Avocado: A true superfood

Avocado: A true superfood

By Chris Strub

Five million results.

That's Google's response to a query for "avocado health benefits" - 5,040,000, to be exact.

Simply mention the word ‘avocado' to a dietician, and they'll point to a seemingly endless list of reasons why this super fruit should be a part of your weekly diet.
Without further ado ...

• Maintain a healthy heart: Folic acid and Vitamin B6 will help regulate homocysteine levels, lowering your risk of heart disease. Folic acid is also highly recommended for pregnant women to help develop a fetus's brain and vital organs.

• Lower cholesterol levels: Beta-sitosterol has been shown to be effective in lowering blood cholesterol levels. Studies have shown avocadoes help decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol).

• Anti-inflammatory properties: Polyphenols and flavonoids help reduce the risk of inflammatory and degenerative disorders.

• Promote eye health: Lutein has been shown to protect against age-related macular degeneration and cataractcs.

• Control blood pressure: Potassium, omega-3 and oleic acid are beneficial towards keeping your blood pressure down. There is more than twice as much potassium in an avocado as there is in a banana.

• Blood sugar levels: Monounsaturated fats can prevent or reverse insulin resistance, a source of Type-2 diabetes. High soluble fiber content also helps prevent spikes in blood sugar.

• Better digestion: Beta carotene and lycopene are absorbed up to five times better with avocado. Avocados reduce inflammation in the stomach and small intenstine's mucous lining.

• Skin care: Avocado oil is added to many cosmetics because of its ability to nourish the skin and make it glow. It's also beneficial in treating psoriasis.

• Cancer prevention: Avocadoes contain compounds that appear to inhibit and destroy oral cancer cells.

The Best Way to Peel an Avocado
Did you know there are many ways to skin an avocado? Well, there are, and how you de-skin your fruit can have a bearing on the nutrients you get from it. In 2010, the California Avocado Commission issued guidelines for getting the most out of your avocado by peeling it the right way:
To preserve the area with the greatest concentration of antioxidants, you basically want to peel the avocado with your hands, as you would a banana:
1. First, cut the avocado length-wise, around the seed.
2. Holding each half, twist them in the opposite directions to separate them from the seed.
3. Remove the seed.
4. Cut each half, lengthwise.
5. Next, using your thumb and index finger, simply peel the skin off each piece.
- Huffingtonpost.com

Sources: undergroundhealth.com, naturalnews.com, webMD.com, huffingtonpost.com