Avocados are the fruit from a tall evergreen tree that can grow six stories high. “Avocado” comes from the Aztec word “ahuacatl,” and they've been cultivated in Central and South America for some 10,000 years.
Avocados are rich in monounsaturated oleic acid, which is heart-healthful and may offer some protection against breast cancer.
These unusually fatty fruits are also good sources of carotenoid antioxidants—lutein, zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene—as well as tocopherols (vitamin E).
In a laboratory study, an extract of avocado inhibited the growth of prostate cancer cells, but when tested alone, lutein—usually considered a prostate cancer inhibitor—did not prevent cancer cell growth and replication.
It seems that the significant amount of monounsaturated fat in avocado plays an important role: carotenoids are fat-soluble, so the fat in an avocado helps them absorb into the bloodstream.
Once again, a whole food beats out an isolated compound.
Broiled/Grilled Salmon with Avocado Tarragon Sauce
1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
1/3 cup low-fat Greek-style or plain yogurt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon)
2 tablespoons organic extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves (about 1 sprig fresh tarragon)
1 small clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon kosher sea salt
Organic black pepper to taste
Four (6 oz each) boneless-skinless wild salmon fillets
1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
- Place the avocado, yogurt, lemon juice, olive oil, tarragon, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor and process very well until smooth. Set aside.
- If grilling, preheat the grill to high and lightly oil the grate just before using. If broiling, heat the broiler a few minutes before the next step.
- Combine the olive oil and honey and brush on both sides of the salmon. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Place the salmon under the broiler or on a hot, oiled grill and cook until easily flaked with a fork, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
- Top with a dollop of avocado sauce.