Is avocado a super food? Understanding the nutrition facts

By , Category : Food and Nutrition

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Avocados are a wonderful healing food to eat. Not only are they a delicious addition to any salad, but they also carry a pretty hefty punch when it comes to protecting your good health. In fact, avocados are potentially tough enough to take on cancer.

The Research

One clinical trial investigated the effects of avocado on cancer cells. The phytochemicals extracted from the avocado fruit were able to selectively put a halt to the cancer cell cycle by stopping growth and triggering death in precancerous and cancer cell lines.

Not only that, avocado helped fortify the number of lymphocyte cells — those small white blood cells that play a big role in defending your body against disease.

Researchers also tested avocado’s performance in reducing the toxic side effects of chemotherapy. The fruit was able to lower the chromosomal aberrations (chromosomes that are changed in a negative way) induced by a common chemo treatment called “cyclophosphamide.”

The research team suggested that phytochemicals from the avocado fruit could be used for making an active chemoprotective ingredient for lowering the side effects of chemotherapies like cyclophosphamide that are used in cancer therapy.

Now, here’s some more positive press for the avocado. Researchers at the Ohio State University have found that avocados can boost the amount of carotenoids you absorb from other foods that you eat. It seems that dietary fats may be an important factor in the absorption of carotenoids.  However, most carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables are low in fats. So the researchers investigated whether the addition of avocado fruit as a fat source enhances carotenoid absorption.

Healthy subjects were recruited for two2 studies. The effect of avocado addition to salsa on lycopene and beta-carotene absorption was examined in Study 1, while the absorption of lutein, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene was examined in Study 2.

The research team found that the addition of avocado to salsa enhanced lycopene and beta-carotene absorption resulting in more than double the intake. In Study 2, supplementing 150 grams (g) of avocado or 24 g of avocado oil to salad similarly enhanced alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lutein absorption an average of seven times that of avocado-free salad!

The reason why you want to boost your intake of these healthful nutrients is that they’re powerful antioxidants that will act on your behalf.

And, just in case you’re still not quite convinced that avocado is a super-food, read the article, This Fruit Could Treat Arthritis.

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Dr. Richard Foxx, MD

About the Author, Browse Richard's Articles

Richard M. Foxx, MD has decades of medical experience with a comprehensive background in endocrinology, aesthetic and laser medicine, gynecology, and sports medicine. He has extensive experience with professional athletes, including several Olympic competitors. Dr. Foxx practices aesthetic and laser medicine, integrative medicine, and anti-aging medicine. He is the founder and Medical Director of the Medical and Skin Spa located in Indian Wells, California, at the Hyatt Regency Resort. Dr. Foxx is certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners... Read Full Bio »