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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Benefits of Avocados


Benefits of Avocados Avocados are the perfect snack and provide everything you need including protein, fiber, omega oils, chlorophyll, vitamins & minerals.  They are considered natures’ most perfect food.  The benefits of avocados are enormous.  They are full of good fat that won’t make you fat-they actually help with weight control!  I eat up to 3 a day and I easily maintain my natural body weight.  We need fat in our diet but we need healthy fat that is beneficial for our body to burn for energy and brain power.  Avocados supply a perfectly balanced proportion of omegas that are easily assimilated. Also certain nutrients can be absorbed better when eaten with avocados. Check it out below, they are a powerhouse of nutrition assisting in minimizing your risk of disease!
NUTRITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS OF AVOCADOS From Elements for Health
Avocado, raw (edible parts)Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy670 kJ (160 kcal)
Carbohydrates8.53 g
Dietary fiber6.7 g
Fat14.66 g
Protein2 g
Thiamine (Vit. B1)0.067 mg
Riboflavin (Vit. B2)0.130 mg
Niacin (Vit. B3)1.738 mg
Pantothenic acid (B5)1.389 mg
Vitamin B60.257 mg
Folate (Vit. B9)81 ?g
Vitamin C10 mg
Calcium12 mg
Iron0.55 mg
Magnesium29 mg
Phosphorus52 mg
Potassium485 mg
Zinc0.64 mg




Brief History of Avocados
Avocados originated in Mexico, or Central and South America, and were cultivated there by pre-Incan races of Peru, and the Mayas of Yucatan and Guatemala. The Aztecs called it aoacatl before the Spaniards changed it to ahuacate and aguacate, and it eventually became avocado in English.
Nutrients in Avocados
Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids, potassium, vitamin E, B vitamins, and fiber.Avocados also contain glutathione, an antioxidant involved in cell protection from the noxious effect of excess oxidant stress. Avocados are also rich in the antioxdants lutein and zeaxanthin.

Zinc0.64 mg
A comprehensive breakdown of nutrients can be found in the Nutrition Database where this food can also be added to a meal planner.

Avocados for Cholesterol Reduction

A week long study involving 45 volunteers who ate avocados every day reported an average 17% drop in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and an 11% increase in HDL cholesterol levels.Avocados
Avocado is rich in natural betasitosterol, and the American Journal of Medicine has reported that researchers found that betasitosterol was able to lower LDL cholesterol in 16 human studies.

Avocados for Blood Pressure

Three factors in avocado help prevent high blood pressure and stroke: folate, glutathione and potassium. These factors help to lower homocysteine levels, cholesterol levels, atherosclerosis, and high blood pressure.

Avocados for Cancer Prevention

According to a report in. J Nutr. Biochem, 2005, the carotenoids and tocopherols (chemical compounds which may have vitamin E activity) in avocado were shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cell lines in vitro.
Studies have shown that phytochemicals extracted from the avocado fruit inhibit and kill cancer cells, suggesting that the phytochemicals from avocado included in the diet may offer protection against cancer.
Avocados contain glutathione, which functions as an antioxidant to scavenge free radicals. Avocado is also an excellent source of vitamin E with antioxidant and health benefits. Dr. David Heber, director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition has stated that evidence suggests that glutathione may help prevent certain types of cancers and heart disease in humans.

Avocados for Weight Loss

According to American institute of Cancer Research in Washington replacing butter, cheese or cream on sandwich with mashed avocado not only helps to reduce calories but also increase the healthy MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids) intake.
In a study of 61 men and women, 200 g of avocado was substituted for 30 g of other mixed dietary fats such as margarine or oil. The results demonstrated that avocado within an energy-restricted diet does not compromise weight loss.

Avocados for Skin Health

Of 8 plant oils tested (almond, sesame, apricot kernel, safflower, peanut, jojoba, coconut, olive) avocado oil was found to be the most effective sunscreen.Avocado
Avocado oil strengthens the skin by stimulating collagen, thereby reducing wrinkles and improving skin texture. Avocados are also rich in vitamin E, a free radical scavenger that will assist in slowing the aging process.
Avocado oil has better skin penetration than almond, olive, or soy oil, and will be able to transport nutrients through the outer layer of skin to the deeper layers.

Avocados for Eye Health

Avocados are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, which help to prevent age related macular degeneration and cataracts.

Glycemic Index of Avocados

In studies to determine the estimated GI of various foods, it has been concluded that avocados have a low GI of 15.

Adverse Reactions from Avocados

Avocados contain enzymes which can cause allergic reactions in latex sensitive individuals.
References: 
1. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, Joseph Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno.2. Benders’ Dictionary of Nutrition and Food Technology. 3. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. 4. Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, Vol.7 5. Department of Physiology, Potchefstroom University, South Africa6. VALETTE G, SOBRIN E. [PERCUTANEOUS ABSORPTION OF VARIOUS ANIMAL AND VEGETABLE OILS.] Pharm Acta Helv. 1963 Oct;38:710-6. PMID: 14097835. 7. Ding H, Chin YW, Kinghorn AD, D’Ambrosio SM. Chemopreventive characteristics of avocado fruit. Semin Cancer Biol. 2007 Oct;17(5):386-94. Epub 2007 May 17. PMID: 17582784. 8. Duester KC. Avocado fruit is a rich source of beta-sitosterol. J Am Diet Assoc. 2001 Apr;101(4):404-5. PMID: 11320941.

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