the skin. The monounsaturated fats keeps your skin nourished and soft; vitamin C helps maintain the elasticity of your skin and vitamin E protects against sun exposure thereby staving off wrinkles and premature aging.

Avocados can be used in a variety of different ways in your heart healthy recipes. Try adding some to your smoothie for a creamy texture and to boost nutrition, slice some up for your salad or use creamy, ripe avocado in lieu of butter as a sandwich spread.

Dr. Janet’s Fresh Avocado Dip (Guacamole)

Recipe excerpt from Dr. Janet’s book: BLOOD PRESSURE DOWN: the 10-step program to lower your blood pressure in 4 weeks–without prescription drugs (Crown/Three Rivers, May 2013)

lower blood pressure

Scrumptious Avocado Dip

Serve as a dip with fresh veggies or whole wheat pita chips.

  • 2 cups chopped avocado (from 2 medium avocados)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt-free seasoning
  • 6 drops hot pepper sauce

Mash the avocado in a bowl with a fork until desired consistency. Mix in the cilantro, lime juice, garlic powder, ground cumin, salt-free seasoning, and hot pepper sauce. Serve immediately.

Yield 1 1/2 cups

Serves 6

Nutrition per 1/4 cup serving:

Calories: 98 kcal
Sodium: 6 mg
Potassium: 301 mg
Magnesium: 17 mg
Calcium: 9 mg
Fat: 9 g (EPA 0g, DHA 0g, ALA <1g)
Saturated Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrate: 5 g
Dietary fiber: 4 g
Sugars: <1 g
Protein: 1 g

Low Cholesterol Recipe Of Avocado Shrimp Ceviche

heart healthy recipe

Scrumptious Avocado Shrimp Ceviche

HALLELUJAH! Spring has finally arrived. March also springs more social gatherings, as there are a few more hours of bright sunshine.

Why not serve a light refreshing appetizer with your favorite cocktail, such as a heart-healthy chilled ceviche at your spring gatherings?

Ceviche is a South American seafood dish often made with raw white fish and citrus juices. If you don’t like raw fish, substitute shrimp, as featured in this week’s recipe, Avocado Shrimp Ceviche.

Here is the low fat, low cholesterol recipe of avocado shrimp ceviche:

Avocado Shrimp Ceviche

Fresh Cilantro are the leaves from the coriander plant. Cilantro is the key ingredient to add just enough zest to your ceviche.

Yield: 16 servings ( 1 serving = 1/8 cup)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of cooked shrimp (peeled, stemmed and chopped)
  • 2 avocados (about 1 cup)
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup of fresh cilantro, minced
  • ¼ cup of lime juice
  • ½ tsp of ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp of salt

Directions:

Mix all the ceviche ingredients together in a large bowl. Chill the ceviche in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove ceviche from the refrigerator when you are ready to serve to ceviche. Serve ceviche with sliced bell peppers/cucumbers, pita chips, and/or whole wheat crackers.

Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Calories: 55 kcal
Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 43 mg
Carbohydrate: 2g
Dietary Fiber: 1g
Protein 6 g
Sodium: 80 mg