When it comes to cancer prevention, experts have known for a while that eating a proper diet can make a big difference. Vegetables, fruits, and garlic should be dietary staples if you’re hoping to remain cancer-free. And recently, scientists in South Texas discovered cancer-preventing properties in something you’re probably throwing away.
But first, diet matters
So just how important is diet in preventing cancer? It’s pretty vital, and it’s especially essential to eat plants. As many as 30% of all cancers are linked to poor diet, with a whopping 70% of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract being linked to it. There are never any guarantees when it comes to cancer, but eating the right foods is one of the best things you can do to stop it in its tracks.
Next: Embrace the avocado.
Avocados are a super cancer-fighting food
Avocados are known as one of the world’s healthiest foods, and they also happen to be natural cancer fighters. They’re full of potent antioxidants and phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats. One of the best things you can do for your body is to eat avocados regularly.
Next: Don’t throw away the pit.
All about avocado seeds
Most people throw away the pit of the avocado as soon as they peel it open. But as it turns out, that might be a mistake. Avocado seeds contain procyanidins and catechins, natural immunity boosters, and they contain anti-inflammatory properties that reduce stiffness, swelling, and joint pain.
Next: Cancer fighters?
Eat the seeds; fight cancer?
In a study published in Cancer Research, a peer-reviewed journal, researchers discovered that a compound in avocado seed extract called avocatin B was effective at fighting acute myeloid leukemia cells. And a group of Texas researchers recently found new chemical compounds in avocados that could help treat cancer and other diseases.
Next: The downside …
Not so fast
While this news is exciting, it also requires a lot more research, cautions Dr. Debasish Bandyopadhyay, the head of the Texas research team. There are other compounds found in avocado seeds that are considered cancerous and should only be consumed after processing. While other studies have been done on the health benefits of avocado seeds, this was the first to reveal this particular information.
“We still haven’t completely published everything into a journal article because we want to get more information of our stuff and we want to have a clearer idea of what we’re working with,” says Orlando Castillo, one of the researchers on Bandyopadhyay’s team.
Next: Here’s how to eat an avocado seed properly.
How to eat the seeds
Clearly, there are both pros and cons to eating avocado seeds. Should you decide to give it a try, there are several ways you can go about it. To get accustomed to the taste, carefully crush the seed with a meat mallet, and blend it up with a smoothie. Or add a little bit of the powder to your hot tea.
Next: Remember, avocado flesh is amazing, too.
Delicious avocado recipes
The jury may still be out on whether avocado seeds should be eaten, but avocados themselves are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. And there are plenty of unique and delicious ways to get your avocado fix. Add some of this naturally creamy fruit to your morning smoothie or lunchtime salad, and you’ll soon be reaping the health benefits.
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