When my mother’s maiden aunts swore that the pit from the avocado was the nearest food akin to the Fountain of Youth (explorer Ponce de Leon never found it BTW), I remember asking what’s so hot about eating the pit? They insisted it makes you live longer. Bless them most of my mom’s relatives lived beyond age 90. Proof enough. But I never tried to eat a pit. I love avocados and being a Southern Californian, we locals have beaucoup access to avocados because they’re grown on both sides of the U.S. Mexican border.
Also, we’re fortunate in this southwest cul de sac of our nation to have so many restaurants/take-out stands/ which feature avocados. I can think of a dozen places easily. Especially Saguaro’s small take out eatery in North Park, a historic neighborhood near San Diego’s Balboa Park. What’s so delicious about Saguaro’s specialty dish the California Carne Asada Burrito is that foot long creation of deliciousness comes with guacamole, a spread of mashed avocado and salsa.
|Guacamole (no chips, I'm on a diet)|
Moving back to avocado as the fruit of the gods, I turned to research provided by the California Avocado Commission. Of course, the group is expert on all things avocado and of course they have an online position paper on “Eating the Avocado Pit.”
“...While this is presently a very popular topic and there is a body of evidence looking at extracts of the avocado seed, the fact is there is not enough research to support consuming an avocado seed. The purported health benefits and risks of avocado seed intake are poorly characterized.
As stated in a 2013 research study by Pennsylvania State University, “although the currently available data is promising, for most indications, it remains very preliminary and further studies are needed” and “In addition, the safety of the various extracts of the avocado seeds must be assessed in order to more fully estimate the usefulness of this resource."
While it is not recommended that you eat the seed of the avocado, the fruit/pulp of the California Avocados is ripe with nutrition. One-fifth of a medium avocado (1 oz.) has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a tasty choice for a nutritious and healthy diet. California Avocados are naturally sodium and cholesterol-free; a naturally nutritious superfood.
We have much more avocado nutrition information available in our nutrition section. Or read about avocado nutrients to get all of the facts on this nutrient-dense fruit.
avocado and heart-healthy diet
The fifth leading cause of death in men is stroke, and one of the most common causes of stroke is high blood pressure, which puts unnecessary stress on blood vessel walls. A diet that is low in salt and rich in vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products may help lower blood pressure.
Recent studies have also shown that increasing potassium intake may help lower blood pressure. Potassium is a mineral that helps normalize blood pressure and most Americans are falling short of their daily potassium needs according to the latest report released by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming a diet that's rich in potassium, which blunts the effect of salt on blood pressure and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and possibly bone loss as we get older. Fifty grams of avocado (1/3 of a medium avocado) provides 250 g of potassium or 6% of the recommended Daily Value (DV).
Knowing which fats raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and which ones don't is the first step in lowering your risk of heart disease. In addition to the LDL produced naturally by your body, saturated fat, trans-fatty acids and dietary cholesterol can also raise blood cholesterol. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats appear to not raise LDL cholesterol.
Cholesterol can't dissolve in the blood. It has to be transported to and from the cells by carriers called lipoproteins. Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, is known as "bad" cholesterol. High-density lipoprotein, or HDL, is known as "good" cholesterol.
Mono and polyunsaturated fats, when consumed in moderation and eaten in place of saturated or trans fats, can help reduce blood cholesterol levels and decrease risk for heart disease. Avocados are one of the few fruits that provide heart-healthy "good" fats. Avocados contribute good fats to one's diet, providing 5 g of mono and 1 g polyunsaturated fat per 50 g serving.
NUTRIENT DENSE AVOCADOS CAN HELP YOU MEET THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION’S DIETARY RECOMMENDATIONS:
Eat a diet that is low to moderate in fat
Limit saturated fat intake to less than 7% of total daily calories
Limit trans fats intake to less than 1% of total daily calories
Limit cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg per day
A 50 gram serving of avocado contains 1 gram saturated fat and is trans fat- and cholesterol-free. Plus, avocados are also sodium- and sugar-free.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2015-2020 (Dietary Guidelines) include a number of recommendations to help promote the health of Americans. Learn how enjoying California Avocados can help you meet a number of the recommendations.
Source: California Avocado Commission. Created in 1978, the California Avocado Commission strives to increase demand for California Avocados through advertising, promotion and public relations and engages in related industry activities that benefit the state's nearly 5,000 avocado growers. The California Avocado Commission serves as the official information source for California Avocados and the California Avocado industry.
Introduction by Thomas Shess, Editor, PillartoPost.org Online Magazine.