Is Avocado a Good or Bad?

aimera By aimera, 31st Jul 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Diet & Nutrition

Avocado has suffered from bad reputation, blamed for high fat content and causing increase of cholesterol level. However, how far this accusation from the truth?

A Bit About The Origin

Avocado, also known as "Aligator Pear", is native to Central Mexico. It is cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world.

Avocado has a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical, and ripens after harvesting. The fruit contains a single seed. Trees are partially self-pollinating and often are propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit.

The High Fat Content in Avocado

Although about 85% of avocado's calories comes from fat, the fat is unusual and provides research-based health benefits. Those benefits comes from:

  • Phytosterols, which include beta-sitosterol, campesterol, and stigmasterol, helps keep inflammation under control. Phytosterols also reduce cholesterol levels and may inhibit lung, stomach, ovarian and breast cancers.

  • Polyhydroxylated fatty alcohols (PFAs).PFAs also provide us with anti-inflammatory benefits that address problems related to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

  • Oleic acid. Oleic acid is an unsaturated fatty acid. It helps blood flow without the development of plaque. Oleic acid helps with cholesterol by raising good cholesterol or high density lipids (HDL) at the same time as lowering bad cholesterol or low density lipids (LDL).

Antioxidant in Avocado

Beside high content of good fat, avocados are also loaded with different kinds of anti oxidants.

  • Vitamin E which protects the body tissue from damage caused by free radicals. It is important in the formation of red blood cells and helps the body use vitamin K. At lower levels, vitamin E may help protect the heart. Vitamin E also plays a role in healthy skin and hair.

  • Lutein, a carotenoid antioxidant, provides nutritional support to your eyes and skin and has been linked to promoting healthy eyes through reducing the risk of macular degeneration.

  • Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin, is necessary for normal growth and development. Vitamin C is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It is necessary to form collagen, an important protein used to make skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels.

Other Nutritions in Avocado

Other good nutrients are also found in avocado:

  • Vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin, plays an important role in blood clotting. It is known as the clotting vitamin, because without it blood would not clot. Some studies indicate that it helps in maintaining strong bones in the elderly.

  • Folate promotes healthy cell and tissue development. This is especially important during periods of rapid cell division and growth such as infancy and pregnancy. Folate is also essential for metabolism of homocysteine and helps maintain normal levels of this amino acid.

  • Magnesium, an essential mineral for human nutrition, serves several important functions, such as regulates contraction and relaxation of muscles, regulates the function of certain enzymes in the body; Production and transport of energy; and Production of Protein.

  • Vitamin B6, it helps the immune system produce antibodies, needed to fight many diseases. Vitamin B6 helps maintain normal nerve function and form red blood cells, needed to help break down proteins. The more protein you eat, the more vitamin B6 you need.

In the Nutshell,

Avocado's bad reputation, as high fat food and being blamed for causing high cholesterol, is merely a myth. The nutrition's fact shows that the fat contained in avocado is the good fat. These fats are different from trans fat that contained in fast food and some fried food. Unlike trans fat, the fats in avocado helps lower cholesterol and provides as anti inflamation.

Other than good fats, avocado also rich in folate and vitamin K and B6. Coupled with the good fats, these nutrients help the body to function better.

So, have another serving of avocado smoothies.

Tags

Cholesterol, Food, Food And Health, Food Facts, Food For Health, Fruit, Guacamole, Minerals, Monounsaturated Fat

Meet the author

author avatar aimera
A Bohemian writer who loves travelling, ethnic cuisine, and reading.

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