Avocados: Eat ‘Em Up

A fresh avocado cut in half

(DGIwire)  A research team in Mexico has discovered promising health benefits of avocado oil.

A number of environmental factors can turn the oxygen molecules found in mitochondria, the power plants of cells, into free radicals.  Free radicals are unstable molecules that can destroy virtually all the normal molecules responsible for forming cells.  They have an effect on lipids, proteins and even your DNA because they can turn them into free radicals too. Damage from free radicals is associated with aging and occurs in a variety of diseases, including hypertension and diabetes.  Worldwide, researchers are searching for substances that protect cells from the harmful effects of free radicals.

Studies of antioxidants found in vegetables and fruits have shown that their antioxidants are unable to enter our mitochondria.   Free radical damage to mitochondria will cause energy production to stop and the cell will die.  This is the first research showing the protective effects of avocado oil against free radicals in mitochondria.

“It is the fat in avocados that is highly resistant to oxidation and avocados also contain plant pigments that inhibit oxidation.  This is a good reason to eat whole avocados instead of just the oil.  These researchers found that avocado oil allowed yeast cells to survive exposure to high levels of iron, which would normally produce a very large amount of free radicals.  The iron levels tested were even higher than levels already associated with several human diseases.  In other words, avocado oil protected the cells, maintaining normal mitochondrial function,” according to Tom Griesel, a long time healthy living and diet consultant.

Avocado has also been shown to lower blood concentrations of cholesterol and certain fats that are higher in diabetic patients that may possibly be a risk factor for stroke or heart attack.

In the Mediterranean diet, high olive oil consumption is associated with lower incidence of stroke, heart attack and other chronic diseases.  Avocado oil has a fat composition similar to olive oil.

Tom Griesel adds, “Many people avoid eating avocados because of the fat content.  The low-fat craze has likely been at least partially responsible for the increase in several chronic diseases.  We need raw, natural fats in our diet to protect and allow our cells to function properly.  Whole natural foods like avocados are a good source and should be a part of everyone’s diet and will most likely improve your health in yet unknown ways.”