Benefits of Avocado

The Avocado Plant, Persea Americana from the Lauraceae family, has been widely used in Guatemala and parts of  Africa and South America for centuries by indigenous peoples.  The benefits of avocado to the health are  now widely appreciated in the Western world, where avocado salad has become a popular health item to add nourishment to a meal.

Avocado essential fatty acids are known to benefit the hair, skin, teeth, bones and nails, and make it  a great nerve food. The benefits of avocado oils on the brain and eyes  has also been fairly well established.

Avocado is rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients which are of huge benefit to maintaining a healthy immune system and a strong body. Avocado also contains vitamins A, B6, C, D, and E.  It contains protein, fats, folate, potassium and traces of zinc. It is thought by many that avocado fruit and its oil  may help to prevent cancer, although no test tube experiment has yet been conducted which proves this for a fact.

The Benefits of Avocado as a cancer preventative are espoused in:  Natural Remedies That Really WorkA New Zealand Guide, written by Dr Shaun Holt and Iona MacDonald.  This is published by Craig Potton publishing, P.O. Box 555 Nelson, N.Z.

In this book, the authors state ‘

  • ‘This paper summarises the many studies that indicate that certain chemicals found in avocado act on many pathways in the cancer process.  Although not yet proven, it follows that avocado in the diet may prevent cancer’. (p.183)

The authors go on to say that phytochemicals from the Hass avocado had a favourable result on ‘multiple signalling pathways’  of precancerous cell lines, and increased the amount of ‘reactive oxygen’ to these areas:   One would  assume that this whould  decrease or halt the growth of cancer. The phytochemicals derived from the avocado did not seem to harm normal cells.

The authors of  Natural Remedies that Really Work warn about complications which might arise if you eat avocados while you are taking medication.  Some foods react adversely with some drugs such as blood thinners, and psychiatric drugs and anticonvulsants. You need to ask your doctor or health professional about including avocados in your diet if you are taking medication.

Important:  The following list is  of Avocado Benefits is for information only and is not intended to serve medical needs.  Go to your doctor or health professional for advice if you are sick.

List of The Main Benefits of Avocado to the Health are:

  • The pulp is an excellent source of  protein to add to the diet.  Avocado contains about 25% protein.
  • Avocado pulp is rich in essential fatty acids.
  • The pulped avocado flesh can be applied to wounds or burns or sores to assist healing.  It can be applied as a poultice in these cases, and fresh applications put on three times a day.
  • Avocado Oil benefits the skin:  The mashed pulp can be applied to the skin as a natural organic facepack to improve its texture.  It can be left on for half an hour and then rinsed off. This has a cleansing and rejuvenating  action on the skin.
  • Avocado is high in Vitamins A, B1 and B2 and Vitamin E.
  • The fruit has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels.
  • The fruit has been used in traditional medicine as an aphrodisiac.
  • Compounds  extracted from the leaves, which are astringent,have been used to treat  the herpes simplex virus, which includes cold sores and genital herpes.
  • The astringent leaves and bark have traditionally been used to bring on menstruation.  Preparations can also be made from the leaves to help diarrhoea, and stomach complaints, coughs and liver disfunction.
  •  NOTE the leaves and bark of the avocado  should not be used for any reason by pregnant women, as this could cause a miscarriage.
  • Gout can be helped by using special preparations from the leaves:  the leaves have compounds in them which reduce uric acid from the body.
  • The rind is used as a worm expellant by native peoples in Guatemala
  • The seeds are used by native peoples to treat diarrhoea.
  • It is used externally as a stimulation for hair growth.  The pulp of the fruit can be applied, or oil extracted from the seed used to massage into the hair.
  • Some quirky information:  Avocado leaves and bark contain flavanoids, tannin and  the volatile oil methylchavicol, alpha-pinene.   The pulp, aside from those  vitamins and elements listed above, contains sesquiterpenes.
  • Read more about the Benefits of Avocado in the Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants by Andrew Chevallier, 1996 and 2001, publishers  Dorling Kimberley, Sydney, Australia.

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