• The Amazing Health Benefits of Avocados

    The Amazing health benefits of avocados.

    Avocados have received a mixed press over the years and have often swung between being classified as a trendy health food we should all consume and a high fat fruit we should stay well away from. Both suggestions of the fruit being healthy and high in fat are accurate descriptions of the fruit or, to be more specific, single seeded berry.

    Avocados date as far back as 10,000 BC with records showing their appearance in Mexico, along with other areas including the West Indies and Guatemala. Today Mexico is the worlds largest producer and exporter of avocados commanding a 45 percent share of the world market.

    In addition to the legendary fat content, there is a wealth of other nutrients packed into avocados, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and manganese as well as an array of phytonutrients, these all offer exceptional anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits for the whole body, not just the cardiovascular system.

    Despite the reputation for being a high fat food, avocados have been shown to be a heart healthy food, helping to reduce the risks of heart disease, oxidative stress and help lower LDL levels within the blood stream.

    Around 68 percent of the fat in avocados comes from monounsaturated fat, this type of fat is very beneficial to our health. It is known to help prevent depression, protect you from developing heart disease, help the body to use fat properly and also help you lose weight, additionally, it has a role in insulin regulation. If that is not enough to get you buying this extraordinary fruit then this might; avocados also contain some unique fats known as phytosterols, these offer anti-inflammatory benefits for our whole body as well as our cardiovascular system. This means that the consumption of avocados may help to reduce your risk of inflammatory related diseases and disorders, such as heart disease, arthritis, asthma, cancer, Alzheimer's, cardiovascular disease and colitis.

    The health benefits of avocado have been shown to be at their greatest when eaten as an integral part of a food plan and not an additional food source. By this we mean that you should factor the fat content into your meal plan and use it as an alternative to other fat sources.

    Avocados have been shown to be beneficial in controlling blood sugar levels and can also help in insulin regulation. These benefits may help with weight management and satiety, these favourable affects may be due in part to the high fiber content found in avocados.

    Carotenoids are phytonutrients and are responsible for the bright red, yellow and orange colours of many fruits and vegetables, these phytonutrients have powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune system benefits for our health including strong cancer fighting properties. Carotenoids absorption has been shown to be greatly improved by the consumption of fat from an avocado, with figures suggesting an increase of between 2- 6 times as much absorption.
    In particular the fat is known to help with the conversion of beta carotene into vitamin A, which is known for improving eye health and slowing down the affects of ageing.

    The skin and those areas closest to the skin carry the greatest quantities of phytonutrients. The best way to benefit from these essential nutrients is to peel the skin as you would a banana, cutting the avocado into quarters helps ease this process.

    The nutrients found in avocados.

    A closer look at the nutrients and their benefits to your health.

    Pantothenic acid - Vitamin B5
    - Helps alleviate respiratory conditions
    - Reduces stress and anxiety
    - Promotes a healthy functioning immune system
    - Helps to prevent hair loss
    - Aids in the metabolism of lipids and carbohydrates
    - Helps to regulate cholesterol levels
    - Supports a healthy nervous system
    - Promotes a healthy functioning liver
    - Helps to reduce inflammation, dryness and pain in the eyes.

    Copper - Mineral

    - Helps to maintain blood volume
    - Produces energy in your cells from carbohydrates
    - Supports the building of strong tissue
    - Involved in the manufacturing of collagen
    - Helps maintain a healthy balance of cholesterol
    - Assists in the prevention of premature ageing
    - Reduces the symptoms of arthritis
    - Maintains eye colour
    - Helps regulate the heart beat
    - Promotes quick wound healing

    Pyridoxine - Vitamin B6
    - Protects the immune system
    - Maintains a healthy metabolism
    - Helps to produce energy from food
    - Promotes healthy hormones
    - Maintains healthy cells
    - Assists in the absorption of vitamin B12
    - Improves neurological function
    - Promotes healthy brain function
    - Reduces premenstrual symptoms
    - Helps to prevent arteriosclerosis and heart disease.

    Folate - B- vitamin
    - Promotes brain development and improves functioning
    - Promotes a healthy nervous system
    - Decreases risk of some cancers, including breast cancer
    - Supports a healthy cardiovascular system
    - Helps nervous system development in the fetus
    - Assists in the production of red blood cells
    - May reduce the risk of depression

    Vitamin K

    - Promotes normal healthy clotting
    - Prevents heart disease and arterial calcification
    - Improves vascular health, leading to fewer varicose veins
    - Maintains healthy bones
    - Acts as an adjunct to vitamin D
    - Helps to reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer and leukaemia.

    Vitamin C

    - Supports the immune system
    - Increases iron absorption
    - Protects cells from oxidating damage
    - Helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, including coronary heart disease and stroke
    - Helps in the formation of collagen, carnitine and catecholemines
    - Helps prevent and fight cancer

    Vitamin E

    - Protects cells from damage
    - Antioxidant
    - Supports a healthy immune system
    - Helps regulate blood pressure
    - Aids in the repair of muscles
    - Slows down the signs of ageing
    - Balances cholesterol
    - Repairs skin damage
    - Balances hormones
    - Thickens hair
    - Improves vision and support eye health
    - Slows down the decline of Alzheimer's disease

    - Vitamin B3

    - Helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels
    - Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
    - Balances blood sugar levels
    - Helps to reduce acne
    - Helps to improve skin health
    - Supports proper neurological function
    - Helps protect against Alzheimer's disease
    - Helps to promote joint mobility
    - Can help prevent erectile dysfunction
    - Helps to improve digestion

    Riboflavin - Vitamin B2
    - Helps to produce energy from food
    - Antioxidant
    - Helps to metabolise fats and proteins
    - Assists in the proper functioning of the nervous system
    - Helps to synthesise vitamins B6 and folate
    - Improves eye health
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