The opulent avocado

It sounds silly to say that there is a special place in my heart for avocados… so I won’t say that. While growing up, I never ate avocados. I don’t know why that was the case considering we ate fruits and vegetables all the time. Just as often as there are times when something I eat (or make) brings me back to something my family would make, I seem to do things now that make me think ‘I am changing the course of my future and those who are around me and the things they will remember eating and making with me’. I like that thought.

I do not know exactly what is so satisfying to me about something so simple as an avocado on toast. I am sure it has something to do with the tang of toasted sourdough combined with the smooth richness of avocado. And don’t forget the sea salt… salt brings out the flavors, of course. It is opulent. Yes, food can be described as opulent. I did not want to say luscious because that seems effeminate coming from me… although, now that I say it, let’s be honest, avocados are kind of sexy.

Another reason I think it is so satisfying to me is because of all of its health benefits. Avocados contain vitamins A, B-complex, C, E, H, K, minerals like folate, magnesium, copper, iron, calcium, potassium, and all of the essential amino acids that our body needs. They are also rich in beta-sitosterol, which is used in treating prostate cancer (and other cancers and conditions as well, although it is important to stick to whole food forms like in avocados). Now now, all you ladies, don’t turn and run because I mentioned prostate cancer. In fact, I am sure you will want to know especially since the chances of the men in your life developing prostate cancer are extremely high. It is the third leading cause of cancer deaths in men (JAMA).

I always enjoy eating avocados plain with salt, making guacamole, putting them in a smoothie, or slicing them on a sandwich. I am always curious about new recipes involving them though, so I will most likely be scouring blogs looking for an avocado to catch my eye.

Avocados, what a nice small step in fighting cancer. Now I can understand why Dr. Asa Andrews says “An avocado a day keeps prostate problems away.”

Tim is a health researcher and educator based out of Nashville, TN. Connect with him on Instagram @eattodaytolivetomorrow.

Prostate Cancer and the “Sunshine Vitamin”

There was an interesting article on Mercola that cited a study in the British Journal of Cancer that shows the correlation between vitamin D levels and prostate cancer. Men with prostate cancer were as much as seven times less likely to die if they have high levels of natural vitamin D (from sunlight).

Being that most men will develop prostate cancer in their lifetime… this is pertinent to… well, most men. Having appropriate levels of vitamin D is an important thing you can do in fighting or preventing many different cancers.

The best way to obtain vitamin D is through sunlight. By getting plenty of sunlight you can get your vitamin D without overdosing and creating vitamin D toxicity (easily done by taking too many pills).¬† If you are unable to get enough sunlight, then taking a vitamin D3 supplement makes sense… it is just hard to know your blood levels of vitamin D unless you get tested… so it is much more advisable to spend time in the sun.

And no, you do not need to worry about getting skin cancer from the sun. In fact you are more likely to get it by avoiding the sun and using toxic sunscreens on your skin. That doesn’t mean you should go outside and fry yourself candy apple red, but it does mean you should gradually increase your sun exposure till you can regularly be in the sun without worrying of getting burnt. In fact, chances of melanoma decrease with greater sun exposure.

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Tim is a health researcher and educator based out of Nashville, TN. Connect with him on Instagram @eattodaytolivetomorrow.