But with injury, comes opportunity! Here are some interesting facts that I just dug up about avocados ranging from the dangers to the nutritional benefits:
- A Hand to Shoulder medical center in Nevada has deemed avocados the most dangerous food in the kitchen. They perform at least one surgery a month to correct nerve and tendon damage in hands due to avocado-related lacerations.
- In 2006, the last year for which there are national statistics, about 10.6% of emergency room visits were due to injuries of the hand, wrist, or fingers. However, only 1.6% of visits were due to lacerations or cuts. It's not clear how many of these were avocado-related.
- Like tomatoes, avocados are considered a fruit in the botanical world.
- The majority of avocados are grown in Mexico and California.
- Avocados are also called alligator pears because they look like a pear but with rough, scaley skin. Boy, the person that came up with that is brilliant. I don't understand why that name hasn't caught on?
- An average avocado has 250 calories, of which about 80% are fat (mostly monounsaturated fat...the good kind).
- An avocado has more potassium than a banana. Maybe one day the post-race tables at sporting events will be filled with avocados versus bananas???
- In April, I watched Jillian, the militant trainer on The Biggest Loser, tell the audience of The Today Show that avocados can prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and pretty much every other lifestyle-related disease. That is pretty impressive for an alligator pear! In reality, avocados are a smart nutrition choice that contain lots of nutrients and good stuff...some would say they are one of nature's most perfect foods. In a petri-dish, avocado extracts do seem to slow the growth of cancer cells, but that is not very strong evidence that avocados prevent cancer. And replacing bad fats (saturated and trans fats) with good fats (unsaturated fats) has been shown to lower cholesterol. At the end of the day, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is known to reduce your risk for all of those nasty diseases so bring on the alligator pears! Just take out the pit with a spoon, as demonstrated here.