It’s not just the avocado in this delicious salad that benefits women during menopause, it’s also the cooling cucumber too.
Even though the avocado is a fruit that has the dubious distinction of having the highest amount of fat (around 30 grams each), these fats are good for your ageing heart. With new research released from the Journal of the American Heart Association late last year, the avocado has found it’s way into heart health nutrition, but here’s the catch – you only need 2 servings a week. One serving equals half of an avocado or a half cup of avocado.
For 30 years, researchers followed more than 68,780 women (ages 30 to 55 years) from the Nurses’ Health Study and more than 41,700 men (ages 40 to 75 years) from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
All study participants were free of cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke at the start of the study and living in the United States. Researchers documented 9,185 coronary heart disease events and 5,290 strokes during more than 30 years of follow-up and they also assessed participants’ diet using food frequency questionnaires given at the beginning of the study and then every four years.
Avocado intake was calculated from a questionnaire item that asked about the amount consumed and frequency.
After considering a wide range of cardiovascular risk factors and each participant’s overall diet, one of the findings from this study was that the participants who ate at least two servings of avocado each week had a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease, compared to those who never or rarely ate avocados.
Furthermore, based on the statistical modeling, the researchers found that replacing half a serving daily of margarine, butter, egg, yoghurt, cheese or processed meats such as bacon, with the same amount of avocado was associated with a 16% to 22% lower risk of cardiovascular disease events.
Women’s heart disease in menopause and post-menopause, continues to be the number one health risk as women age. I think many of us know older women who have exerienced these heart problems haven’t we? But when we understand that there are foods that are seen as ‘medicine’ then we can add them to our diet.
Cucumbers are the same. They have long been included in the Mediterranean Diet and Indian cuisine uses a lot of cucumber too. I love cucumbers, and if you can source organic or spray-free cucumbers to add to your salads and meals, then they are not only very hydrating, but also contain important electrolytes.
If you are experiencing hot flushes or night sweats or you just find that you are sweating a lot more now that you are in menopause, then add cucumbers to your salads, or to your jug of water. Then have a go at making this salad sometime – combining both avocado and cucumber, it’s a delicious meal that the whole family will (hopefully) enjoy.
MyMT™ Avocado & Cucumber Soba Noodle Salad
Ingredients – makes enough for 2-3 people
1 Avocado (diced)
1 cucumber (diced)
Soba noodles – I usually use about 125g for 2 people
¼ cup chopped coriander
¼ cup chopped cashews
Seaweed flakes (optional)
Dressing option one: ½ a lemon mixed with 2tbsp olive oil
Dressing option two: 1 tbsp tahini, ½ lemon juiced, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp water.
- Chop up the avocado, cucumber, coriander and cashews finely.
- Place soba noodles in boiling water and cook for 3 – 5 minutes (until soft but not overcooked).
- Place everything in a bowl. Top with sesame seeds, seaweed flakes, and your dressing.
Pacheco, L., Li Y., et al. (2022). Avocado consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in US adults. Journal of the American Heart Association. 11:e024014