The health benefits / medicinal uses of Avocado are discussed below.
Botanical name: Persea americana Miller
Other names: Alligator pear, Freed, Zuttano.
Properties of Avocado
Below represents the content of avocado:
•Fats – Avocado is one of the richest fruit in fats, up to 20% of its total content or more, depending on the variety. The fats in avocado are mainly unsaturated and of high biological value, and as the case with all plant-based foods, avocado contains no cholesterol.
The fats present in avocado can be classifies into:
» Phospholipids – These type of fats present in avocado are those that contains phosphorus in their molecule. They benefit the body by performing vital functions in the nervous system.
» Glycerides – These are synthesized ny the combination of one or more fatty acid molecules with glycerine molecule. When glycerine combine with one, two or three fatty acid molecule, the resultant mixture is referred to as monoglycerides, diglycerides, and triglycerides respectively. The most common fatty acid present is the Oleic acid, and the most common glyceride formed are triglycerides.
» Free fatty acids – These are the fatty acids present in avocado which are not in union with glycerine. They are said to be partly responsible for the typical aroma of the fruit.
• Water – Avocado is among the fruits with the lowest proportion of water. The only fruits that contain less amount of water than avocados are banana and olives. This shows that avocado is a highly concentrated fruit in terms of nutrients.
• Proteins – It is amazing that avocado is also among the richest fresh fruit in proteins. Their proteins contains all the essential amino acids, though not balanced. For the best of their proteins, it is advisable to combine them with vegetables during consumption.
• Vitamins – Avocado is the richest fresh fruit source of vitamin E, providing as much as 2.3 mg / 100 g of alpha-tocopherol equals. This important vitamin acts as a powerful antioxidant, thus preventing cancer. It also protects against cellular aging, and enhance reproductive functions. Another vitamin present in avocado in rich amount is vitamin B6. Avocado, together with banana are the richest fresh fruit in this vitamin.
• Minerals – Iron stands out the most among the minerals present in avocado. In fact, avocado is the richest fresh fruit in the mineral iron, providing 1.02 mg/100 g.
• Fiber – Avocado contains fiber in 5% of its total content or more, depending on the variety. Amazingly again, avocado is the richest of any fresh fruit in fiber.
Health benefits / medicinal uses of Avocado
There is no doubt that avocado is one of the most valued fruit in the world, due to its nutritional value as well as its medicinal uses. The consumption of avocado is specifically recommended in the following cases:
• Excess cholesterol
Several experiments conducted have proved the cholesterol lowering capacity of avocados. An experiment conducted by W. C. Grant in 1960, using 16 males, who were fed various amounts of avocados for several days, showed a significant decrease in their cholesterol level. There was no body among them that showed an increase in cholesterol.
Avocados are hypolipidemic i.e reduces the level of fat in the blood. It is actually very surprising to learn that avocados which are very rich in triglycerides lowers the level of the same triglycerides in the blood.
Thus, the consumption of avocado is highly recommended for those willing to reduce the triglycerides or cholesterol level in their blood, or any other fats in high amounts in the blood.
The consumption of avocado is highly recommended for those suffering from iron-deficiency anemia. It is a fact that the nonheme iron present in plants-based foods is absorbed with a higher difficulty into the body than the heme iron present in animal based foods. But in this case, it is different with avocados, its iron content is conveniently assimilated into the body than any other plant-based food due to their vitamin C content, which helps facilitate its absorption.
Moreover, the consumption of avocado due to its high iron content is highly recommended for:
» Pregnant women
• Circulatory disorders
The hypolipidemic property (reduces the level of fat in the blood) of avocados coupled with its virtual presence of sodium and high potassium content, makes them highly recommended in cases of:
» Coronary heart disease, and
Until these recent years, the consumption of avocados were discouraged for the diabetics. Analysts thought that the monosaccharide sugar it contains elevated glucose level in the blood when consumed in high amounts. However, more recent studies shows that eating avocados is particularly beneficial to the diabetics, as it helps maintain an appropriate blood glucose level. They also lower blood cholesterol level.
• Nervous disorders
As we have seen above in the properties of avocados, they contain phospholipids which are very important to the metabolism of the nervous system. Moreover, avocados contain vitamin B6 in rich amounts, which is among the most vital for the proper neuron function. Thus, the consumption of avocados can be considered appropriate in cases of:
» Depression, or
• Digestive disorders
The soothing effect of avocados on the mucosa, its protective action on the mucosa, as well as its alkalinity, makes the consumption of avocados highly recommended in cases of gastritis and other digestive disorders.
• Other instances
The inclusion of avocados in the diet of the following is highly recommended:
» Adolescents during rapid growth period
» Pregnant and lactating women
» And all those willing to benefit from its numerous values