If you’re looking for a nutritional powerhouse to guard against aging, you can’t do better than the avocado. Powerhouses are foods that go beyond their simple nutritional value. They contain an incredible variety of health benefits that include essential fatty acids, amino acids and antioxidants. In the case of the avocado, it contains a special ability that gives it unusual properties against aging that the antioxidants found in other fruits and vegetables do not have.
Antioxidants work hard to clean up the damage that free radicals leave behind. Many things in the environment contribute to free radicals. Cigarette smoke, radiation, scented products, air pollution, rancid fats, impure water and everyday metabolic processes cause the oxygen molecules inside the mitochondria to turn into free radicals. These radicals are missing important components, so they begin seeking for the parts of themselves that are missing. This causes them to attach to proteins, lipids and DNA, damaging them in the process.
Once damaged, the protein, lipids and DNA turn into additional free radicals themselves. Damaged DNA also causes body cells to reproduce or grow abnormally. When the body becomes overwhelmed with more free radicals than it can neutralize, the body begins to degenerate. This degenerative process plays a major role in aging and disease. Eating more fruits and vegetables gives the body the additional antioxidants it needs to prevent the imbalance, but the antioxidants found in most fruits and vegetables are not able to enter the mitochondria and prevent the damage from taking place.
The exception is the avocado. With a fatty acid composition similar to olive oil, the antioxidants in avocado oil fight against free radicals before and as they form. Unlike other nutrients, the special properties found in the avocado enter the mitochondria and boost its energy activity. That permits the mitochondria to function in a healthier manner even when being attacked by free radicals. With fewer free radicals, you get less wrinkles, younger looking skin and healthier metabolic function.
Along with these abilities, avocados contain nutrients that protect against sun damage and encourage collagen and elastin production to keep the skin elastic and reduce the age spots and inflammation so characteristic of aging. It also heals burns and alleviates scars. Better cellular function also means less risk for heart disease, cholesterol problems and cancer.
The avocado is an exotic fruit that is native to central America. It was a favorite food of the Aztecs and cultivated in tropical climates. Today, the avocado grows in southern Florida and California, but the varieties within these two states are different from each other. The Haas avocado grown in California is smaller, denser and higher in monosaturated fatty acids than Florida’s version. The monosaturated fat is oleic acid. It helps to increase fat metabolism and enables the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins and minerals from other foods that you eat at the same meal. Oleic acid contributes to smooth and shiny hair, healthy nails and keeps your skin young. It also improves insulin resistance that can lead to diabetes.
In addition, the avocado is alkaline forming. It buffers the acidic wastes that accumulate in your body tissues and bloodstream. It has the capacity to raise serotonin levels for a better night’s sleep, but also guards against the memory loss found in those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. By neutralizing free radicals inside the mitochondria and bloodstream, the antioxidants in avocados can reverse the symptoms of Alzhemier’s in its initial stages and prevent any further progression.
Avocados are packed with over 25 essential vitamins and minerals. That gives them the power to correct many nutritional deficiencies when used generously in the diet. One of those nutrients is glutathione. Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that slows down the aging process by preventing environmental toxins from overwhelming the body. It boosts the immune system and protects your skin from being attacked by free radicals. Glutathione also improves liver function. That helps to keep the body flushed of toxic wastes contributing to the aging process. It improves circulation and brain function.
Avocados are extremely easy to add to the diet. Since they’re a fruit, they take little to no preparation. Simply chop them into salads or casseroles, add slices to your sandwich, or mash them up with a little fresh lemon juice and spices to use as a dip. With all of their nutritional benefits, you won’t find a better way to stay young and healthy than avocados.