(NaturalHealth365) The health benefits of avocado include stopping the growth of cancer, while supporting the body’s natural defense mechanisms. A nutritional powerhouse, avocados provide a combination of comprehensive cancer fighters such as, carotenoids, vitamin E, lutein, glutathione (GPx), and oleic acid. Naturally high in (healthy) fats, rich in fiber and loaded with nutrients – eating avocados make perfect sense.
Exactly how do avocados prevent cancer?
Avocados have been shown to offer significant protection against breast cancer because it contains a concentrated amount of carotenoids. It also helps the body absorb carotenoids from carotenoid-rich vegetables due to its fat content.
In a laboratory study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, an extract of avocado containing these carotenoids and tocopherols inhibited the growth of both androgen-dependent and androgen-independent prostate cancer cells.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition stated that consuming carotenoid-rich foods along with monounsaturated fat-rich avocados can enhance the bioavailability of these nutrients. Not only did adding avocado to a salad or to salsa greatly increase study participants’ absorption of carotenoids from these foods, but the improvement in carotenoid availability occurred even when a very small amount was used – as little as 2 ounces per serving.
Vitamin E can cut your risk for cancer
Avocados are one of the richest sources of vitamin E succinate, which is noted for reducing the risk of prostate and breast cancer. Researchers have shown that vitamin E succinate can turn off many signaling agents required for cancer cells to be able to reproduce, which slows or completely stop the ability for the cancer cells to replicate.
In addition, vitamin E has demonstrated an ability to stimulate certain cancer cells to undergo apoptosis,also known as “cell suicide” , while sparing normal cells. Certain types of human breast cancer cells and prostate cancer cells are known to resist apoptosis.
However, when one of their receptors is stimulated by vitamin E succinate, the cancer cell responds by committing cell suicide.
The Nurses Health study looked at 83,234 women at baseline and then examined the incidence of breast cancer during a 14-year follow-up. Results showed that pre-menopausal women with a family history of breast cancer who consumed the highest quantity of vitamin E had a 43 percent reduction in cancer cases.
Cancer patients ought to learn about the value of lutein
Avocado is technically a large berry fruit and one of the fruits with the highest level of lutein among commonly eaten fruits – as well as large amounts of zeaxanthin, alpha-carotene and beta-carotene. These three carotenoids are notorious cancer fighters and are shown to inhibit the growth of prostate, head and neck plus oral cancers.
In addition, women with increased intake of lutein in their diets have been shown to have a lower risk of breast cancer.
Do avocados have glutathione – the body’s master antioxidant? Actually, the answer is no. Technically speaking, no food actually has glutathione (GSH) because it is an endogenous antioxidant – meaning it is made only by our body.
But, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) can be found in most fruits and vegetables including avocados.
So, to help boost your GSH levels – eat foods rich in GPx like, avocados, asparagus, broccoli, garlic, spinach, tomatoes and curcumin. All these foods will help protect cells from oxidative stress; repair DNA; regulate cell signaling, proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis (cell suicide).
Improve your absorption of antioxidants with fat
Oleic acid, the primary fat in avocados, has been shown to offer significant protection against breast cancer, and women eating a diet rich in oleic acid have decreased rates of breast cancer. Nutritionally speaking, most phytochemicals are better absorbed in the presence of healthy fats and oils.
The oleic acid in avocados helps with the absorption and utilization of the antioxidants and contribute to the absorption of phytochemicals contained in other fruits and vegetables – consumed at the same time.
In addition, avocados have 60 percent more potassium than bananas, and are rich in the B vitamins and vitamin K, while have the highest fiber content of any fruit with 75 percent being insoluble and 25 percent being soluble fiber.
A breakthrough study on cancer and oxygen
Researchers from Ohio State’s College of Pharmacy, found the phytochemicals extracted from avocados targeted multiple pathways and increased the amount of reactive oxygen within the cells, leading to cell demise in pre-cancerous cell lines without harming healthy cells.
The lead author, Steven M. D’Ambrosio, a member of the molecular carcinogenesis and chemoprevention program at Ohio State’s Comprehensive Cancer Center said the study focused on oral cancer, but the finding have great implications for other types of cancers.
These findings are proving that fruits and vegetables cut the risk for various types of cancer and stop the growth of an already established cancer.
Avocados are anti-inflammatory; help maintain healthy DNA gene function and possess some of the most biologically active components against cancer.
Research is proving the protective effect of avocados and finding it doesn’t take more than one small avocado (per day) to help keep cells healthy and strong. To facilitate the health benefits of this fruit all you need do is add it to a salad, smoothie or use it in a dessert with some cacao powder, coconut butter and a small amount of sweetener like liquid stevia.
About the author: Blanche Levine has been a student of natural healing modalities for the last 25 years. She has the privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in natural healing including Naturopaths, scientist and energy healers. Having seen people miraculously heal from all kinds of dis-ease through non-invasive methods, her passion now is to help people become aware of what it takes to be healthy.
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