The dis­ease fight­ers to add to your pantry

HOLY GUA­CAMOLE! NOT ONLY DO AVO­CA­DOS AND GIN­GER PACK A PUNCH IN THE FLAVOUR ARENA. THEY’RE SOME OF THE MOST IN­CRED­I­BLE DIS­EASE FIGHT­ERS TOO

Good Health Choices - - Content -

When it comes to su­per­foods, av­o­cado and gin­ger are at the top of the pile. There’s vir­tu­ally noth­ing they can’t help with. Gingerol and shogaol, which give gin­ger its typ­i­cal “zing”, stim­u­late our di­ges­tive juices, have germ-killing prop­er­ties, and detox­ify the blood, mu­cous mem­branes and gut. Av­o­cado is just as pow­er­ful – it has an ex­cep­tion­ally high nu­tri­ent den­sity, is 25 per cent “good fat”, and is a source of al­most 20 vi­ta­mins and min­er­als.

PRO­TECTS THE EYES

Av­o­cado con­tains two carotenoids (plant pig­ments) im­por­tant for eye health: lutein and zeax­an­thin, which act as an­tiox­i­dants, mean­ing they pro­tect our cells from harm­ful in­flu­ences. As such, av­o­cado pre­vents the on­set of age-re­lated eye dam­age. Daily con­sump­tion of the fruit also pro­tects the eye’s sen­si­tive tis­sue from sun dam­age – but that doesn’t mean it can re­place sun­glasses. In ad­di­tion, the su­per­fruit re­duces the risk of suf­fer­ing from cataracts or age-re­lated mac­u­lar de­gen­er­a­tion, ac­cord­ing to re­search from Tufts Uni­ver­sity in the US.

HELPS WITH EX­CESS WEIGHT

Av­o­cado is high in di­etary fi­bres – and these help us lose weight. Ac­cord­ing to a study con­ducted by the Uni­ver­sity of Mas­sachusetts, 30 grams of fi­bre a day re­sults in more suc­cess­ful di­et­ing

(an av­er­age-size av­o­cado con­tains around 12-14 grams). Avo­ca­dos also keep you full for a long time, thereby pre­vent­ing hunger pangs.

NORMALISES BLOOD LIPID LEV­ELS

Re­searchers from Penn­syl­va­nia State Uni­ver­sity have found that con­sum­ing an av­o­cado a day has a pos­i­tive ef­fect on choles­terol, be­cause the un­sat­u­rated fatty acids and high fi­bre con­tent help dra­mat­i­cally re­duce bad choles­terol (LDL) and triglyc­erides. The ‘av­o­cado diet’ low­ers LDL lev­els in the blood by 13.5mg/dl, while low-fat foods can only do this by 7.4mg/dl. This pre­vents ar­te­rioscle­ro­sis and re­duces the risk of heart at­tack.

PRO­MOTES MUS­CLE DEVEL­OP­MENT

In order for our body to build up mus­cle, it needs pro­tein, as well as a whole host of amino acids like argi­nine, thre­o­nine, leucine, va­line and isoleucine, all of which are found in avo­ca­dos. With­out these or­ganic com­pounds, mus­cles break down. The body also uses these acids for a num­ber of other pro­cesses, and the need for them is even greater dur­ing times of stress or in­jury, so eat an av­o­cado a day in those phases.

FIGHTS CAN­CER

Av­o­cado has proven its power in fight­ing cer­tain tu­mours, such as oral can­cer, skin can­cer and prostate can­cer. A study con­ducted by Ohio State Uni­ver­sity found that its plant com­pounds sys­tem­at­i­cally de­tect pre­can­cer­ous cells and in­hibit their growth or even de­stroy them. Sci­en­tists from the Uni­ver­sity of Water­loo in Canada have also found that a cer­tain fat known as av­o­catin B specif­i­cally at­tacks can­cer cells in acute myeloid leukaemia. Plus, while it de­stroys mu­tated blood stem cells, it pro­tects the healthy ones so that in­tact blood cells can con­tinue to form.

GETS RID OF BAD BREATH

Bad breath is com­monly trig­gered by di­ges­tive or stom­ach prob­lems and of­ten goes hand in hand with bac­te­ria in the mu­cous mem­branes of the mouth, throat or di­ges­tive tract. This is where anti-in­flam­ma­tory, an­tibac­te­rial and an­tiox­i­dant flavonoids can come in handy, as they fight bac­te­ria in the mouth, stom­ach and gut.

PRE­VENTS BONE

ATRO­PHY (OS­TEO­PORO­SIS)

Eat avo­ca­dos for a strong, healthy skele­ton. The rea­son? It con­tains a com­par­a­tively high con­cen­tra­tion of a num­ber of dif­fer­ent “bone vi­ta­mins”, which are only ef­fec­tive if taken to­gether. For ex­am­ple, cal­cium is re­spon­si­ble for bone hard­ness and firm­ness, but can only be ad­e­quately stored in the skele­ton if there is magnesium to lock it in the bones. B vi­ta­mins like fo­late (B9) pre­vent meta­bolic waste prod­uct ho­mo­cys­teine from break­ing up the col­la­gen net­work in the bone and thus de­stroy­ing it in the long term.

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