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    • By Queen Esther
      This Is What Will Happen When You Eat Avocados Every Day....
      Youve probably seen avocados being touted as a heart-healthy superfood in recent years. Realistically, the truth isnt too far off from the hype. The next time youre grabbing that burrito or turkey sandwich, you might want to consider adding a healthy dollop of guacamole. Here are four reasons that you should consider eating a little bit of avocado each day.
      1. You may reduce your risk of heart disease.
      Heart disease is the number 1 killer in the United States, affecting nearly 27 million adults, so it only makes sense that we would want to protect ourselves by being more health-conscious in our dietary choices. Avocados have been shown to positively benefit our cardiovascular system in a number of ways due to its low saturated fat and high unsaturated fat content (predominantly the monounsaturated fat (MUFA) variety). Consuming excess saturated fat (>10% of total calories) may raise your LDL and HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. On the contrary, consuming adequate unsaturated fat in your diet may help lower LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol), maintain HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol) and potentially improve your insulin sensitivity.
      In addition its nutritious fat content, avocados also contain a potent mix of nutrients (e.g., potassium and lutein), including plenty of antioxidants such as carotenoids, callexanthophylls and phenols. These compounds can help prevent inflammation and oxidative stress in the blood vessels while facilitating improved blood flow.
      2. You may have an easier time maintaining your weight
      Eating fat to lose fat; who would have thought? Avocados can help with weight-loss and maintaining a healthy BMI by promoting a feeling of satiety. A recent study showed that including avocado in meals helped extend feelings of fullness and reduced the desire to overindulge. The belly-filling properties of avocados is aided by their high fiber content, about 14g per fruit on average. In addition, higher avocado consumption has been associated with smaller waistlines and lower BMIs in observational studies. Lastly, some research has even shown that weight-loss diets higher in MUFA, like the kind avocados are packed with, may prove healthier for your heart than low-fat weight-loss diets.
      3. You might reduce your risk of cancer
      Avocados provide us with numerous phytochemicals that may help prevent cancer, including the previously discussed xanthophylls and phenols. A protein compound called glutathione, along with the xanthophyll lutein (both found in avocados), have been associated with decreased rates of oral cancer. Preliminary data also show promising results for avocados potential role in reducing risk of both breast and prostate cancers. Additionally, preliminary studies demonstrate that a specific type of fav derived from avocados is able to exert anti-cancer effects on acute myeloid leukemia cells. Together, these studies show that further research needs to be conducted to draw more conclusive results.
      4. You will protect your skin and eyes well into old age
      As it turns out, avocado carotenoids do quite a number of things for our body. Both lutein and another compound found in avocados called zeaxanthin can slow age-related ocular decline and prevent vision dysfunction. In addition, these same two nutrients also act as buffers against oxidative UV damage, keeping our skin smooth and healthy. The bioavailability (ease of absorption by our body) of carotenoids from avocados compared to many other fruits and vegetables makes eating avocados every day a sensible choice.
      Recipes to try:
      Avocado Smoothie
          ½ ripe avocado
          1 ripe banana
          ½ cup low-fat yogurt
          ½ cup orange juice
          OPTIONAL: handful of ice
      Combine ingredients into blender and mix.
      Bacon Peach Guacamole
          1 ripe peach
          2 ripe avocados
          ¼ red onion, minced
          2 strips bacon, crisped
          Salt and pepper to taste
      Cut peaches into small dice and place in bowl. Mash avocados and combine with peaches. Crisp bacon in skillet, dice and add to bowl. Mince onion and add to guacamole. Enjoy with whole-grain tortilla chips.
      Aside from the multitude of health benefits, avocados have the extra bonus of being a tasty, creamy food that can be incorporated into shakes, desserts, dips, and toppings. So dont be afraid to add avocado !
      ***VERY  HEALTHY***
       
    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Avocado supply shrinks, prices soar  Monday, 24 Oct 2016 | 11:45 AM ET | 00:41
      Don't be surprised if you can't find guacamole to go with chips at your favorite Mexican restaurant. There's a shortage of avocados, and as a result supply is low and prices have doubled — and in some cases tripled — from a year ago.
      And those sky-high prices at supermarkets could be around until after the Super Bowl, when guacamole demand soars, according to produce experts. 
      "We're not going to have any avocados for anybody for maybe a week and a half," said Cythnia Guzman of Nature's Produce, a fresh fruit broker and distributor in Vernon, California. "We're seeing fruit out there at double the price it normally would be."
      Don't be surprised if you can't find guacamole to go with chips at your favorite Mexican restaurant. There's a shortage of avocados, and as a result supply is low and prices have doubled — and in some cases tripled — from a year ago.
      And those sky-high prices at supermarkets could be around until after the Super Bowl, when guacamole demand soars, according to produce experts. 
      "We're not going to have any avocados for anybody for maybe a week and a half," said Cythnia Guzman of Nature's Produce, a fresh fruit broker and distributor in Vernon, California. "We're seeing fruit out there at double the price it normally would be."
      "We're seeing fruit out there at double the price it normally would be"-Cythnia Guzman, fruit broker, Nature's Produce
      Hormel Foods, owner of Wholly Guacamole — the nation's top-selling branded guacamole — said in statement it is monitoring the situation and leveraging its global supply chain to "minimize any potential business disruptions."
      In recent weeks, the U.S. market supply has dwindled as a result of a grower's strike in Mexico. It has left retailers struggling to find avocados and resulted in some restaurants temporarily dropping guacamole from menus.
      "We've been out of guacamole for four days now," Abigail Alfaro, who helps manage the Le Vecindad taco establishment in San Diego, said Friday. "Hopefully we will get some avocados soon."
      Del Taco and El Torito Mexican restaurant chains ran out of guacamole briefly at some Los Angeles-area locations, based on calls Friday and over the weekend to locations.
      A check of several Chipotle locations found they had guacamole. Earlier this year, the chain was giving away free chips and guacamole in a "Guac Hunter" online game promotion. The free offer has since ended.
      Other major Mexican restaurant chains were contacted and most didn't want to talk about the issue although one indicated they had "proactively prepared" for the situation. 
      The cost of avocados is likely to put pressure on the bottom line of restaurant chains of all sizes as they struggle to hold down on costs. Indeed, avocados was one of the "primary" areas where BJ's Restaurants said it is seeing pressure in commodities, the CFO Greg Levin told analysts last week during the company's third-quarter earnings call.
      America's appetite for the green fruit has soared in recent years due to health-conscious consumers, the popularity of Mexican food, and fruit appearing on more restaurant menus. It also has helped that Avocados From Mexico, the marketing organization for avocados, has run Super Bowl commercials in recent years.
      Mexico is the major supplier this time of year for avocados and shipments from there have fallen more than 60 percent in recent weeks, according to data from the Hass Avocado Board. The strike was just resolved but the tight supplies and the very high prices of as much as $3 apiece for large avocados could be around for some time, according to grocers.
      "The interruption in harvesting was driven by internal industry issues that have been addressed with mediation by the Michoacan State Government and the Mexican Department of Agriculture," said the Association of Producers and Exporters of Mexican Avocado (APEAM) in a statement. "The primary issue revolved around sales negotiations between the growers and packers."
      Michoacan is one the world's largest avocado producing regions and accounts for about 80 percent of Mexico's roughly 3 billion pounds of production. California's avocado crop also is substantial although it has been coping with the drought and the harvest peaked in July and since has wound down.
      "The market got real tight a month ago," said Alan Arzoian, owner of Handy Market in Burbank, California. "All the inventory in the chain sort of disappeared. Pickers couldn't sell out of Mexico so they didn't pick anything. The strike is settled but it takes a few weeks for the food chain to fill up."
      According to Arzoian, a carton of avocados typically runs around $40 but he's been seeing prices up to $120 per carton, or triple the normal price. He said there was a similar supply problem with limes about two years ago that interrupted the market and resulted in that fruit soaring.
      Last week, cartons of Hass avocados crossing from Mexico through Texas were reported to be unusually low, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "Supplies very tight," the USDA said last week in fruit shipping update that referenced avocados. "Trading very active for light supplies."
      Meantime, APEAM last week projected that 40 million pounds of avocados would be arriving in the U.S. market, and it forecast the next several weeks would see "strong, steady volumes moving forward to help offset the temporary product shortage caused by a work stoppage over the last couple of weeks."

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Thieves capitalise on booming black market for the fruit amid soaring demand

      Avocados are selling for between NZ$4-6 each across the country, after a poor season last year and increasing local demand. Photograph: FotografiaBasica/Getty Images
      Surging local and international demand for avocados is fuelling a crime wave inNew Zealand.
      Since January there have been close to 40 large-scale thefts from avocado orchards in the north island of New Zealand, with as many as 350 fruit stolen at a time.
      It is suspected many more thefts have gone unreported.
      Avocados are selling for between NZ$4-6 each (£2-3) across the country, after a poor season last year and increasing local demand.
      According to New Zealand Avocado in 2015 an additional 96,000 New Zealand households began purchasing avocados, and local growers – largely geared towards the lucrative export market – have been unable to keep up with the surge in demand.
      The recent thefts have taken place in the middle of the night, with the crop either “raked” from the tree and collected in blankets or sheets on the ground, or hand-picked and driven away to pop-up road-side stalls, grocery stores or small-scale sushi, fruit and sandwich shops in Auckland.
      Sergeant Aaron Fraser of Waihi said there had been “spates” of avocado thefts during his time in the police but nothing as sustained as the current activity.
      “These stolen avocados can carry risks,” he said.
      “They are unripe, some have been sprayed recently and they may still carry toxins on the skin. But with the prices so high at the moment, the potential for profit is a strong inducement for certain individuals.”
      Jen Scoular, New Zealand Avocado CEO, said the recent thefts were concerning, but a bumper season of locally-grown avocados should flood the New Zealand market in coming weeks, reducing the incentive for thieves.
      “It’s an easy way to make a quick buck, but I don’t think we are dealing with a sophisticated or highly organised operation here, more opportunistic,” she said.
      “This stolen fruit will only have made it to the local markets, it would never reach our export markets.”
      Scoular said avocado farms in New Zealand were getting increasingly savvy about protecting their crop, and many had installed automatic lights and alarm systems.
      Source: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/15/avocado-thieves-shortage-crime-fruit-black-market-new-zealand
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