The avocado or Persea americana is a tree native to Mexico and Central America. Avocado classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel. Avocado or alligator pear also refers to the fruit, botanically a large berry that contains a single seed.
Avocados are commercially valuable and are cultivated in tropical and Mediterranean climates throughout the world. They have a green-skinned, fleshy body that may be pear-shaped, egg-shaped, or spherical. Commercially, they ripen after harvesting. Avocado trees are partially self-pollinating and often are propagated through grafting to maintain a predictable quality and quantity of the fruit.
Scientists may have found a helpful aid for those who struggle with keeping excess pounds off. If attacks of the munchies frequently descend upon you between meals, avocados may keep these weight-control villains away. A recent study shows this fruit can satisfy hunger pains and make people less likely to snack.
In the research published in the November 2013 issue of the Nutrition Journal, researchers tested the effects of the inclusion of avocados in a meal on 26 healthy but overweight people. Those who added half an avocado to their lunch felt more satiated and less inclined to have a snack during the afternoon. The avocado eaters were 40 percent less likely to snack within a three-hour period following lunch and 28 percent less likely to snack within a five-hour period following lunch, compared to the control group who did not eat the fruit. Additionally, those who ate the avocados had a 26 percent higher likelihood of reporting meal satisfaction than the control group.
Researchers said the discovery may not only help with weight management but also assist with the prevention of type 2 diabetes. An interesting benefit observed was that although avocados increased the participants’ caloric and carbohydrate intake at lunch, it did not increase the blood sugar levels above what was noted after eating the standard lunch, lead author Dr. Joan Sabate says. “This leads us to believe that avocados’ potential role in blood sugar management is worth further investigation,” she states.
New discoveries, latest in a body of research that reveals multiple health benefits of avocados. The fruit is considered a perfect food and a superfood by many nutritionists because of its rich content of antioxidants and other valuable nutrients. Below are 7 Health Benefits of Avocados:
Avocados Boost Heart Health
Monounsaturated fats in avocados enhance heart health and reduce blood pressure. The vitamin B6 and folate content work together to prevent high levels of homocysteine, which is an indicator of impaired heart health. Additionally, the fruit has beta-sitosterol, a phytonutrient that lowers bad cholesterol and triglycerides while elevating good cholesterol.