PREVENTION OF CANCER
Avocados consist of high levels of phytochemicals, like carotenoids that could assist in the prevention of cancer by boosting the death of the cells in cancerous and precancerous cells. Carotenoids as well as antimicrobial proteins, such as defensin present in avocados possess high levels of antioxidant activity and can aid in stimulation of the death of breast cancer cells. A study showed that overall carotenoids in the blood are linked to minimized risk of cancer, particularly in females who have dense breast tissue. Avocado’s carotenoid extract can help in inhibiting the growth of prostate cancer cells. Research has discovered that the concentration of carotenoids in the blood is related to decreased risk of death from digestive cancers like pancreatic, colon, and esophageal cancer. Another study revealed that phytochemicals present in avocados, like xanthophyll and lutein, minimizes oxidative stress in patients who are undergoing treatment of early-stage neck and head cancer. Glutathione is a potent antioxidant that is richer in avocados than in most fruits. A study has shown that there is an association between high levels of glutathione and minimized risk of oral cancer. Extracts of avocados induced the death of oral cancer cells.
Oleic acid, the primary fat in avocados has been shown to offer significant protection against breast cancer. Women eating a diet rich in oleic acid have shown decreased rates of breast cancer. Oleic acid is also found in olives, olive oil, walnuts, almonds and pine nuts. The phytochemicals listed above are all better absorbed in the presence of healthy fats and oils. Therefore the oleic acid in avocados not only helps the body to absorb and utilize the antioxidants also found within the avocado itself but contributes to the absorption of phytochemicals contained in other fruits and vegetables eaten at the same meal. Nature’s design provides for optimum utilization of nutrients. The average avocado contains only 12.5 mg of fat and 235 calories. Avocados should not be considered a fattening food when consumed as part of a healthy meal. One cup of Avocados also contains as much as 30 percent of your daily fiber intake as well as significant amounts of Vitamin K, Potassium, Folate, and Vitamin B6 all important to normal healthy cell function and cancer prevention. Adding an avocado to your diet several times each week will provide a wide variety of nutrients that show compelling cancer fighting properties. As Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, said, “Let your food be your medicine.”