Eating just two servings of avocado each week can cut your risk of cardiovascular disease by a fifth, new research reveals. According to the study by researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, one avocado a week (equivalent to two servings) appears to cut the risk of coronary heart disease by 21% compared to people who do not eat avocado. Furthermore, by replacing half a serving of margarine, butter, egg, yoghurt, cheese or processed meats per day with the equivalent amount of avocado, people can lower their risk of heart disease by 16%-22%. Avocados contain dietary fibre, healthy monounsaturated fats and other key vitamins and minerals, including magnesium and vitamins C, E, and K. The new study, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association (JAMA), involved almost 70,000 women from the NHS Nurses’ Health Study and around 40,000 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Speaking about the findings of the research, Dr Cheryl Anderson, chair of the American Heart Association’s Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, said: “We desperately need strategies to improve intake of American Heart Association-recommended healthy diets — such as the Mediterranean diet — that are rich in vegetables and fruits. “Although no one food is the solution to routinely eating a healthy diet, this study is evidence that avocados have possible health benefits.” *Image by Juraj Varga from Pixabay
A compound found only in avocados could help reduce type 2 diabetes, new research suggests. The study by researchers from the University of Guelph in Canada found that a fat molecule called avocatin B, or AvoB - which avocados alone contain – can help strengthen insulin sensitivity and could forestall type 2 diabetes. Initial tests involving mice showed that AvoB slowed weight gain and increased insulin sensitivity by ensuring the complete oxidation of fats. As a result, mice that were given the compound had improved glucose tolerance and utilization. Then, in a separate, double-blind placebo‐controlled human trial, an AvoB supplement was given to people with an average Western diet for 60 days. The researchers found that the participants had tolerated the compound well and no negative effects in the liver, muscles, or kidneys were witnessed. There was also some weight loss among participants that took the supplement, though the authors of the study considered it statistically insignificant. Paul Spagnuolo, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Guelph, said the research team will now design clinical trials to assess AvoB's effectiveness in people. Furthermore, they have already received clearance from Health Canada to sell AvoB in powder and pill forms, perhaps as early as next year.
Protein is made from amino acids, which are also known as the building blocks of muscle. Therefore, the importance of protein in our diets is huge. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to build, repair or even maintain our muscles. Furthermore, following surgery, many patients often need to eat protein to help with their recoveries. It aids the healing process and boosts the reparation of muscles. But with more and more people trying to limit the amount of meat they consume and with eggs – particularly in the US – becoming increasingly expensive, obtaining protein from other sources has become very significant; especially for breakfast, as a protein hit in the morning can really set you up for the day. With that in mind, here are five protein-packed alternatives to a meaty or eggy breakfast: Spicy Bean Burrito Grab a tortilla (preferably wholegrain) and stuff it with half a cup of black beans, a quarter of a cup of diced avocado, salsa and grated cheddar cheese (optional). Approx. 15g protein. Peanut Butter Oatmeal Combine half a cup of cooked oats with one cup of dairy or soy milk. Then add two tablespoons (the big ones) of peanut butter. Approx. 21g protein. Chickpea Scramble Mash up about one cup of chickpeas and then cook them on a skillet with spinach and other seasonal vegetables you fancy, ‘scrambling’ it throughout. Approx. 15g protein. Fruit & Nut Quinoa Bowl Throw one cup of cooked quinoa into a saucepan with half a cup of dairy or soy milk and heat. Then add two tablespoons of chopped nuts, sliced banana or berries. Approx. 15g protein. White Bean & Avocado on Toast Put a quarter of a cup of avocado and half a cup of white beans into a bowl and mash. Lightly toast a slice of wholegrain bread and spread the mixture over the top. Add herbs to garnish. Approx. 14g protein. Photo credit: Blisstree