Why are avocados so good for you?
Australians love their avocados. This unique type of fruit is nutritious and has so many health benefits, it is practically a superfood. Consisting mostly of carbohydrates and high in healthy fats, this green fruit fondly called “avo”, is often consumed with Vegemite on toast.
In fact Australians are the fourth largest consumers of avocados in the world and on average Australians consume 3 kilograms of avocado per person each year.
The “avo” is certainly here to stay due to its popularity in many dishes and for its health benefits.
In a new review, researchers have discovered other health benefits of this popular fruit. This review, which summarized different in vivo, in vitro and clinical studies accomplished by researchers around the world to find out the role of peel, seed, flesh, and leaves of avocado, has found that the fruit and its parts may help in combating metabolic syndrome (MetS).
A review of all the studies done on avocados showed that different parts of avocado – leaves, pulp, oil, peel and seed – had differing effects on components of metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is a clustering of risk factors of high blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index. These factors lead to Type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Metabolic syndrome is considered an increasing cause of morbidity and mortality in both developed and developing countries.
The most important bioactive phytochemicals of avocado are categorized into: Carotenoids, fatty acids, minerals, phenolics and polyphenolic compounds, phytosterols and phytostanols, proteins, seven-carbon sugars, and vitamins.
A review of all the studies done on avocadoes showed that different parts of avocado – leaves, pulp, oil, peel and seed – had differing effects on components of metabolic syndrome.
For example, many studies reported in the review, showed consumption of avocadoes in various forms – oil, fruit, hydroalcoholic extract of the leaves and aqueous extracts of leaves, peel, flesh, and seed of avocado – had an antidiabetic effect.
The pharmacological active ingredients of avocadoes have shown that the fruit possess antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
According to studies reviewed, avocados have the most beneficial effects on lipid profiles, with changes to LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and phospholipids.
Other studies have shown that avocados lower lipid profile, possess growth inhibitory effects against cancer and is antihypertensive, antidiabetic, anti-obesity, antithrombotic, antiatherosclerotic, and cardioprotective .
Satisfactory clinical evidence in this article suggests, that avocado can also be used as herbal dietary supplements for treatment of different components of MetS. But researchers warn that further investigation is needed to understand different side effects with other drugs.
Source: Phytotherapy Research
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