Avocados: Antioxidant Superstars That Are Tasty And Good For You
Posted May. 25, 2014, 12:00 am
Dr. Mao Shing Ni / Mirror Columnist
Spring has sprung, so pep up your meals with avocado! Late winter and early spring is when these rich, green fruits are at their nutty delicious peak. Celebrate the spring with the avocado longevity recipe below!
It is hard to believe that a food as delicious as an avocado is actually good for you, but in fact, avocados contain an incredible amount of nutrition. Did you know that an avocado has more potassium than a banana?
It’s true, while a banana delivers less than 500 milligrams of potassium, one avocado contains 975 milligrams! Another surprising fact is that avocado has 4 grams of protein, making them one of the highest protein-packing fruits out there.
Antioxidant Super Star
Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, avocados are packed with the powerful antioxidant glutathione. This naturally occurring compound regulates immune cells, protects against cancer, and assists in detoxification. A deficiency in glutathione can play a part in diabetes, liver disease, heart disease, low sperm count, and premature aging. Avocados are also a source of L-cysteine, which may boost immunity, protect you from heart disease, build muscle, and encourage healthy hair and nail growth.
Absorb More Nutrients
Eating avocados has been linked to increased nutrient absorption. One study indicated that when participants ate salad that featured avocado, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoid antioxidants (such as lycopene and beta-carotene) than avocado-free salads.
A compound found in avocados called beta-sitosterol has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. They also contain vitamin B6, E, monosaturated fat, and folic acid, all linked with maintaining a healthy heart. One note: while avocados are indeed healthy, they are high in calories and excessive consumption will lead to weight gain.
A Great Cheese Replacement
With all the reports about the many ways too much cheese is bad for you, try replacing the dairy slice with an avocado slice and see if you miss anything. In both texture and richness, avocado is a good cheese replacement in your salads and sandwiches. Forget the cheese and crackers! An easy, healthy snack is half an avocado with a squeeze of lime juice and cilantro. Or, try this recipe below:
Longevity Recipe: Guacamole with Kale Chips
Kale is definitely the hot super food – when paired with creamy avocado, what’s not to love? A caterer friend of mine from the Czech Republic in Eastern Europe shared these kale chips with guacamole, and I was bowled over by this delicious and healthy recipe. This recipe comes from my “Secrets of Longevity Cookbook.”
1 bunch kale, woody stems removed, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ripe Hass avocados
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 tablespoon dried goji berries, soaked in cold water for 1 hour, drained, and patted dry
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon pickled ginger, finely chopped
2 scallions, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
To make the chips: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pat the kale pieces dry and spread them evenly in one layer on the sheet pan. Drizzle the olive oil over the kale and sprinkle the salt and pepper over the top. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes until slightly browned and crisp but not burnt. Immediately remove them from the oven and let them cool on the pan.
To make the guacamole: Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit, and scoop out the flesh into a bowl. Add the celery, goji berries, paprika, ginger, scallions, and lemon juice and mash together until completely mixed.
Serve with kale chips and enjoy!
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine, and board certified anti-aging expert. He has recently appeared on “The Ricki Lake Show,” “Dr. Oz,” and contributes to Yahoo Health and The Huffington Post. Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition, and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica, Newport Beach, and Pasadena. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni, founded the Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at email@example.com. To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter, visit www.taoofwellness.com.