The avocado is a rather unique type of fruit. Most fruits consist primarily of carbohydrate, while avocado is high in healthy fats.
Numerous studies show that it has powerful beneficial effects on health.
Avocados are often categorized according to the ancestral origins in the West Indies, Guatemala, or Mexico. In fact, avocados were also native to other parts of Central and South America, where they have been cultivated for food use for several thousand years.
Despite the age of this fruit, it is a wonder how a lot of humans are yet to know the amazing nutritional value of this wonderful fruit. Well here are but a few:
1. Avocados Assist In Weight Loss:
There is some evidence that avocados are a weight loss friendly food.
In one study, people were split into groups. One group was instructed to eat a meal that contained avocado, the other a similar meal without avocado.
Then they were asked a series of questions related to hunger and satiety.
The people eating the avocado felt 23% more satisfied and had a 28% lower desire to eat over the next 5 hours.
If this holds true in the long-term, then including avocados in your diet could help you naturally eat fewer calories and have an easier time sticking to a healthy diet.
Avocados are also high in fiber, and very low in carbs, two attributes that should also help promote weight loss, at least in the context of a healthy, real food based diet.
2. Avocado Helps Prevent Cancer:
Avocados are a good source of antioxidant carotenoids like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin. These antioxidants protect your body’s cells against cancerous changes due to free radical damage and are considered your front line of defense against numerous diseases.
Alpha-carotene appears to be especially important for cancer prevention. A study found a significantly lower risk of death for cancer and heart disease for those with the highest levels of alpha-carotene in their blood over a 14 year period.
The monounsaturated fats in avocado also help with carotenoid absorption and studies suggest it has a protective effect against breast cancer in particular.
Avocados also contain high levels of vitamin C and vitamin E, themselves potent anti-cancer antioxidants.
Vitamin C is considered protective against many non-hormonal cancers, like pancreatic cancer, stomach cancer and lung cancer. Importantly, it appears most effective when it comes from food rather than supplements.
Vitamin E deficiency has been linked to breast cancer and studies have found a dramatic reduction in breast cancer risk at higher intakes, especially for women with a family history of the disease.
Once again, the natural tocopherol and tocotrienol form of vitamin E found in avocados is much healthier than the isolated alpha-tocopherol found in multivitamins.
3. Avocados for Blood Pressure:
Many people don’t get enough of the mineral potassium in their diet. This deficiency can lead to high blood pressure, which is in turn a significant risk factor for heart attack, stroke and kidney disease.
Avocados are particularly rich in potassium, even higher than the often touted bananas, and a good food to eat for normal blood pressure and a lower risk of kidney failure and heart disease.
Aside from healthy blood pressure, the oleic acid and dietary fiber in avocados help normalize blood sugar levels, providing further benefits for heart health and lowering the risk of diabetes.
To be continued…