Avocado

Avocado

Avocado ★★

Avocados are unique because they are one of the only fruits that contains fat. These particular fats though are the good kinds known as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Avocados are one of the richest sources of monounsaturated fats out there and contain Biotin (a vitamin B) for healthy skin. Avocados may help treat osteoarthritis in combination with soybean oil (Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables or ASU).  It has strong anti inflammatory properties that can help the body fight off inflammatory diseases and cancers and can be used as a mask to help heal damaged hair.1,2,3

Traditionally the fruit has been used in African medicines as a treatment for hypertension and diabetes. They also have used Avocado leaf in the treatment, management and control of childhood convulsions and epilepsy.4,5

Florida Avocado                    Gualberto107 / freedigitalphotos.net

California Hass avocados has one of the highest contents of lutein (one of many carotenoids) in fruits as well as other carotenoids and tocopherols, which may help reduce the risk of men developing prostate cancer and perhaps oral cancer.3 The fruit’s antibacterial effects may have the ability to help fight off H. Pylori, which can cause gastritis (ulcers) and be a factor in the development of gastric cancers.3 This combination of nutrients and antioxidants makes avocados a very powerful anti inflammatory food that should play a role in our diets.

Avocados pair well with foods that have lycopene. The healthy fats can help your body absorb more lycopene, which is a very strong antioxidant and cancer fighter. Some foods that have lycopene are Tomatoes, dried Figs, Grapefruits, Papayas and Watermelon.

 

Hass Avocados   © Master isolated images / freedigitalphotos.net

 

Avocados pair well with citrus fruits particularly Oranges because together they can fight off belly fat and obesity very well. The vitamin C in Oranges is very good at lowering stress levels because it can neutralize cortisol and the monounsaturated fats in Avocados prevent fat from building up around the belly. In turn, this combination is also a great weapon against diabetes because it combats obesity, which is a major risk factor for diabetes.

To get the most out of an avocado, it should stay on the branch until it ripens, which will maximize its carotenoid and antioxidant content.

Hass avocados are a very good source of Vitamins C, E and K, B6, Biotin and Pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5). They are also a good source of potassium, magnesium, manganese and copper.

Florida avocados contain almost all the vitamin C you need daily, and, like Hass avocados, are a great source of Vitamins E, B6, Pantothenic acid, Folate and Niacin. It is an excellent source of copper and potassium and a good source of magnesium, manganese and phosphorus.

 

References
  1. The Dr. Oz Show
  2. Dinubile N. A potential role for avocado- and soybean-based nutritional supplements in the management of osteoarthritis: a review. The Physician And Sportsmedicine [serial online]. June 2010;38(2):71-81.
  3. Lu Q, Zhang Y, Heber D, et al. California Hass avocado: profiling of carotenoids, tocopherol, fatty acid, and fat content during maturation and from different growing areas. Journal Of Agricultural And Food Chemistry [serial online]. November 11, 2009;57(21):10408-10413.
  4. Gondwe M, Kamadyaapa D, Tufts M, Chuturgoon A, Ojewole J, Musabayane C. Effects of Persea americana Mill (Lauraceae) [“Avocado”] ethanolic leaf extract on blood glucose and kidney function in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats and on kidney cell lines of the proximal (LLCPK1) and distal tubules (MDBK). Methods And Findings In Experimental And Clinical Pharmacology [serial online]. January 2008;30(1):25-35.
  5. Ojewole J, Amabeoku G. Anticonvulsant effect of Persea americana Mill (Lauraceae) (Avocado) leaf aqueous extract in mice. Phytotherapy Research: PTR [serial online]. August 2006;20(8):696-700.

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