Avocado: The Health Food
Avocados are a good source of folate. A medium sized avocado provides 8% of the recommended daily allowance.
Folate promotes healthy cell and tissue development.
It is also especially important for women of childbearing age as it helps protect against birth defects.
Less than half a medium avocado provides 3.2 grams of dietary fibre, giving it the highest concentration of dietary fibre of any commonly eaten fruit. Approximately half of the fibre in an avocado is the soluble type which is good for lowering cholesterol, which can help maintain a healthy heart. A good fibre supply is also thought to be protective against some cancers in particular cancer of the colon and can help in weight management and those with diabetes.
Avocados are brimming with potassium, a mineral necessary for maintaining the right balance of water in the body and essential for maintaining nerve and muscle functions. You will get almost a fifth of your daily requirement from one avocado. Avocados are richer in potassium than bananas.
Avocados contain magnesium without which our bodies would not be able to make use of calcium and potassium. Magnesium helps produce energy and is important for muscle contraction and relaxation.
This important mineral for bone health is present in Avocados. It plays a key role in growth and reproduction thus is important for mums-to-be.
- Vitamin A
Is needed for healthy skin, bones and hair. It is also important for vision and reproduction. Avocados contain Vitamin A in the safe beta-carotene farm.
- Vitamin B6
Just one Avocado provides approximately half the recommended daily intake. B6 helps to keep the nervous system in good working order and is especially beneficial to some women suffering from PMS.
- Vitamins B1, B2, and Niancin
Avocados contain all three vitamins which are vital in energy metabolism. A lack of them will soon lead to lethargy and tiredness as the body finds it hard to break down and convert what it has eaten into energy. B1 and B2 help with concentration, irritability and depression.
Avocados are particularly rich in Vitamin E and C, important antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals that cause gradual deterioration and ageing.
By eating an avocado a day you will benefit from a generous supply of Vitamin E that can help against heart disease. The Vitamin E inn avocados is particularly helpful for maintaining nerves and muscles.
As for Vitamin C its benefits are numerous – from helping prevent the common cold to protecting the body from stressful situations.
The dual combination of Vitamins C and E is a major advantage because one strengthens the fortifying action of the other.
Heart Foundations recognise the goodness in avocados as well as the fact that they contain NO cholesterol and are very rich in mono-unsaturated fats. As such they have a proven role in maintaining heart health.
Avocados are the most effective A Grade Energy Food. Other A Grade food include fish, many nuts, dense vegetables such as broccoli and spinach and complex carbohydrates such as wholegrain bread.
In South Africa research has shown that mono-saturated fats in the diet of endurance athletes plays as important role in enhancing performance. Avocados are a rich source of these nutrients. Endurance athletes are being advised to include mono-unsaturated fats in their diet.
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