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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
We will be bringing you helpful hints and tips designed to get you moving, shaking, and ready to go!
Alligator Pears
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By Mazzenga Daniels
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By Mazzenga Daniels
Nov. 4, 2013 3:38 p.m.

Do you know what an alligator pear is? We are positive that you know what one is. You see them every day in your local grocery store. This little fruit has gotten a lot of publicity recently with all of the health benefits that it has. Do you give up yet? Well, this week we are going to talk about the benefits of Avocado’s.

Before, we get started on all the benefits let’s give you some history on the avocado. The avocado is a fruit, not a vegetable. It originated in the central Mexico region. The avocado does not start to ripen until after it is picked. There are more than 500 different varieties of avocado. The avocado is also called the alligator pear because of its scaly outer skin. The avocado was first introduced into the United States in 1871, when Judge R.B. Ord planted three trees in Santa Barbara, California.

Even though the avocado has a very high calorie count to it (one avocado has 320 calories), it has various nutrients and “healthy fats” which make this fruit a must eat. The avocado has vitamins such as A,C,E,K and B6. It also has enormous amounts of potassium. One of the biggest benefits you can get from eating avocados would be to add it to certain foods, which increases the absorption of nutrients. You may be able to increase nutrient absorption by 400% in this way. The avocado also helps with signs of aging, regulating blood sugar and eye health.

The fat content of an avocado provides protection against heart diseases. Studies have shown that oleic acid improves cardiovascular health. Oleic acid is the primary fatty acid in avocadoes. Many people now take supplements in order to consume more omega-3 fatty acids to lower their risk of heart disease. Avocadoes are rich in omega-3, delivering 160 milligrams per cup of alpha-linolenic acid.

Are you a vegetarian? If so you can turn to avocados for a source of protein. Avocadoes provide all 18 essential amino acids necessary for the body to form a complete protein. Unlike the protein in steak, which is difficult for most people to digest, avocado protein is readily absorbed by the body because avocadoes also contain fiber.

Finally, here is a helpful hint about avocados, once an avocado is picked; it takes between 7 and 10 days to ripen. Keeping it in the refrigerator will slow down the ripening process, while putting it in a paper bag with a ripe apple will speed up the process.

 

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