Mayan legend records the first consumption of an Avocado, by a Princess in 291 B.C. but today you need not be royalty to eat this beautiful food packed with lots of good things for everyone but for women in particular. I have an interesting collection of facts that point to the Doctrine of Signatures for the beautiful Avocado.
History of Avocados
Avocados are not native to our part of the world, here in Oz. They are indigenous to Central and South America. They have been cultivated in these areas since 8000 B.C. Yep long time eh? They were introduced in Jamaica in the mid 1600’s and spread through South East Asia in the mid 1800’s. Cultivation in the Western World began in America in the early 1900’s. Today the major growers and exporters of Avocados are the US, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Brazil and Columbia.
Clues to “The Doctrine of Signatures” for Avocados
The Doctrine of Signatures is a philosophy shared by herbalists and nutritionists that states that herbs, plants and vegetables resemble the various parts of the body they heal. Nature is literally trying to communicate to us what we need for what. Sounds a bit – nutty? Pardon the pun … read on.
The leathery texture and shape of the Avocado explains the colloquially known as “The Alligator Pear”. Not so glamorous but unmistakable. The name ‘Avocado’ is derived from the Aztec language – Nahuath. The Nahuath word for womb or cervix is “ahuacalt” however these sources are sketchy. This word has also been translated as “testicle”. This is not consistent with the way in which the Aztec’s viewed trees, seeing them as feminine Goddesses giving fruit as gifts of life and sustenance but does point to some of the medicinal properties of Avocado.
The Aztecs taught that the womb and cervix was the sign of nature of the avocado and that a swollen seed was like a woman who is pregnant. Coincidentally, and we committed to the Authentic Life are intrigued by coincidence seeing it as a sign of potential synchronicity pay extra attention, it takes the Avocado 9 months, 40 weeks, to grow from flower to fruit. Research shows that Avocados protect women from cervical and breast cancers and complications of delivery in pregnancy. The Spanish word for “Advisor” is pronounced ohwa-ka-to, and is possibly what the conquistadors heard when they first encountered the Avocado.
Some Interesting Facts About Avocados
- Avocados are not fattening, contrary to what you may have heard.
- Avocados raise High Density Lipids (HDL) – the good cholesterol, stabilises blood sugar and provides glutathione to assist renovating the liver.
- Avocados consistently make the coveted list of Top Ten Super Foods decided by ‘the experts’.
- Avocados help the skin. The natural oils in avocados brighten a poor complexion, strengthen weak or brittle nails, moisten and nourish dry skin. It is better and more sustainable to help skin from the outside in. The oils in Avocados assist in the regeneration of hair follicles. If you are losing hair, try eating three Avocados a day and see what happens. The Avocados will stimulate the growth of new hair.
- Avocados are an excellent source of potassium a mineral much needed by the body that assists in regulating the blood pressure, assists in muscle contractions, maintaining the fluid and electrolyte balance in body cells, important in the communication system, electrical transfer along nerve pathways. Avocados supply 60% more potassium than the popular fruit supplier – the banana.
- Avocados are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids including oleic acid which has show to provide protection against breast cancer. Avocados contain the highest amount of carotenoid lutein measured among commonly eaten fruit in addition to measurable amounts of carotenoids and significant quantities of Vitamin E (tocopherols).
- Avocados have been found to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. Avocado extract containing carotenoids and tocopherols was found to halt the proliferation of both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cells. However these same researchers found when the cancer cells were exposed to lutein alone, there was a null effect, or no therapeutic effect. The researchers concluded that the entire matrix of carotenoids and tocopherols present in Avocados was needed for the therapeutic effect but that also the high levels of monunsaturated fat in Avocados was essential. The presence of fat is necessary for the bioactive compounds to be transported and absorbed in to the blood stream successfully. This is because carotenoids are lipid soluble. The design of the Avocado, patented by Nature herself, is the medicine perfectly formulated.
- Avocados also enhance the absorption of carotenoids from other vegetables. Handy. Helpful. Synergistic effect. Excellent Work Nature. Avocados facilitate the medicinal properties of other plants also. Carotenoids are lipophilic, meaning soluable in fat as compared to water, therefore if you eat carotenoid-rich food along with monounsaturated fat rich Avocado this will improve bioavailability. This is the wisdom behind ‘dressing a salad’.
We used to know this stuff – this knowledge is hidden in traditional food preparation and eating practices. Now after a long slog, science can reluctantly concur. Science still won’t believe in UFOs though. Where’s the mystery in life? I ask you …
Eat Avocados … they are in season. Enjoy. Be at Peace.