Avocado And Health: Facts And Top Benefits Of Avocado On Your Health
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Fruit of a tree originating in Central and South America, the avocado is prized for its tender flesh like butter.
A true chameleon of appetizers, it is prepared in a thousand and one ways, whether with a vinaigrette, salad, mousse, stuffed or in the traditional guacamole. The avocado can also become a delicious and original sandwich topping.
Although it is known for its high-fat content, it also contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
Active principles and properties
Antioxidants are compounds that protect the body’s cells from damage caused by free radicals. The latter are very reactive molecules that would be involved in the development of cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers and other diseases related to aging.
In total, an avocado contains almost as many antioxidants as a half cup (125 ml) of cooked broccoli.
A serving of 100 g of raw avocado contains on average 7 mg of proanthocyanidins, antioxidants also referred to as “tannins”. Proanthocyanidins would have antioxidant properties in humans, protecting in particular blood cells and blood lipids against oxidative stress.
However, further studies are needed to better understand how the human body absorbs and uses the proanthocyanidins of avocado.
Dietary fiber. With 6.7 g of fiber per 100 g of meat, avocado is considered a very high source of fiber. Dietary fiber, which is found only in plants, contains a group of substances that are not digested by the body.
A high-fiber diet is associated with a lower risk of colon cancer and can help satisfy the appetite by bringing a sense of satiety more quickly.
There are two main types of fiber (soluble and insoluble) that have different effects in the body: the avocado contains both, with a little more insoluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber has attributed the ability to prevent constipation by increasing stool volume. Soluble fibers, on the other hand, can contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular diseases by reducing, in particular, the absorption of bile acids.
They can also help control type 2 diabetes through, among other things, a slowing down of glucose digestion in foods. It is recommended to consume 25 g of fiber per day for women aged 19 to 50 years and 38 g per day for men in the same age group.
Although avocado is rich in fat, these are mostly unsaturated fat (mainly monounsaturated), considered to be “good” fat for cardiovascular health.
In humans, a study showed that replacing some of the fat in the diet with avocado for three weeks could lead to decreased blood lipids without decreasing HDL cholesterol ( “Good” cholesterol).
Other researchers found that avocado was possibly the most phytosterol-containing fruit, with more than 80 mg per serving of 100 g9. These compounds have a structure similar to cholesterol in products of animal origin but are beneficial for cardiovascular health.
A meta-analysis of 41 clinical trials showed that taking 2 g / day (or 2,000 mg) of phytosterols reduced LDL-cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) by 10%. This reduction could reach 20% in a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
This quantity of 2 g / day is practically impossible to reach by diet alone. For this reason, food products enriched with phytosterols have appeared on the market in recent years (juice, margarine, yogurt).
Inflammation. Some studies have demonstrated a potential anti-inflammatory effect of the avocado. Indeed, in one study, the addition of avocado to a meal with a “hamburger” reduced the vasoconstriction of blood vessels as well as the concentration of certain proteins with pro-inflammatory properties a few hours after ingestion.
In addition, the avocado-containing meal resulted in decreased blood triglycerides. Further studies are needed to conclude on the true benefits of avocado in inflammation but this remains promising.
Better absorption of carotenoids. A study in humans showed that adding avocado to a meal increased the uptake of carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lycopene.
Carotenoids are a family of substances with antioxidant properties, insoluble in water but soluble in fat. The best absorption of the carotenoids would be attributable to the fats of the avocado.
Researchers have investigated the effect of 22 different fruits on a liver recovery of animals that have suffered viral hepatitis-related damage. Among the fruits analyzed, the lawyer distinguished himself by showing remarkable ability to repair this damage.
The mechanism explaining this effect remains to be elucidated, but the researchers believe that it would come from natural fatty acid derivatives of the avocado. However, further studies should be carried out to verify whether these results can be applied to humans.
Several in vitro studies suggest that avocado would have favorable properties for cancer prevention. One of these studies demonstrated that an extract of avocado flesh decreased the proliferation of human cancer cells in the prostate.
Other studies have shown that a natural avocado compound, called a person, has the ability to decrease the activity of enzymes involved in the development of cancer. However, these in vitro results can not yet be applied to humans. A case-control study showed that monounsaturated fatty acid intakes were indirectly related to prostate cancer.
This relationship may be, according to the authors, due to a high consumption of avocado. Other clinical studies need to be done to understand this relationship.
Vitamin K and anticoagulants
The avocado contains a high amount of vitamin K.
This vitamin, which is necessary for the blood coagulation, can be made by the body in addition to being found in certain foods. Individuals taking anticoagulant medicines, such as those marketed under the brand names Coumadin®, Warfilone® and Sintrom®, should use a diet in which the vitamin K content is relatively stable from one day to the next.
we recall that avocado can change blood levels of anticoagulants. It is, therefore, preferable not to consume them in too high a quantity at a time. Those on anticoagulant therapy are strongly advised to consult a dietitian-nutritionist or a physician to learn about the dietary sources of vitamin K and to ensure that the daily intake is as stable as possible.
Allergy to Avocado and latex
Studies have shown that allergy to latex, a material used especially for the manufacture of medical gloves, may be associated with an allergy to certain foods such as avocado.
Researchers have identified herein as the compound that would be responsible for allergy to avocado in people with latex allergy. The listed symptoms of allergy to avocado could include hives and even anaphylaxis. It is recommended that people with allergies to latex carry out food allergy tests, including avocado, banana, brown and kiwi.
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