Saturday, 14 May 2022

Almonds - Potent Brain Food

Aside from being a convenient snack, almonds are potent brain food for three reasons. First, the skins of almonds have been shown to provide a prebiotic effect, which as you may recall is important for nurturing the mass of bacteria in your large intestine. Researchers fed people almond skins or whole almonds and saw that they both increased populations of beneficial species while reducing pathogenic ones. 

Second, almonds are a rich source of polyphenols — plant defense compounds that provide an antioxidant effect to both you and your gut bacteria. Almonds are a powerful source of fat-soluble antioxidant vitamin E. Vitamin E protects synaptic membranes from oxidation, thus supporting neuroplasticity. Scientists have noted a link between decreasing serum levels of vitamin E and poorer memory performance in older individuals. 

A 2013 trial, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, even found that high doses of vitamin E led to a significantly slower decline in patients with Alzheimer’s disease (worth up to six months of bought time). Almonds do contain substantial amounts of polyunsaturated fat, which as you recall is a fat that is easily oxidized. 

This is why I prefer to consume almonds, and all nuts, raw. However, for those who prefer roasted nuts, it may provide comfort to know that the fat in almonds remains relatively protected through the roasting process, a sign that the nuts also contain a high amount of antioxidants. Just be sure to go for dry roasted nuts, as “roasted” almost always means that they’ve actually been deep-fried in poor-quality vegetable oil! 

How to use: Eat raw as a snack, combine with some dark chocolate and berries for a nice “trail mix,” or throw in a salad. Just be mindful that because of their fat content, nuts contain a lot of calories, which can add up fast. Try to stick to a handful or two a day, tops. 

Pro tip: All nuts are healthy. While almonds are a great go-to choice, macadamias, Brazil nuts, and pistachios are equally excellent options. Pistachios contain more lutein and zeaxanthin (two carotenoids that can boost brain speed) than any other nut. They also contain resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant that has been shown to protect and enhance memory function.

Monday, 9 May 2022

Pumpkin and squash

Pumpkin and squash were an important part of the diet of many Native American tribes, who introduced them to the early European settlers. In North America, squash and pumpkin (especially in the form of pumpkin pie) are still served as part of the traditional Thanksgiving meal. These vegetables are not only delicious but are also filling, inexpensive, high-energy foods. As you might expect from their wonderful deep orange hue, pumpkins and squashes are full of beta-carotene, the vitamin A precursor that helps protect us against cancer, heart troubles, and respiratory disease. In population studies, people eating plenty of pumpkins, or other orange-yellow members of the squash family, run a lower risk of developing lung cancer.

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Figs and Human Relationship

 Our relationship to figs, though ancient by human standards, is relatively new from the fig’s point of view. Figs have been good to us, providing food and medicine, shade and shelter, raiment, and even metaphysical inspiration. Figs are reputed to be the most frequently mentioned fruit in the Bible (Flaishman et al. 2008), and an important element of all mythologies and religions of the Mediterranean and Middle East. 

The ease with which cuttings of fig trees can be transported and root, when introduced into soil and water, has enabled us to propagate figs for our own use thousands of years before we were able to domesticate grains. For our part, we have also served the fig, helping it to colonize lands far distant from those of its origins. We have succeeded in establishing figs, especially the edible Ficus carica and the decorative F. benjamina, in countries of many northern climates, from New England to Northern Europe (Condit 1947). 

We have played an impressive role in figs’ evolution, as figs have also figured prominently in our own evolution. Along the way, there have been fits and starts. For the figs, continents have split off from other continents, and fig wasps have evolved alongside them to create their unique and distinctive environmentally linked system of reproduction. 

We humans have taken figs to new heights of glory, and have deeply appreciated their virtues and integrated them into our culture. Now, at the threshold of suffering, the consequences of our carelessness with our own instruments of environmental change, we may again turn fig-ward for a leaf or two to cover our shame, to absorb the toxins of our greed and stupidity. 

This field is called phytoremediation, and the Ficus species are employed in both diagnostic and “therapeutic” functions to “heal” the environmentally ravaged planet. Let us review now briefly some of the work in each of these major areas.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

How to Grow Yellow Yams?

Some authorities consider yellow yams to be a variety of D. rotundata. The edible portion is the tuber, which is borne singly and can weigh up to 10 kg. But more usually are within the range 500–2 kg. They have brown skin and yellow flesh.

As far as harvesting there is no clear dormancy period, but the vines die back about 12 months after planting and then regrowth. At this time the vines may be cut off and the tubers may be harvested and dug from the ground. Jamaica is a major producer and there they are harvested by digging up the tuber while the vine is still attached. 

The top of the tuber, called the head end, is cut off with the vine attached and replanted in the same place. This means that there is a large cut surface on the harvested tuber that is easily infected by microorganisms.

Pest and disease control
A common way of controlling postharvest diseases is to dip the tubers in a fungicide. However, dichloran treatment was found actually to increase rotting. In Jamaica, benzimidazole fungicides were used for many years. However, during the commercial application, a rot caused by infection with Penicillium sclerotigenum was frequently observed on the treated tubers. 

In in vitro tests, this organism was found to be tolerant to benomyl. This tolerance was confirmed in vivo tests, but the organism was highly susceptible to the fungicide imazalil. However, the use of benomyl or imazalil is now not permitted in many importing countries and an alternative method of disease control is needed.

Field infestation of yellow yam tubers with parasitic nematodes was shown to increase when they were stored in tropical ambient conditions, resulting in areas of necrotic tissues. However, when they were stored at 13°C there was no increase in nematode population in the tubers and no increase in necrosis.

Exposure of the tubers to 35–40°C and 95–100% r.h. for 24 hours initiates the curing process and controls storage rots. This treatment could well replace chemical fungicides for postharvest disease control. See the section on D. rotundata for details of the process.

In ventilated storage in ambient conditions of 24–31°C and 52–68% r.h., tubers lost 41% in weight after 4 months. The storage period was too long and should probably be confined to a maximum of 1 month. Refrigerated storage recommendations are as follows:

• 13°C and 95% r.h. for less than 4 months with 29% weight loss and internal necrosis.
• 16°C and 80% r.h. for 60 days (Tindall 1983).


At tropical temperatures, tubers sprouted about 4 weeks after harvesting. The most popular variety of yellow yam in Jamaica is called Roundleaf and that began to sprout about 90 days after harvest compared with the variety Common that sprouted after about 50 days. This study was at ambient temperatures of 25–34°C and 64–92% r.h.

A proprietary potato sprout suppressant containing CIPC and IPC in a dust formulation had no effect on sprouting. Low-temperature storage can control sprouting. No sprouting occurred on any tubers at 13°C during 5 months of storage, but there was a chilling injury at temperatures below 15°C when stored for over 1 month, so this method was not appropriate.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

How to Grow Best Pears?

How to Grow Pears?

Pears grow on sturdy, deep-rooted trees that can live and bear for as long as seventy-five years. They will take less cold than apples but more than peaches, and often have fewer pest and disease problems than either. They are not especially rich in vitamins, but no matter. Get your vitamins A and C from the tomato crop and enjoy sweet, juicy home-grown pears for the sheer joy of it.
The pear’s brief, early bloom can result in the flowers’ being killed in cold areas, and also can lead to insufficient pollination. Even if the flowers appear when it is warm enough for bees to be active, they are not as fragrant as those of other fruits, and bees may pass them by.
Pear trees are not self-fertile either, though most varieties will cross-pollinate each other well. (The combination of ‘Bartlett’ and ‘Seckel,’ which are incompatible, is the notable exception.) Most do badly in very warm zones since they need winter chilling to break dormancy.
Pears are upright-growing, usually reaching at least 25 feet. Dwarfs can be grown successfully, usually on quince rootstocks SITE Plant pear trees in a sunny spot except in climates where the sun is very strong. Protect them from winds that are cold or salt-laden.
In the cold temperature planting on a northern or eastern slope will assist to forestall too-early bloom. It is very imperative to give pears good air circulation to ward off fire blight, the most troublesome pear disease. Plant standard-sized varieties 20-25 feet apart, dwarf ones 12-15.


Pears are deep-rooted and need deep soil. They will do better in a heavy soil than a light one since they need plenty of soil moisture. (Sandy soils also warm up too quickly in spring, producing frost-vulnerable early bloom.)
Pears growing in dry soil will bear pretty flowers and then drop unripe fruit all over the ground. On the other hand, too- rich soil will make them more susceptible to fire blight and may produce rapid growth that splits the bark. The best pH is about 6.5, but a wide range is tolerable.


Plant while dormant in fall in frost-free areas, otherwise in early spring. Buy one-year-old whips and cut back to 3 or 3% feet. Set them out at the same height at which they grew in the nursery, but with dwarf varieties make sure the graft is several inches above the soil so the tree won’t root above the graft.
At planting time dig in organic matter such as peat and perhaps some bone meal, but no nitrogenous fertilizer. You have a vigorous tree and can kill it with too much kindness.


As the trees are growing, you can top-dress them lightly with compost or whatever it takes to keep leaf color a healthy green and the tree productive- but you may not need to feed at all. It is more important to make sure the tree has plenty of moisture, especially at blossom time and when the fruit is ripening.
Moreover, heavy mulch not only will conserve moisture but also may assist to forestall too-early flowering. You may also grow grass around the tree to put back flowering and contain growth. But beware heavy applications of lawn fertilizer. Pear trees are pruned very much the same way as apple trees, but lightly so as to avoid producing vigorous new growth that will be susceptible to blight.
Like apples, they bear for many years on long-lived spurs. It is, however, a good idea to keep the top pruned low while the tree is young so it will grow too tall to pick. Cutting it later is harder to do and will in blight. Old trees can be renewed in the same way as apples. Thinning will befit the tree and the crop, though are notorious self-thinners, often dropping half their crop in early or midsummer.


The biggest pear plague is fire blight, a bacterial disease that blackens the leaves and twigs so they look burned. They may also curl over in a “shepherd’s crook” shape. Cankers (sunken places) can be seen at the base of the blackened parts.
The disease is carried by insects that enter the flowers in spring and is best prevented by growing resistant varieties. Also, observe the cautions mentioned above. If your trees still get fire blight, prune out the affected shoots at least several inches below the damage.
Sterilizing your clippers in a chlorine solution between cuts and destroying the debris by burning or burying it. Badly damaged trees may need to be destroyed. There are antibiotic sprays, best administered by a professional, that control fire blight.
Other diseases include brown rot and pear canker, a fungus that produces sunken areas on the twigs. You might have trouble identifying the latter, so take twigs to the Extension Service to see if pear canker is the trouble. If so, just prune it out and improve drainage in the area where the tree grows.
Pear scab produces olive-green spots on the fruit in warm, wet weather; any infected areas should be pruned out and destroyed. Pear psylla, a plant louse, is the most serious insect pest, blackening the leaves and fruit in midsummer because of the sooty mold that grows on the sticky “honeydew,” which the lice secrete.
Dormant-oil sprays, applied in before buds swell, will help to control it; follow this treatment with insecticidal soap spray, as needed later in the season. Aphids, which also secrete honeydew, are also controlled by dormant oil followed by soap.
Even if neither psylla nor aphids do great damage, both can introduce fire blight into the tree. Pears are also injured by the codling moth, and by pear slugs, which are best done in by sprinkling them with lime. So, to avoid pests and disease you should know how to grow pears in a systematic way.


Pears are best picked before maturity. Left to ripen on the tree they become grainy and can go very quickly from ripe to rotten. Pick when the skins are light green, when the seeds inside are brown (open one pear to check) and when the pears can be severed from the branch easily with an upward-twisting!
Motion If possible store pears in a dry room where the temperature is just above freezing; they’ll keep this way for several months. Then bring them into a warmer room when you want them to ripen. But handle them carefully at all stages because they are easily nicked and bruised.
Standard trees bear a good crop in about six years, on the average, and dwarfs in three or four. Expect up to five bushels per tree from standards, up to a bushel and a half from dwarfs.


Bartlett is the best-known pear, the standard commercial variety that keeps and ships well. The tree is vigorous but prone to blight; fruits are early. “Clapp’s Favorite is the standard late variety, hardier for the north than ‘Bartlett’ but also susceptible to blight. So is the exquisite “Bosc” that wonderful little brown, long-necked pear, and the sumptuous old-world ‘Flemish Beauty.
Less risky is the wonderful old ‘Seckel’ or sugar pear, which is small, brown and very sweet. It grows slowly but vigorously on a compact tree and is quite hardy. (Also try its early version, “Tyson.’) Modern choices include the early and dependable ‘Moonglow,’ or, for canning, ‘Kieffer,’ a big, crisp.
Also, yellow pear that matures fairly is late and keeps very well. Another good bet is Magness,’ a good blight-resistant pear for the south and west that is very sweet, keeps well and grows on a nice, spreading tree. (Grow two additional varieties to ensure pollination.) ‘Orient’ is a good round, green canning pear for the south, also blight-resistant. Also, try the great- keeping ‘Red Anjou’ or the trouble-free ‘Starking Delicious.’
Western gardeners owe it to themselves to try the ‘Comice’ pear, an old, choice French pear considered the crème de la crème; it bears late, has exquisite flavor and is blight-resistant. They should also grow the Asian pears that are starting to become popular. Huge, crisp pears that are something like apples in texture; these are good keepers and grow on large, self-fertile trees.
Good varieties include “Chojuro’ and “Twentieth Century. The Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana) is an ornamental tree worth noting, especially the variety ‘Bradford (called Bradford pear). It has a nice shape and makes a good street tree, resistant to fire blight. It is covered with white flowers in spring and turns a lovely dark red in fall. The tiny fruits are not edible. so, we hope you would become to know how to grow pears. 

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Jack Fruit Facts

Jack fruit is well believed to have originated in the mountainous region of the Western Ghats of Indian peninsula. It is supposed to have spread from India to the other tropical countries such as Malaysia, Burma, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Brazil, Jamaica etc.
Jack fruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is one of the most important underutilized fruit belonging to the family “Moraceae” and to the genus Artocarpus. That includes evergreen or deciduous trees producing more yield than any other fruit tree species and bears the largest edible fruit.
But it is regarded as a minor fruit and is often found in regular plantations. This genus comprises about 100 species distributed in the Indo-Malayan region and China. Among the several species of Artocarpus which occur in India, Artocarpus chaplasha, Artocarpus hirsuta and Artocarpus lakoocha are the important timber yielding trees.
The energy of Jack Fruit
Jack fruit is cheaply available in large quantities during the season. The energy available to humans from jack fruit has been calculated to provide approximately 2 MJ/Kg wet weight of ripe perianth. For this reason, it is commonly referred to as “poor man’s breadfruit”. On account of its fruit size, it ranks first among all the fruits in terms of quantity of edible matter produced per unit area.
Jack Fruit Seedlings
Jack fruit tolerates a wide variety of soils, provided those are well-drained. However, it prefers deep and well-drained alluvial soil. Jack fruit seedlings start fruiting after eight to ten years, whereas grafts may fruit from three to five years.
The fruit is fully mature but unripe fruits are harvested and the fruit maturity is judged by dull appearance and a dull sound upon tapping. The yield varies from tree to tree and according to age. On average 5-100 fruits of medium size (6-10 Kg) are borne on adult trees.
Life Span and Parts
The life span of the jack fruit tree for around 80 years. The jack fruit prices depend on size, quantity, type of fruit and season. The fruit constitutes three parts: bulbs (34 per cent), seeds (18 per cent) and rind (48 per cent) respectively. Generally, sweet bulbs are consumed by the people.
The remaining parts such as seeds and rind are usually wasted. Jack fruit seed encased in the soft colored edible pulp and constitute to about 5.1- 12 per cent of the fruit. It is eaten after roasting or boiling. Jack fruit is a highly fibrous fruit and is rich in nutritive value, containing 18.9 g carbohydrates, 0.8 g minerals, 30 IU vitamin-A and 0.25 mg thiamine for every 100 grams.
Jack fruit has been reported to contain high levels of protein, starch, calcium and thiamine. It is a very good source of potassium and vitamin C. The leaves and stem bark have been used to treat anemia, asthma, dermatitis, diarrhea, cough and as an expectorant.
The fruits, seeds and trunk wood have been described as containing chemical compounds with aphrodisiac properties. Currently, jack fruit seeds are underutilized in both human and animal nutrition due to lack of information on their nutritional potential.
It is a rich source of complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals like calcium, zinc and phosphorous. They contain lignin, isoflavones, saponins, which are called phytonutrients and their health benefits are wide-ranging from anticancer to antihypertensive, anti-aging, antioxidant, anti-ulcer, etc. Jack fruit seed powder can relieve discomfort due to indigestion.  
The seed is firm and waxy, oval, oblong or oblong ellipsoid in shape. Each seed is 2-4 x 1-2 cm in size and 2.5-14 g in weight with a coriaceous testa. The testa is thin, leathery, thick, tough, parchment-like and crinkly when dry. The inner seed coat is thin covered with a brownish membrane.
The fleshy cotyledons are very unequal in the size of the other. The endosperm present will be very small. The embryo has a superficial radicle, the basal lobe of the smaller cotyledon being undeveloped. Carbohydrates are the main component of the seed in the form of starch for human consumption.
Moreover, the seeds can be boiled or roasted and used in many culinary preparations. Almost, 25-53 per cent starch aided in the formation of a highly rigid gel. The incorporation of jack fruit seed flour in the manufacture of extruded snacks and vermicelli at varying levels of 30- 50 per cent and incorporation of 40 per cent level gave the best results.
The preparation of value-added product “Puttu” (traditional south Indian dish) from jack fruit seed flour with a combination of rice flour. Although seeds are nutritious, containing protein, carbohydrate, fiber, vitamin, and minerals and provide about 135 Kcal/100g of energy. They are not being exploited commercially by the processing industry since it contains a powerful trypsin inhibitor.
Jack fruit seed protein has a low biological value due to the occurrence of lectin components. Hence considering the above, an attempt was made to identify the pattern of utilization of jack fruit seed, to process seed into flour and utilize this seed flour in selected value-added products.
Jack fruit is an underutilized fruit crop and jack fruit seeds being wasted after the fruit is consumed. These seeds have a great potential as a source of many important nutrients. Jack fruit is available in plenty in various parts of India. After the consumption of the fruit, the seeds are usually wasted. The seeds are highly nutritious and provide around 135 Kcal /100 gm.
Jack Fruit Moisture
The moisture content of the jack fruit seed was found to be 64.5 %, carbohydrates - 25.8 g, energy -135 Kcal, proteins - 6.6 g, total minerals -1.2 g, iron-1.5 mg, calcium-50 mg, phosphorus-97 mg, fibre-1.5 mg (per100 g of edible portion).
Value Added Products
Jack fruit have been relatively safe fruit for different value-added products like jackfruit finger, chips, jackfruit candy, jackfruit halwa, jackfruit flour, jackfruit leather, jackfruit papad, jackfruit pickle, ready-to-serve (RTS) beverages from jack fruit was carried out.
Seed Powders
Jack fruit seed powders were tested as a substrate to produce pigments by Monascus purpureus grown using solid-state fermentation (SSF). The protein content in the jack fruit bean was 7.81-12.46 %.
Probably the protein content varies from seed to seed and it may also depend on the ripening stage of the seed. The proximate composition of the jack fruit seeds varieties, that they are good sources of carbohydrates, protein, and minerals.
Extraction of Jack Fruit Seed Flour
To extract jack fruit seed flour, jack fruit seeds were boiled for 15-20 minutes; water was decanted and cooled in order to remove the seeds and outer skin coat. Seeds were cut into 3-4 pieces dried in sunlight or hot air oven (400C) for 48 hours. Dried seeds were ground into flour sieved and stored.
Isolation of starch
Production of starch from non-cereal crop sources, has a lot of scope for the industry with respect to value added starch-based products indirectly generating higher employment and saving the country’s foreign exchange. The jack fruit bulbs were separated, and seeds washed thoroughly with water and spermoderm was peeled off.
The peeled seeds were slurried with an equal weight of a 0.5 per cent solution of NaHSO3 in a waring blender and slurry was pressed in cheesecloth to remove seed fibers, rewashed and decanted at 4-50C and then washed with 80 per cent ethanol and dried at 300C for 48 hours and starch yield was 10-15 per cent.
Foaming and Emulsification Capacity
Foaming capacity of the jack fruit seed flour showed greater foam volume at the initial period 8 ml followed by 7ml at 30 minutes and later at 60 minutes interval. Foam volume decreased further to 5 ml and at 120 minutes foam volume was only 4.5 ml. It was observed that, in case of jack fruit seed starch and corn starch foam did not form at all.
Highest emulsification value was obtained in the jack fruit seed flour compared to seed starch and corn starch. Jack fruit seed had an emulsification value of 16 ml/100g of flour. The values for jack fruit seed starch and corn starch was 2.6 ml and 6.9 ml per 100 grams of flour respectively.

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Why It's Easier to Succeed with Avocado Than You Might Think

Avocado (Persea americana) has been referred to as the most nutritious of all fruits. It has gained worldwide recognition and significant volume in international trade. This unique fruit has been appreciated and utilized for at least 9000 years in and near its center of origin in Meso-America.
The avocado tree, which is related to the laurel, grows in semitropical climates. Giant prehistoric ground sloths feasted on ripe avocados, rapidly packing masses of oily flesh into their mouths, and later defecating seeds with hardly a sense of their passing.
The famous Amazon plant specialist, Richard Spruce, wrote that he was acquainted with wild jaguars deep in the rain forest, that would sometimes gather around an avocado tree, "gnawing the fallen fruit and snarling over them as so many cats might do."
The Meso-American origin of avocado includes habitats from sea level to high altitudes exceeding 3000 m above sea level. It is covering a range of climates and soil types which gave rise to great genetic diversity and adaptability. Although avocado evolved within tropical latitudes, the moderating effect of altitude has strongly impacted on the gene pool.
The tropical highlands or borderline cool subtropical climates are equally well adapted to warm subtropical areas and dominates production in these regions. sometimes hybridized with Guatemalan ecotypes, is adapted to humid tropical lowland climates.
The fruit flesh, which is lower in oil but higher in sugar than Mexican and Guatemalan ecotypes, has a distinctly different flavor and dominates lowland tropical and semi-tropical growing areas.
The crop is mostly grown as seedling trees, which are generally managed from a lower technology base than the subtropical cultivars. However, superior cultivars are grown as grafted trees and continues to provide technology for production of West Indian and West Indian hybrid cultivars.
Avocado technology continues to advance at a rapid rate, resulting in a significant increase in the volume of this crop. The industry is currently struggling with the consequences of orchard intensification dictated by economic realities, with the technology required to meet this challenge. The first avocado introduction to California occurred before 1856, when a tree from Nicaragua, probably brought by a gold-rush participant, was observed growing near San Gabriel.
Water for Avocado
Avocado is a challenge to irrigate properly. Also, proper irrigation arrangement, with good quality water supplied to the trees through an efficient irrigation system, is a challenging requirement for all avocado groves. The further complication is the accumulation of salts in the soil through poor leaching.

The use of saline well water, saline surface water, or reclaimed water (if it is too salty) also reduces yields significantly and may not be sufficiently corrected with leaching. Despite these challenges, avocados can be successfully grown in if the grower and the irrigation are diligent. Missing a series of irrigation for one to two weeks may initiate fruit drop in trees and ruin the production for that year.
You know water plays a vital role in the photosynthesis reaction that creates the carbohydrates for growth and fruit production. Water is also important to produce Amino acids and proteins, vitamins, hormones, and enzymes. Water passing through the stomata in the leaf provides a cooling effect. An overheated leaf will usually shut down photosynthesis and may burn.

Checking Soil Moisture for Avocado Tree

There are several ways to check the soil moisture content. Probably the oldest method is to manually check the water content in the soil using a trowel, shovel, or soil tube. A soil sample is removed by digging 8 to 16 inches deep in the wetted area of the root zone, and a ball of the soil is formed in the hand. The texture of soil that has about 50% available water remaining will feel as follows:
·         Coarse – appears almost dry, will form a ball that does not hold shape. As mentioned, in coarse soils, it is best not to let the soil get this dry. A ball of soil will just begin to fall apart when the soil moisture depletion approaches 30%.
·         Loam – forms a ball, somewhat moldable, will form a weak ribbon when squeezed between fingers, dark color.
·         Clay – So, forms a good ball and makes a ribbon an inch or so long, the dark color, slightly sticky.

Health Benefits of Avocado
· Lowers Blood Cholesterol. So, eating half an avocado every other day would probably support your own cholesterol drop some. Patients at the V.A. Hospital in Coral Gables, Florida ranging in age from 27 to 72 were given 1/2 to 1-1/4 avocados per day. Twice a week blood samples were taken. 50% of them showed a definite decrease in serum cholesterol from 8.7-42.8%.

·  Avocado-Chamomile for Psoriasis. A rather extraordinary twofold approach towards relieving the itchy misery of psoriasis is by eating half of an avocado daily and applying an extra-rich cream of chamomile flowers extract to the skin. The oils in the avocado will work internally towards the surface of the skin, soothing deep muscle inflammation. The avocado oils help the skin to literally repair itself from the damage done by psoriasis.

· An Ancient Mayan Beauty Secret. Semi-domestication of the avocado dates to pre-Columbian times, as the fruit was valued by both the Mayan and Aztec civilizations as evidenced by it appearing in their iconography. It is believed that these cultures actively selected for larger fruit sizes and improved eating quality.

While working at an archaeological site several years ago near the Honduran-Guatemalan border, Chorti women (descendants of the ancient Maya) rubbed their hair and bodies with oil to keep them soft and resilient. They were using avocado oil to keep their skin from getting burned by the hot, glaring sun and the rough elements of wind and rain. They even rubbed some on their lips to keep them nice and moist.

Some of the Chorti women seemed to be in their late 20's or early 30's. Most of them were in their mid-to-late fifties! Now a pretty good judge of age because of my training in anthropology, but their constant use of avocado oil sure fooled others about how old they were. You too can experience near ageless beauty again simply by using avocado oil in place of other lotions and creams.

·   Food Value, Vitamins, and Fatty Acids: One hundred grams of the avocado pulp can supply 20 g of oil, 6 g of carbohydrates and 2 g of protein. The pulp is a valuable source of carotene, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyroxidine, riboflavin, and thiamine. Avocado pulp is also a source of lesser quantities of vitamin K, folic acid, ascorbic acid, biotin, and tocopherol.
The Fatty acid composition of the lipids in avocado fruit vary with cultivar and other factors, but the the major fatty acid is always oleic, followed by palmitic and linoleic acids. Palmitoleic acid may or may not be present. The fatty acids in olive fruit are: oleic, 83%; linoleic, 7%; palmitic, 6%; and stearic, 4%.

The triglyceride content found in the avocado pulp and concurrent fall in water content. Linolenic acid being present in fruit weight and fatty acids are present in avocado pulp: linolenic, myristic, stearic, and arachidic.

·  Protein and Ash! Avocado pulp is richer in protein than that of other fruits but compared with meat, milk and some pulses cannot be considered a good source of protein. It contains higher amounts of free amino acids than other fruits.

The major ones being asparagine, aspartic acid, glutamine, and glutamic acid. Amino acids found in minor quantities in the flesh of ‘Fuerte’ were serine, threonine, alanine, valine, and cystine. All essential acids are present in the pulp.

Avocados were found to contain a relatively high amount of ash (1.0–1.4%), which was relatively rich in iron that was physiologically available to experimental rats, and thus was considered of potential value in preventing or curing anemia.

· Avocado is high nutritional food: it is very useful for unsaturated oils in promoting the health of the heart and circulatory system. Avocado oils used in cosmetics, where they are applied by themselves or in combination with other ingredients to soften the skin and improve its texture and appearance.

·    Avocado pulp is mashed up and applied as a facial and allergy treatment.
Avocado is also used in cooking, presumably because of off-flavors (i.e. bitterness) when the pulp is subjected to high temperatures. However, the use of avocado fruit in salads, sandwiches, ‘dips’ and cold soups like vichyssoise will serve to assure its continuing popularity.

Avocado Tree and Growth
The seedling trees' ecotypes, especially in their native rain-forest environments, can reach heights exceeding 15 to 30 m. However, are dwarfed to a varying extent, depending on root stock vigor and growing conditions. Cultivated avocado trees are mostly evergreen, despite the surprisingly short leaf longevity of 10–12 months. Some cultivars are more prone to defoliation just before flowering, especially in environments that impose stress, e.g. winter cold and drought, soil salinity, and root infection by Phytophthora cinnamomic.
Severe photoinhibition of leaves in winter may also hasten leaf senescence, aggravated by the loss of feeder roots accompanying heavy flowering. Avocado trees are capable of fast growth in height and spread, with 1 m per year not unusual in young trees in the moist subtropics. The wood is rather spongy due to the relatively thin-walled fibers caused by a rapid increase in branch thickness.
Branches bend without difficulty under the weight of fruit, and for a given thickness are not closely as strong as those of citrus. Avocado trees are more likely to be semi-deciduous, store more carbohydrates in autumn and winter but use more in spring, and be more reliant on stored carbohydrate reserves in relation to photosynthate than in the warm, moist subtropics.
Vegetative Growth Flushes
The avocado trees characteristically have a rounded canopy with dense foliage. Growth form though varies from upright to rounding to spreading. The most polyaxial evergreens, shoot growth in mature trees is harmonized into flushes of varying vigor, duration, and extent.
In the moist, summer-rainfall subtropics, bearing trees are characterized by a spring growth flush which starts during flowering and peaks in early summer. The proportion of terminal and sub-terminal shoots in active growth then reduces to a low level, to be followed by a second (summer and early autumn) growth flush. In climates such as those of southern California, the spring flush may end earlier, allowing an early summer flush and an autumn flush.
The avocado tree abscisses, perhaps through the activity of the periderm, most of its lateral buds at about 1 year of age or sooner, except at the intercalation. The pruning cut back to the earlier intercalation in autumn will release the growth of the ring of buds and upsurge shoot complexity. The loss of axillary buds affects graft wood selection and is a reason for the widespread use of grafting rather than budding in avocado propagation.
The persisting intercalary buds at the ‘bud ring’ between shoot, flushes grow sufficiently each year to keep their meristems at the bark surface. They may subsequently sprout after severe pruning or branch bending. Avocado leaves expand to full size in about 30 days.

A Quick Laxative Recipe
One famous recipe uses ripe avocados regularly as a fast-acting laxative. So, peel two of them and mash the meat up good in a dish, adding a little kelp, 3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, and 1 tsp. lemon juice. After mixing them together, spread the mixture on some sprouted cracked wheat or pumpernickel bread and eat it.
Not only does it make incredibly delicious sandwiches, but usually within just a couple of hours or less, it will promote a vigorous bowel movement. Hence, too seldom ever has constipation as a result of even above the ’60's.
Another Avocado Recipe
The Ultimate Guacamole Dip Needed: 4 large peeled, pitted avocados; 7 tsp. peeled, grated onion; 1/8 tsp. cayenne (optional); 1/2 tsp kelp; two 8 oz. cans of peeled tomatoes; 4 tbsp. plain yogurt; 1/2 tsp. lemon juice; 1/2 tsp.
Worcestershire sauce. Mash all the ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and whip until well-blended and smooth. Chill before serving. Use natural corn chips from your local health food store for dipping.
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Reference: Gary S. Bender, Ph.D., Farm Advisor