Merryl Streep ended up in the Emergency Department.
And she’s not the only one.
The problem is considered so serious that the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons wants to see warning labels on this….fruit.
The problem they have is with avocados.
The number of people damaging themselves has soared so much with the fruit’s popularity, that it now has a condition named after it – avocado hand.
Simon Eccles sees four cases a week at a single London hospital.
Who would have thought that one of the healthiest foods you can eat would have a downside? But once you know the huge benefits of eating avocados, you too will be willing to risk the terrors of avocado hand.
Jam-Packed With Nutrients
Avocados are chock-full of fiber, phytochemicals and antioxidants.
A single avocado contains 36% of our vitamin K requirement, 30% of folate, 20% of B5, B6, C and potassium and useful amounts of B2, B3 and E. It’s also an excellent source or carotenoids, minerals and phenolic compounds.
Its healthy, monounsaturated fats are probably its most important nutrients. “Good” fats like avocados, nuts and coconut oil are among the most nutritious foods on earth.
Avocado studies have found the fruit can:
- lower blood fats
- reduce elevated blood pressure
- decrease blood sugar
- act against obesity
- reduce the formation of blood clots
- act against atherosclerotic arteries
- protect the cardiovascular system
While avocados contain a lot of fat, this doesn’t mean they can’t be an aid to weight loss.
A study of nearly 30,000 people found that those who eat avocado frequently weigh around eight pounds less and have a lower body mass index.
The results of a review published last year provided more good news:
“Compounds in avocado are unique antioxidants, preferentially suppressing [free] radical generation, and thus may be promising as effective neuropreventative agents. The diverse array of bioactive nutrients present in avocado plays a pivotal role in the prevention and cure of various neurodegenerative diseases.”
In a review published in June this year, researchers from Iran investigated whether avocados could impact metabolic syndrome (prediabetes). This is a cluster of abnormalities including high blood glucose, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and obesity.
Metabolic syndrome trebles the risk of cardiovascular disease and increases the risk of type 2 diabetes five times over.
According to the American Heart Association it’s a problem that affects almost a quarter of all American adults.
The researchers concluded that there was “satisfactory clinical evidence” that avocados do have an impact on metabolic syndrome, mainly through their beneficial effects on blood fats – raising HDL “good” cholesterol, lowering LDL “bad” cholesterol, lowering total cholesterol and tryglycerides.
How to Safely Eat an Avocado
Avocados are one of my favorite foods. They’re delicious, can be ready to eat in a couple of minutes, and are great on salads or in sandwiches, or – my favorite – as guacamole, which makes an excellent dip or a topping for chicken and other dishes.
But please don’t sacrifice a finger. If you don’t wish to be one of thousands of victims each year, the only precaution you need to take is not to hold the fruit in one hand while plunging the knife in with the other.
Place the fruit on the kitchen table. Hold steady with the fingertips of one hand, then you can safely push the knife to the stone and work your way all around.
Here’s a Youtube video that may help. You want to start with a soft, squishy avocado where the skin yields slightly when pressed with your fingers. Otherwise they are very hard to peel and the risk of injury is greater. And besides, when they’re firm they’re not ready to eat.