The avocado (Persea americana) is a tree native to Puebla, Mexico, classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel. Avocado or alligator pear also refers to the fruit (botanically a large berry that contains a large seed) of the tree,which may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped or spherical.
Avocados are commercially valuable, and are cultivated in tropical climates throughout the world (and some temperate ones, such as California), producing a green-skinned, pear-shaped fruit that ripens after harvesting. Trees are partially self-pollinating and often are propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit.
Avocados contains high amounts of monosaturated fat, which can lower the level of cholesterol. One such important monosaturated fat is oleic acid, which can reduce the level of harmful LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is associated with the clogging of arteries, and thereby increasing the risk of heart diseases. On the other hand, it increases the HDL cholesterol, which facilitates the transport of cholesterol in the blood and reduces the risk of coronary heart diseases and atherosclerosis (deposition of fats inside the arteries). Avocados are a complete source of proteins, and contains all the essential amino acids.
Avocados are a rich source of vitamin E and C and these vitamins are known for their antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect the cells and tissues from the damaging effects of free radicals. Besides, vitamin C can prevent the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases, while vitamin E aids the formation of red blood cells, protection of cell membranes and blood circulation. Avocados also contain vitamin K, which is essential for the coagulation of blood, bone density and calcium absorption.
Folate is another important vitamin found abundantly in avocados. They can provide us with almost 8% of the total RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of folate, which is mainly required for the development of tissues and cells. Sufficient intake of folate can reduce the risk of heart diseases. Studies conducted in this regard have shown that the adequate intake of folate can lower the risk of heart diseases and heart attacks upto 55%. Vitamin A is also found in avocados, which is essential for stimulating the immune system, improvement of vision and proper growth of bones and teeth.
There are 13 vitamins that the body absolutely needs: vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate). Avocados naturally contain many of these vitamins.
MONOUNSATURATED FATS (3g per serving) – Helps to lower blood cholesterol if used in place of saturated fats.
VITAMIN K (6.3 mcg/8% DV per serving) – Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in blood clotting. It is known as the clotting vitamin, because without it blood would not clot. Some studies indicate that it helps in maintaining strong bones in the elderly.
FOLATE (27 mcg/8% DV per serving) – Promotes healthy cell and tissue development. This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is also essential for metabolism of homocysteine and helps maintain normal levels of this amino acid.
POTASSIUM (140 mg/4% DV per serving) – In the body, potassium is classified as an electrolyte. Potassium is a very important mineral to the human body. It has various roles in metabolism and body functions and is essential for the proper function of all cells, tissues, and organs: It assists in the regulation of the acid-base balance; assists in protein synthesis from amino acids and in carbohydrate metabolism; and, it is necessary for the building of muscle and for normal body growth.
VITAMIN E (1.2 IU/4% DV per serving) – A fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant that protects the body tissue from damage caused by unstable substances called free radicals. Free radicals can harm cells, tissues, and organs. They are believed to play a role in certain conditions associated with aging. Vitamin E is important in the formation of red blood cells and helps the body use vitamin K. At lower levels, vitamin E may help protect the heart. Vitamin E also plays a role in healthy skin and hair.
LUTEIN (81.3 mcg) – A carotenoid (a natural pigment) that may be associated with a lower risk of eye diseases. Lutein is an important antioxidant that may help your eyes stay healthy while maintaining the health of your skin. It provides nutritional support to your eyes and skin and has been linked to promoting healthy eyes through reducing the risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in adults 65 years of age and older.
MAGNESIUM (8.7 mg/2% DV per serving) –An essential mineral for human nutrition. Magnesium in the body serves several important functions: Contraction and relaxation of muscles; Function of certain enzymes in the body; Production and transport of energy; and Production of Protein.
VITAMIN C (2.4 mg/4% DV per serving) –A water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for normal growth and development. Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants. Antioxidants are nutrients that block some of the damage caused by free radicals, which are by-products that result when our bodies transform food into energy. Vitamin C is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It is necessary to form collagen, an important protein used to make skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.
VITAMIN B6 (0.080 mg/4% DV per serving) –A water-soluble vitamin. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. The body cannot store them. That means you need a continuous supply of such vitamins in your diet. Vitamin B6 helps the immune system produce antibodies. Antibodies are needed to fight many diseases. Vitamin B6 helps maintain normal nerve function and form red blood cells. The body uses it to help break down proteins. The more protein you eat, the more vitamin B6 you need.
In addition to being a rich source of vitamins, avocados are rich in many important minerals like potassium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. Potassium is required for maintaining the electrolyte balance in the body. It can also lower the risk of circulatory diseases like heart disease and stroke. Besides, it assists in regulating the level of blood pressure. Calcium and phosphorus are essential for the healthy growth of bones and teeth, while zinc facilitates the proper functioning of the immune system, energy metabolism and digestion.
Some studies have revealed that the extract of avocados can be effective in preventing prostate cancer, by inhibiting the growth of both androgen dependent and androgen independent cancerous cells. This can be attributed to the carotenoids, vitamin E and monosaturated fatty acids found in avocados. The carotenoids found in avocados include lutein, alpha-carotene, beta-caortene and zeaxanthin. The phytonutrients, such as beta-carotene present in avocados are presumed to be capable of destroying the cancerous cells in the case of oral cancer.
Despite being rich in fats, the avocado can help you lose weight. The secret lies in the high concentration of health promoting monosaturated fatty acids. So, avocados are a complete package of essential nutrients like fats, vitamins, minerals and proteins. This nutritious fruit can also protect you against a number of ailments including heart diseases, cancer, digestive problems and muscular degeneration.
In today’s society, more and more people are concerned about their eating habits. They worry about the foods which they consume due to the many pesticides, additives and preservatives which are added during production. Some of the safest of all foods, as far as processing is concerned, are organic fruit and vegetables. In this article I will discuss the benefits of one often overlooked fruit know as the avocado.
Avocados offer numerous health and beauty benefits. Being an exotic plant, a lot of us don’t include it in our daily diet. If you thing about it, how often do you purchase oranges and how often do you purchase avocados? Majority of us don’t consume this magical fruit as much as we should! According to Chinese medicine, the avocado has the ability to build blood and yin, harmonize the liver, and lubricate the lungs as well as the intestines. Aside from the Chinese medicine benefits, this particular fruit is also high in monounsaturated fat. When we hear these words we automatically assure that the fruit is calorie laden and fattening; however, that is not the case. Monounsaturated fats are some of the healthiest fat sources. These particular fats are responsible for promoting heart health. Furthermore, the avocado is a rich source of lecithin, which makes this fruit an excellent brain food. Last but certainly not least, this exotic food is laden with copper which assist in the formation of red blood cells and new hair growth.
So as you can see the avocado offers countless health benefits. Furthermore, consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help you lose weight. More and more people are turning towards the all natural weight loss approach. Healthy nutrition and herbal remedies (such as hoodia) can help you achieve your goals quickly and effectively.
Disclaimer: This website is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein we are not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regime, it is advisible to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.