A New Reason to Love Avocados: They May Ward Off the Big C
For some time, avocados have enjoyed superfood status because of their impressive content of heart-healthy fat and other nutrients. Now research finds the fruit could play a key role in the fight against a rare and deadly form of cancer.
A study published in Cancer Research discovered a fat in avocados could be valuable for treating acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Unlike chemotherapy, it appears to target leukemia stem cells without harming healthy cells.
Avocado Attacks the Root Cause of AML
A fat molecule from the avocado referred to as avocatin B gets to the root cause of AML. In healthy people, stem cells in the bone marrow grow to become mature white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. In AML, the stem cells produce excessive numbers of immature white blood cells that don’t develop and function normally. Avocado B targets the stem cells, which stops this process, enabling the white blood cells to grow and mature.
Author Paul Spagnuolo of the University of Waterloo in Ottawa, Canada, explains why this action of avocados could be so beneficial. “The stem cell is really the cell that drives the disease,” he says. “The stem cell is largely responsible for the disease developing and it’s the reason why so many patients with leukemia relapse.”
Spagnuolo points out that this targeted characteristic of avocados will make the future drug easier to tolerate than traditional drugs. “Not only does avocatin B eliminate the source of AML, but its targeted, selective effects make it less toxic to the body, too,” he adds.
A gravely serious disease, AML is fatal within five years for 90 percent of people over the age of 65. Based on the results, researchers hope to develop an avocado-derived drug to increase the life expectancy of this illness.
How to Incorporate Avocados in the Diet
Fortunately, you don’t need to wait for the development of an avocado drug to enjoy the benefits of this healthful food. Nutritionist Angela Ginn, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson, shares with Live in the Now her tips on how to include it in the diet, along with a smoothie recipe.
• Slice it on a sandwich or top your favorite burger.
• Smash it to make a spread for bread to replace the mayo.
• Dip it up with guacamole or corn & avocado dip.
• Enjoy it in your favorite sushi.
• Cube it in pasta salad.
• Grill or blend it to make a summer chilled soup.
• Make a creamy pasta sauce. Simply mix a ripe avocado, lemon juice, garlic, olive oil in a food processor. In seconds, you have a creamy sauce to mix with warm linguine noodles.
• Replace some of the fat in your favorite quick bread or cookies with avocado. Cream it with sugar in your recipe.
Green Machine Smoothie
• 1 ripe avocado
• 1 banana
• ½ Greek yogurt
• ½ cup pineapple juice
• honey as desired
Blend with ice.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.