Avocados are a unique fruit and a powerhouse of nutrients. Studies show they can have many beneficial health effects. Here are several reasons why we should be enjoying more avocado in our diets as part of a naturally healthy lifestyle…
Avocados are rich in vitamin B6 and folic acid. These two nutrients can help to regulate homocysteine levels and promote a healthy heart. High levels of homocysteine are associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Vitamin B6 can help the body to make antibodies, maintain normal nerve function and haemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.
They contain a rich source of Lutein. This carotenoid can help to protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, amongst other kinds of eye diseases. One particular study found that women with high dietary intakes of Lutein and Zeaxanthin had a 23 per cent lowered risk of nuclear cataracts than women with low levels of carotenoids. l
They are an excellent source of Beta-Sitosterol. This compound is known to be highly effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels. When combined with monounsaturated fat and beta-sitosterol, both of which are found in avocados, this can be a powerful method for reducing cholesterol.
Avocados can provide protection against stroke. This is due to the high level of folate present in these fruits. Individuals eating a diet rich in folate have been found to experience a lower risk of stroke than those with lower intakes. Raw avocado contains around 30 per cent of the recommended daily value of folate.
They nourish the skin. Avocados are a rich source of vitamins C and E, as well as monounsaturated fats, which can help to lock moisture into the skin. This is why creams or body butters as it softens and smooths the skin from the inside out. Adding avocado to a face scrub or mashing it up and smoothing onto your face is a natural and chemical-free way to ensure your skin receives beneficial nutrients.
Avocados may provide cancer protection. One study has shown that avocados may reduce the side effects of chemotherapy in human lymphocytes. 2 Another study has indicated that avocados cells. 3 Although these studies were only conducted on isolated cancer cells and don’t necessarily apply to a living and breathing human, they do hold good promise.
Avocado extract may protect against the symptoms of arthritis. Numerous studies have shown that avocado extract can reduce arthritis symptoms, especially those related to arthritis of the bones or osteoarthritis.4
For best results, try to eat two avocados on a daily basis. Slice them onto salads, stir-fries, soups, or add into smoothies for a super-healthy and nutritious boost.
- Moeller, S. Voland R. Tinker, Cet al (2008) Associations Between Age-Related Nuclear Cataract and Lutein and Zeaxanthin in the Diet and Serum in the Carotenoids in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (CAREDS), an Ancillary Study of the Women’s Health Initiative Arch Ophthalmol 126 (3) pp. 354-364.
- Paul R. Kulkarni, P. and Ganesh N. (2011) Avocado fruit (Persea americana Mill) exhibits chemo-protective potentiality against cyclophosphamide induced genotoxicity in human lymphocyte culture Exp Ther Oncol 9 (3) pp 221-30
- Lu, Q Arteaga I Zhang Q. Huettaw S. GO/ u L and Heber, D. (2005) Inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth by an avocado extract role of lipid-soluble bioactive substances J Nutr Biochem 16 (1) pp. 23-30
- DiNubile N. A (2010) A potential role for avocado and. soybean-based nutritional supplements in the management of osteoarthritis a review Phys Sportsmed 38 (2) pp. 71—81