First, I should tell you an interesting little tidbit: the avocado has also been called the "alligator pear". Given their shape and skin texture, doesn't that make perfect sense?
Second, they are LOADED with good stuff for great health.
--Avocados contain oleic acid, which has been shown to prevent breast cancer, inhibit the growth of prostate cancer and oral cancer. They are also high in carotenoid lutein, which protects against eye diseases like cataracts.
--The high levels of folate in avocado are also protective against strokes. People who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower risk of stroke than those who don't.
--Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don't. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.
--Research has found that certain nutrients are absorbed better when eaten with avocado. In one study, when participants ate a salad containing avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes lycopene and beta carotene) than those who didn't include avocados.
--Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, an important antioxidant that researchers say is important in preventing aging, cancer, and heart disease.
--Avocados are the best fruit source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin that protects against many diseases and helps maintains overall health.
That said, I LOVE THEM BECAUSE THEY'RE DELICIOUS!
Case in point, this Coconut Avocado Lime Ice Cream I invented. I saw a couple recipes online, but didn't have some of the fancy ingredients, so I improvised. And I wonder if those original recipes were all that tasty, because mine is pretty dang great, if I do say so myself...!
NOTE: You can also make a PIE out of this recipe. Just make a graham cracker crust and fill with this recipe, then freeze. BAM!
COCONUT AVOCADO LIME ICE CREAM
2 avocados, peeled and seeded
1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (I used kefir)
1 cup loosely measured sweetened coconut
juice of two limes
about 3 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp honey
Dump it all in a bowl and mash avocado well. Empty into ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer's directions.