Five Health Benefits of Avocado
Health benefits of Avocado
Avocado is a fruit gotten from avocado tree (Persea americana). Avocado tree is native to Central Mexico but it is now cultivated in many parts of the world. This fruit is green but becomes brown as it ripe. Like many other fruits, avocado has a range of health benefits and some of them are discussed below.
- 1. Avocado reduces the risk of developing heart diseases.
Studies have shown that diets rich in folate reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke (“World’s Healthiest”, 2008). Also it has been shown that diets rich in monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) are associated with reduced risk of Coronary heart Disease and arteriosclerosis (Pérez-Jiménez, et al., 2002). Avocado fruit is rich in both monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) (e.g oleic acid) and folate and this makes it efficient in reducing the risk of heart diseases. Also, high levels of potassium aids in management of blood pressure and decreases risk of circulatory diseases (“World’s Healthiest”, 2008). Avocado is a good source of potassium even more than banana.
- 2. Avocado reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Avocado contains some constituents that have been shown to help reduce the development of prostate cancer. Avocadoes has been shown to be rich in constituents like vitamin E, lutein, and beta-carotene which, all have enhanced anticancer properties when used in conjunction with fat-soluble substances. (Lu, et al., 2005)
- 3. Avocado enhances the functions of immune system.
The vitamin E presents in Avocado aids and defends immune system and reduces the risk of some cancers (Lu, et al., 2005)
- 4. Avocado can help in the maintenance of intestinal health.
High consumption of dietary fiber, as found in avocados is necessary for intestinal health and reduces constipation, decreases absorption of fat, and lowers the glycemic index, plasma insulin and plasma cholesterol levels (Naveh, et al., 2002). This means that if you want to increase the health condition of your stomach then you should consider increasing your avocado intake.
- 5. Avocado has antioxidant properties.
The free radicals found in our body cause oxidative damage to lipids, protein and nucleic acid, this invariably leads to development of degenerative conditions like cancer. Free radicals react and damage other cells they encounter; studies indicate they may be the cause of certain cancers and other degenerative diseases (Bergh, 1992). Antioxidants found in avocado help scavenge these free radicals, and thereby protecting the body against free radical mediated diseases. These antioxidants include carotenoids, and vitamin E.
Other health benefits of avocado are
- Avocado helps maintaining a healthy skin.
- Avocado reduces the level of bad cholesterol in the body.
Nutritive Values : Per 100 gm.
Vitamin A : 290 I.U
Thiamine : 290 mg.
Niacin : 1.1 mg.
Vitamin C : 16 mg.
Calcium : 10 mg.
Phosphorus : 38 mg.
Fat : 26.4 gm. (monounsaturated)
Carbohydrates : 5.1 gm.
Protein : 1.7 gm.
Calories : 245
With all these health benefits, it is not bad if you make it a habit to take an avocado daily.
Bergh, B. (1992). The Avocado and Human Nutrition. I. Some Human Health Aspects of the
Avocado. Proc. of Second World Avocado Congress, Retrieved Decemeber 2, 2008 from http://www.avocadosource.com/WAC2/WAC2_p025.htm
Lu, Q., Arteaga, J. R., Zhang, Q., Huerta, S., Go, V. L. W., & Heber, D. (2005). Inhibition of prostate cancer cell growth by an avocado extract: Role of lipid-soluble bioactive substances. The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 16(1), 23-30.
Naveh, E., Werman, M. J., Sabo, E., Neeman, I. (2002) Defatted Avocado Pulp Reduces Body Weight and Total Haptatic Fat But Increases Plasma Cholesterol in Male Rats Fed Diets with Cholesterol. The American Society for Nutritional Sciences, 132, 2015-2018.
Pérez-Jiménez, F., López-Miranda, J., & Mata, P. (2002). Protective effect of dietary monounsaturated fat on arteriosclerosis: Beyond cholesterol. Atherosclerosis, 163(2), 385-398.
World’s Healthiest Foods (2008). Retrieved November 27, 2008 from World’s Healthiest Foods Web site: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=5