Wednesday, December 17, 2008

12 Avocado health benefits – a misconstrued fruit

Avocado is a large fleshy pear-shaped berry. It is also known as Alligator Pear and as a Butter fruit. The avocado contains more fat than any other fruit except the olive. Its fat is of the highest quality.

While many people misconstrue avocado as an unhealthy food which is a misconception but the fact is that there is a lot of nutrition packed into these small packages. Along with providing a several essential vitamins and minerals, avocados also help the body to absorb more nutrients from other foods as well.

Creamy rich avocado is considered the world's healthiest fruit, because of its nutrient contents such as vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Iron, phosphorous, calcium, dietary fiber, potassium, folic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin C, copper, protein and reasonable calories in it.

The protein of avocado is of the finest quality and is much superior to protein of bread and other cereal foods. Its composition is almost identical to that of milk. Prepared thus as a juice, the avocado may be given safely to young infants and to the feeble ones.

Avocados have a good source of Vitamin E, which is not only essential for the normal functioning of the body but is also a potent anti-oxidant which protects polyunsaturated fatty acids in cell membranes from free-radical attack. Free-radicals are linked to the beginnings of cancer and heart disease.

The health benefits of avocado can be highlighted as follows:

1. Cardiovascular Disease:
Avocado protects cholesterol related heart diseases and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Avocado contains a monounsaturated fat called oleic and linoleic acids that are effective in lowering the LDL cholesterol and increasing the good HDL cholesterol.

The American Heart Association (AHA) Dietary Guidelines recommend a diet that has at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, contains up to 30% of calories from fats (primarily unsaturated) and is low in saturated fat, cholesterol, trans fats and sodium while being rich in potassium. Avocados can help you meet the AHA dietary guidelines because they have both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat and contain potassium.

The high levels of foliate in avocado are also protective against strokes. People who eat diets rich in foliate have a much lower risk of stroke than those who don’t.

2. Regulates Blood Pressure:
The high potassium content in avocado regulates and lowers the pressure of blood.

3. Cancer Fighter:
Avocados also have a reputation as a cancer fighter.

Regular consumption of the fruit can help reduce the chances for developing prostate cancer in men as well as breast cancer in men and women.

Researchers at Ohio State University have found that nutrients taken from avocados can attack some oral cancer cells and prevent other pre-cancerous cells from developing into actual cancers of the mouth.

While not seen as a cure for cancer, avocados can be considered a smart food option that helps to lower the risks of dealing with cancer later in life.

4. Eyesight:

The eyes can also benefit from enjoying avocados from time to time. Avocados have more of the carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit. Lutein protects against macular degeneration and cataracts, two disabling age-related eye diseases. When included as part of a balanced diet, the lutein content of avocados can help minimize the chances for developing several different vision problems as the individual grows older, making it possible to enjoy excellent eyesight for more years.

5. Baby food:
Because of its high carbohydrates and protein content, mashed avocado is the perfect nourishing food for babies who are beginning to take solids.
6. Immune System:

Regular consumption of avocados strengthens the body's immune system.

7. Digestive System Disorders:
The avocado is an excellent food remedy in acute digestive disorders. Its blandness is comforting to the hypersensitive surfaces of the stomach and duodenum, and its abundant vitamins reanimate the inflamed and crippled cells.

8. Duodenal ulcer:

The blandness of this fruit (and papaya) is comforting and soothing to the hypersensitive surfaces of the stomach and duodenum. Its abundant nutrient and enzymes are an effective remedy to treat this ulceration.

9. Bad Breath:
The avocado is far superior to any mouth lotion or remedies for bad breath. It effectively removes intestinal putrefactions or decomposition which is the real cause of a coated tongue and bad breath.

10. Bright’s Disease:
The avocado is especially useful in cases of bright’s disease because of its small protein content and with none of the poisonous extractives present in the flesh of this fruit.

11. Psoriasis:
The avocado oil is beneficial in treatment of psoriasis and it should be applied gently to the affected parts which helps in taking the scales off.

12. Beauty Aid:

The oil extracted is widely used in preparation of beauty products. These include creams, cleansers and moisturizers to prevent the ageing effect of dehydration; bath oils, shampoos, scalp conditioner and hair tonic.

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