Posted on Jan 29, 2019, 7 p.m.
Consuming avocado daily has been found to significantly decrease a person’s risk of metabolic syndrome, as published in the journal Phytotherapy Research from the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences.
Those with metabolic syndrome have elevated risks for developing cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes, because of this it has been deemed a major contributor to mortality and morbidity in many countries. This health condition is characterized by obesity, high blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure.
Conventional medicines are available to treat the different components of metabolic syndrome, but many of these are associated with adverse side effects such as diarrhea, constipation, nausea, stomach pain, muscle soreness, and liver problems. Other ways of improving metabolic syndrome can be more gentle including medicinal plants, herbs, and foods.
Avocado is a nutritious plant rich in minerals, fatty acids, carotenoids, proteins, vitamins, phenolic and polyphenolic compounds, carbon sugars, and phytosterols and phytostanols, all of which contribute to the many pharmacological benefits associated with avocados such as its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties. Previous studies have revealed phytosterols and phytostanols can lower cholesterol levels while carotenoids can inhibit growth of cancer cells.
Effects of avocado and its components on metabolic syndrome were evaluated by reviewing and compiling results of previous publications of 129 in vitro and clinical studies, taking into consideration different aspects of metabolic syndrome including hypertension, dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Avocados were shown to significantly improve glucose and cholesterol levels as well as blood pressure; and was found to prevent obesity, abnormal blood clot formation, and oxidative stress. The most potent effects were on lipid profile which was attributed to its ability to regulate lipoprotein hydrolysis and their uptake. Majority of studies suggested to enjoy these benefits avocados should be consumed every day.
Rich in lutein, zeaxanthin and other antioxidants avocados can help protect the eyes from damage caused by ultraviolet light. Monounsaturated fatty acids enhance antioxidant absorption and consequently reduce risk of age related macular degeneration.
Folate found within avocados has been shown to help prevent cancers such as stomach, pancreatic, colon, and cervical by mechanisms that are not yet known, but are believed to prevent DNA and RNA mutations from happening during cell division.
Avocados tend to make a person feel more satisfied after eating for longer, making them less likely to eat again; also they are rich in fiber and low in carbs which are important to promoting weight loss.
Avocados can be eaten in many different ways to shake things up so you won’t get tired of eating the same thing every day such as guacamole, raw, in a dip, avocado salad dressing, in chocolate mousse, in scrambled eggs, in a smoothie, in a lasagna, milkshake, soup, toast spread, or even in cookies or a cake.
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