Avocado: Superfood for Joint Pain

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Tropical Avocado Sliced In HalfAre you in love with avocados? People who love avocados really love this stubby fruit with its rich, buttery taste.  Many people say it makes everything taste better. Called one of nature’s healthiest foods, avocados have an amazing array of nutrients that help your joints, and every part of your body. Plus they’re delicious! Their luscious, creamy taste is famous in guacamole, and perks up salads, bean dishes, dips and dressings. Read on to find out how avocado can help your arthritis, and how to choose and enjoy this delicious fruit that’s brimming with health benefits.

Avocado: Superfood for Joint Pain

avocado saladHealth benefits in every bite Avocados are subtropical fruits, not vegetables. They are actually characterized as berries, and have the largest seed of any fruit. Between the seed and the rind lies the tender “meat”, which is a whitish green color and tastes rich and buttery. One half of an avocado gives you more antioxidants than a serving of broccoli rabe, grapes, red pepper or cabbage. Avocados provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nutrients, including potassium, folate, magnesium, Vitamin E, and fiber. Adding avocado to a salad can help you absorb the nutrients from all the vegetables. That’s because the nutrients in many vegetables need fat to enable your body to turn them into vitamins. By adding slices of avocado or avocado oil to a salad of romaine lettuce, spinach and carrots, you can increase the absorption of nutrients up to 400%! Avocado fights arthritis Your joints are built to last without giving you pain. To keep your joints lubricated and moving with ease, you need foods rich in antioxidants and healthy fats. They reduce inflammation, and slow the progression of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fats, which help promote cartilage repair. French studies found that avocado oil prevents osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis by stopping the inflammatory prostaglandin E2 synthesis within the connective tissue, and can relieve OA pain, stimulate cartilage repair, and lowering a patient’s need for anti-inflammatory drugs. You can also benefit by using avocado oil topically, such as in mitts and booties to relieve arthritis pain. Weight loss benefits You might be surprised that a food high in fat and calories can be a weight loss tool. Yet research shows that we burn these monounsaturated fats as a slow energy source, rather than store them as body fat. The rich creamy texture provides a sensation of fullness, so you feel satisfied. This helps reduce hunger and appetite, therefore you are less likely to reach for sugary treats or processed carbohydrates. So including more avocados in your diet can actually help you lose weight. This is a big benefit to your joints if you are overweight. Losing weight is shown to be one of the most effective ways to reduce pain in your knees and hips, because it reduces the pressure and strain you put on your leg joints.  Skin benefits Avocado facialAvocado on your face? Eating avocado improves your skin from the inside, and you can also slather it on your face for added benefits. Eating avocado provides antioxidant carotenoids and vitamin E, which guards against photo-aging from sun exposure. The Vitamin C promotes elastin and collagen, which maintains your skin’s elasticity and firmness, and helps protect your skin from wrinkles. The monounsaturated fats in avocado are vital for maintaining good moisture levels to keep your skin healthy and help repair damaged skin cells. You can also make an inexpensive, natural skin mask by adding raw honey and yogurt to mashed avocado. It will slough away dead skin cells and restore a more youthful glow to your face. The internet has many sites with simple avocado recipes for skin and hair. How to buy and use avocados Guacamole1. Avocados are ready to eat when they are soft at the top but yield only a small amount in the middle. The fruit should feel heavy and the pit should be anchored firmly to the flesh. 2. It’s better to buy avocados that are unripe and ripen them at home. If they feel soft in the store or have indentations, they are likely to be overly ripe and mushy inside. 3. To speed-ripen an avocado, place it in a brown paper bag with a banana or apple. The ethylene gas produced by these fruits will shorten the ripening time by a day or two. (This will also ripen the other fruit more quickly). You can also place the avocado in a bowl with other fruit, and it will ripen naturally in a few days. 4. Don’t store unripe avocados in the fridge. It stops the ripening process and the avocados become rubbery. To store cut avocados, keep the stone in the half you are storing, to slow the browning. Then squirt the cut surface with lemon juice. You can also place the cut avocado on a bed of sliced onions to prevent browning. Store it in your refrigerator and eat it within two days. 5. To peel an avocado, place it lengthwise on a secure surface. Hold it securely with one hand and slice slowly down the center lengthwise around the seed, starting at the narrower end. Grasp both halves and twist. Remove the seed with a spoon.  Then scoop out the flesh and slice or mash it for your salad or guacamole.

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