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Powerfoods: Avocado

The avocado (Persea gratissima or Persea americana) gets its name from the Latin American Nahuatl word ahuacatl meaning “testicle,” an obvious reference to the shape of the fruit. It was discovered in Mexico approximately 291 B.C. It is classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae along with cinnamon, and camphor. The avocados, also referred to as alligator pear, are very popular in vegetarian cuisine, as substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads because of its high fat content.

  • Certain compounds in avocado can seek out and destroy pre-cancerous and cancerous oral cancer cells without harming healthy cells
  • According to American Institute of Cancer Research, replacing butter, cheese or cream on sandwich with mashed avocado not only helps to reduce calories but also increase the healthy MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids) intake
  • Avocado oil strengthens the skin by stimulating collagen, thereby reducing wrinkles and improving skin texture
  • Avocados are rich in vitamin E, a free radical scavenger that assists in slowing the ageing process
  • Contains glutathione, a powerful antioxidants to help fight free radicals in the body
  • Avocados have a low GI of 15
  • A great source of potassium, which helps in controlling blood pressure levels
  • Avocados are high in beta-sitosterol, a compound that has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol levels
  • Has high amount of carotenoid lutein than any other commonly consumed fruit. Lutein, along with zeaxanthin in avocados help prevent age related macular degeneration and cataracts
  • Phytonutrient compound found in avocados, such as polyphenols and flavonoids have been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, thereby reducing the risk of inflammatory and degenerative disorders
  • Avocados are one of the best natural mouth wash and bad breath remedies. It cleanses intestine which is the real cause of coated tongue
  • Rich in folate, a B vitamin commonly known as folic acid. The high amount of folate in avocado is essential in the prevention of birth defects, such as neural tube defect and spina bifida. A diet rich in folate also helps to lower risk of stroke
  • Avocados have been shown to inhibit the growth of prostate cancer. The oleic acid in avocado is also effective in preventing breast cancer
  • Avocados are considered one of the healthiest food in the planet because it contain in excess of 25 essential nutrients, including vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, copper, iron, phosporus, magnesium, and potassium


  • Avocados contain enzymes which can cause allergic reactions in latex sensitive individuals.
  • Do not eat avocados or take any products containing avocados if you are using the antidepressant monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI).
  • Avoid eating large amounts of avocado if you’d like to lose weight, because they are high in calories.

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