Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Avocado Health Benefits: Good Source of Proteins, Vitamins and Dietary Fiber

Avocado is known as the Alligator Pear, reflecting its shape and its skin's leather-like appearance. Avocado is derived from the Aztec word "ahuacatl". Avocados is a fruit of Persea americana, a tall evergreen tree that can grow up to 65 feet in height. Avocados vary in weight from 8 ounces to 3 pounds depending upon the variety.
avocado fruit


There are dozens of varieties of avocados. The rich and creamy Hass variety is the most popular type of avocado in United States and 95% of all avocados grown in the United States are produced in California, original home of the Hass variety. They are generally available throughout the year, they are the most abundant and at their best during the spring and summer in California and in October in Florida. During the fall and winter months you can find Fuerto, Zutano and Bacon varieties.

Healthy Benefit's of Avocado

Healthy fats:
Most of it is mono-unsaturated fat, in the form of oleic acid. Mono-unsaturated fat is considered to be a "good fat" which reduces levels of bad cholesterol in blood and lower the risk of stroke and heart disease. A week of following the avocado enriched diet the patients experienced a 22% decrease in bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels and an 11% increase in good cholesterol.

  1. Protein: an average avocado contains around 4 grams of protein, which is much more than most other fruits.
  2. Vitamins and minerals: avocados are an excellent source of potassium. These are rich in vitamin K, Vitamin B9, vitamin B6, vitamin B5 vitamin C, and vitamin E.
  3. Dietary fiber: a medium avocado contains 11 grams of fiber, which is close to half of the daily recommended minimum intake.
  4. Sugar: avocado's sugar content is low compared to other fruits. Half an avocado contains approximately 0.2 g of sugar.

Anti-Cancer Benefits

  • The anti-cancer properties of avocado are definitely related to its unusual mix of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients. 
  • That relationship is to be expected since cancer risk factors almost always include excessive inflammation (related to lack of anti-inflammatory nutrients) and oxidative stress (related to lack of antioxidants). 
  • Avocado works to improve inflammatory and oxidative stress levels. But in cancer cells, avocado works to increase oxidative stress and shift the cancer cells over into a programmed cell death cycle (apoptosis), lessening the cancer cell numbers. 
  • In other words, avocado appears to selectively push cancer cells "over the brink" in terms of oxidative stress and increase their likelihood of dying, while at the same time actively supporting the health of non-cancerous cells by increasing their supply antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients. We look forward to large-scale studies in this area involving humans and dietary consumption of avocado.
The scientists concluded that "avocado consumption is associated with improved overall diet quality, nutrient intake, and reduced risk of metabolic syndrome".


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