#Avocados – are good source of B vitamins, which help you fight off disease and infection. Rich in vitamin C & E, plus natural plants chemicals that help prevent cancer.

Avocados offer nearly 20 vitamins and mineral in every serving, including potassium (which helps control blood pressure), lutein (which is good for your eyes), and folate (which is crucial for cell repair and during pregnancy)

Avocados are low in sugar. And they contain fiber, which help you feel full longer. In one study, people who added a fresh avocado half to their lunch were less interisted in eating during the next three hours.

Rich in vitamins A, E, + K, which are all fat soluble, avocados also have vitamins B, C and trace minerals including magnesium and potassium (both known to help reduce blood pressure). And just to give you a measurable mental picture, one avocados has 2x the amount of potassium as one banana.

The avocado, a tree likely originating from south-central Mexico, is classified as a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae.  The fruit of the plant, also called an avocado, is botanically a large berry containing a single large seeds

Scientific classification

Kingdom:  Plantae

Clade:  Tracheophytes

Clade:  Angiosperms

Clade:  Magnoliids

Order:  Laurales

Family:  Lauraceae

Genus:  Persea

Species:  P.americana

Avocado fruit and foliage

Binomial name:  Persea americana

Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world.  They have a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical.  Commercially, they ripe  after harvesting.  Avocado trees are partially self-pollinating, and are often propagated through grafting to maintain predictable fruit quality and quantity.  In 2017, Mexico produced 34% of the world supply of avocados.

Also known as an alligator pear or butter fruit, the versatile avocado is the only fruit that provides a substantial amount of healthy monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA).  Avocado are a naturally nutrient-dense food and contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals.

This MNT Knowledge Center feature is part of collection of articles on the health benefits of popular foods.  In the article, we take an in-depth look at the possible health benefits of eating avocados as well as nutritional breakdown,  to maintain balance.

Eating a diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables of all kinds has long been associated with a reduced risk of many lifestyle-related health conditions.

Numerous studies have found that a predominantly plant-based diet that includes food such as avocados can help decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion and hair, increased energy, and overall lower weight.

Avocados are Nutrient Rich

According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, one serving (one-fifth of an avocado, approximately 40 grams) contains:

. 64 calories

. Almost 6 grams of fat

. 3.4 grams of carbohydrate

. Less than a gram of sugar

. Almost 3 grams of fiber

Avocados are a great source of vitamins C, E, K, and B-6 , as well as riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, and potassium. They also provide lutien, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Avocados are full of healthy, beneficial fats that help to keep you full and satiated. When you consume fat. Your brain receives a signal to turn off your appetite. Eating fat slows the breakdown of carbohydrates, which helps to keep sugar levels in the blood stable.

Fat is essential for every single cell in the body. Eating healthy fats supports skin health, enhances the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, and may even boost the immune system.

Healthy for the Heart

Avocados contain 25 milligrams per ounce of a natural plant sterol called beta-sitosterol. Regular consumption of beta-sitosterol and other plant sterols has been seen to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Great for Vision

Avocados contain lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that are especially concentrated in the tissues in the eyes where they provide antioxidant protection to help minimize damage, including from ultraviolet light

As the monounsaturated fatty acids in avocados also support the absorption of other beneficial fat-soluble antioxidant, such as beta-carotene, adding avocados to your diet may help to reduce the risk of developing age-related muscular degeneration.

Osteoporosis Prevention – Vitamin K is essential for bone health.

Half of an avocados provides approximately 25 percent of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K. This nutrient is often overlooked, but is essential for bone health.

Vitamin K is often overshadowed by calcium and vitami D when thinking of nutrients important for maintaining healthy bones, however, eating a diet with adequate vitamin K can support bone health by increasing calcium absorption and reducing urinary excretion of calcium.

Cancer

Avocados may even have a role to play in cancer treatment, with some research finding that phytochemicals extracted from avocado can selectively inhibit the growth of precancerous and cancerous cells and cause the death of cancer cells, while encouraging the proliferation of immune system cell called lymphocytes.

Adequate intake of folate from food has shown promise in protecting against colon, stomach, pancreatic, and cervical cancers. Although the mechanism behind this apparent reduction in risk is currently unknown, researchers believe that folate protects against undesirable mutations in DNA and RNA during cell division.

These phytochemicals have also been shown to decrease chromosomal damage caused by cyclophosphamide, a chemotherapy drug.

Healthy Babies

Folate is also known as folic acid. Folate is extemely important for a healthy pregnancy.

Adequate intake reduces the risk of miscarriage and neural tube defects.

Recent research from McGill University found a 30 percent higher incidence of a variety of birth defects in baby mice conceived using sperm from mice with a folate deficiency compared with mice with adequate folate levels.

Lower Risk of Depression

Foods containing high levels of folate may help to decrease the risk of depression because folate helps to prevent the build-up of homocysteine, a substance that can impair circulation and delivery of nutrients to the brain

Excess homocysteine can also interfere with the production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which regulate mood, sleep and appetite.

Improved Digestion

Dispite its creamy texture, an avocado is actually high in fiber with approximately 6-7 grams per half fruit.

Eating foods with natural fiber can help prevent constipation, maintain a healthy digestive tract, and lower the risk of colon cancer.

Natural Detoxication

Adequate fiber promotes regular bowel movements, which are crucial for the daily excretion of toxins through the bile and stool.

Recent studies have shown that dietary fiber may also play a role in regulating the immune system and inflammation.

Osteoporosis Treatment

Substances called saponins, found in avocados, soy and some other plant foods, are associated with relief of symptom in knee osteoporosis, with further research planned to determine the long-term effects of isolated extracts.

Antimicrobial Action

Avocados contain substances that have antimicrobial activity, particularly against Escherichia coli, a leading cause of food poisoning.

Protection from Chronic Disease

According to the Department of Internal Medicine and Nutritional Science Program of the University of Kentucky, high fiber intakes are associated with significantly lower risks of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertention, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Increased fiber intake has also been shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and enhance weight loss for obese individuals.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s