The amazing avocado is actually a fruit, not a vegetable. Some cultures call avocados “alligator pears,” because of their shape and the color and texture of their skins. Avocados are cholesterol and sodium-free. Many people are under the mistaken impression that avocados are full of fat, and so avoid eating them. But avocados actually have only five grams of fat per serving. And most of this fat is the healthy, monounsaturated kind.
Avocados contain more than 25 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. They have fiber, potassium, vitamin E, B-vitamins, and folic acid. They are considered an excellent source of healthy fats when combined with a calorie-wise diet.
Avocados are thought to be effective at reducing pain and inflammation in people who suffer from osteoarthritis and gout. There are a number of studies that have found that avocado supplements are effective for reducing arthritic damage and improving painful symptoms.
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common, painful and debilitating condition that affects approximately 46.4 million individuals in the United States. By 2012, medical experts expect this number to reach 60 million. OA is the leading cause of reduced activity in adults and puts a real economic burden on the healthcare system. Although the best medical treatment would be to prevent OA, at present, medical management of OA is aimed at controlling symptoms of pain and stiffness and maintaining joint mobility and quality of life.
A study published last month in “The Physician and Sportsmedicine” reviewed a number of high-quality randomized clinical trials. Researchers found that 300 milligrams per day of ASU (an ingredient found in significant amounts in avocado) appears to be beneficial for patients with hip or knee OA.
In another systematic review of three of the top medical databases, researchers went all the way back to 1985 to see if avocado and other herbal supplements had any positive effect on arthritis pain. What they discovered was that the evidence was strong for avocado when it came to reducing chronic back and joint pain.
There are many tasty ways to eat avocados, besides using them in guacamole dip. Try pureeing avocados with a little honey and milk to make a delicious dessert drink. Avocados are also tasty when added to ice cream. And, of course, you can simply cut one up and add it to any salad or sandwich.