Avocados fights heart disease with omega 3 fatty acids, fights cancers of the mouth, skin and prostate gland; prevents type 2 diabetes with high fiber that regulates blood sugar; fights hypertension by lowering high blood pressure, and lowers bad cholesterol, protecting against stroke, as avocados are rich in vitamins A, C, E, B6, omega 3, glutathione, potassium, dietary fibers; avocados prevent birth defects and are lead to healthy eyes.
Avocados, rich in vitamins A, C, E, B6, B5, potassium, omega 3 fatty acids, glutathione and dietary fibers, can contribute to a healthier heart, lower blood pressure, blood sugar and bad cholesterol; and fight cancers of the mouth, skin and the prostate gland. With its high folate content, it helps prevent birth defects.
Among the most delicious fruits, avocados pack a rich, buttery flavor, making it an ideal snack food, or as an addition to vegetable, meat or pasta salads. Take note that avocados should be served raw, because they turn bitter when cooked.
Avocados have more protein and soluble fiber than any other fruit. Although its fat is mostly the monounsaturated, heart-friendly type, avocados are very high in calories, more than any other fruit. So it is prudent to limit consumption, even if it is among the healthiest fruits around.
Health Benefits of Avocados
• For a Healthy Heart – Rich in monounsaturated fats and soluble fiber, avocados contribute to a healthy heart. Other nutrients found in avocado that fight heart disease are oleic acid, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B6 and folate.
• Lower Bad Cholesterol – Avocados are rich in oleic acid and beta-sitosterol, nutrients that regulate cholesterol by decreasing the amounts of bad LDL cholesterol in the blood. According to an article entitled Avocado Health Benefits, experiments with avocados showed that they help “reduce cholesterol levels by up to 17 percent.” Beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol of which avocados are very rich, helps prevent cholesterol from being absorbed through the intestines.
• Avocados for Blood Sugar Regulation – Avocados are relatively low in carbohydrates, low in sugar, and falls very low on the glycemic index. What is more important is its high dietary fiber content – 7 to 8 grams per cup. Dietary fibers help regulate blood sugar, thus avocados can help diabetics.
• Anti-cancer Benefits – Avocados are rich in glutathione, an antioxidant that lowers the risks of certain cancers like mouth, skin and prostate gland cancer. The article Avocados, published in the World’s Healthiest Foods website, states that the anti-cancer properties of avocados are related to “its unusual mix of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients.”
• For High Blood Pressure – Rich in potassium, avocados help regulate blood pressure. A normal blood pressure leads to a healthier heart and protects against stroke.
• Prevent Birth Defects – Pregnant women will benefit from avocado’s high folate content. Folate is essential for fetus development, preventing birth defects like spina bifida and neural tube defect.
• Good for the Eyes – With its high vitamin A and lutein content, avocados help protect against cataracts and eye muscle degeneration. The carotenoid lutein also fights oxidative stress.
Aside from being indulgently delicious (think of avocado shakes), avocados help fight diseases like cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, birth defects and eye disorders. It is important to limit consumption because like everything else, excess has consequences. Always consult your physician before embarking on dietary therapies.
Avocado Health Benefits. AVOCADOHEALTHBENEFITS.ORG (website) Accessed January 4, 2012
Avocados. The World’s Healthiest Foods. (website) Accessed January 4, 2012.
Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal. The Reader’s Digest. 2004. New York. 416 pages. Hardbound.
Avocados photo by D.F. Shapinsky (pingnews.com) at flickr.com
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.