Thursday, December 22, 2011

Health Benefits of Avocados

Lately, I have been eating half an avocado everyday. I have been told to be careful as this fruit is very high in cholesterol which is bad for my heart and arteries.

Hence, I decided to do more research for myself on this fruit. Surprisingly, I found that the benefits are enormous. They are:

Lower Cholesterol
Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower cholesterol levels. In one study, 45 volunteers experienced an average drop in cholesterol of 17% after eating avocados for only one week.

Better Nutrient Absorption
Research has found that certain nutrients are absorbed better when eaten with avocado. In one study, when participants ate a salad containing avocados, they absorbed five times the amount of carotenoids (a group of nutrients that includes lycopene and beta carotene) than those who didn't include avocados.

Oral Cancer Defense
Research has shown that certain compounds in avocados are able to seek out pre-cancerous and cancerous oral cancer cells and destroy them without harming healthy cells. Avocados have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer.

Eye Health
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.

Heart Health
One cup of avocado has 23% of the recommended daily value of folate. Studies show that people who eat diets rich in folate have a much lower incidence of heart disease than those who don't. The vitamin E, monounsaturated fats, and glutathione in avocado are also great for your heart.

Breast Cancer Protection
Avocado, like olive oil, is high in oleic acid, which has been shown to prevent breast cancer in numerous studies.

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

Anti-oxidant Supply
Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione, an important antioxidant that researchers say is important in preventing aging, cancer, and heart disease.

Vitamin E Powerhouse
Avocados are the best fruit source of vitamin E, an essential vitamin that protects against many diseases and helps maintains overall health.

Well, hope you are now convinced just as I am. To learn more about the fruit, refer to this wiki site.

Another question I have is when are avocados ripe to eat and if they aren't ripe, how to ripen them at home. Watch this video to learn more.

To avoid all ripening at the same time, keep some in the refrigerator while you ripen what you will first use out on the counter, in your paper bag. Then as those ripen, put them into the fridge to hold until you use them, and bring out the others that you will now ripen in the paper bag. Rotating that way, you will have a constant supply of ripe avos without the need to use them all at once.

Now how about an avo salad which is both easy to prepare and nutritious. See video below.

Well, hope this all helps towards a more healthy life-style. Cheers to good health !!

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