Alexandra Meyer Yahoo!7

Research suggests that avocados are the first fruit to fight off free radicals to prevent aging, damage to arteries and cancer.

Despite all the craze about how good avocados can be for you and all their vitamins, there actually is something they can do opposed to any other fruit.

Research presented this past weekend suggests that the avocado is the only fruit that can protect the body against free radicals within the mitochondria (a rod-like object within each of your cells that acts like a small power plant).

Christian Cortés-Rojo, a researcher in México, has been studying avocados extensively and presented his research this past weekend at the annual American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology meeting.

RECIPE: Crab Omelette with Avocado Salsa

Free radicals are atoms, molecules or ions with unpaired electrons and they can do a lot of damage to your body. They can destroy cell membranes, proteins and there are even cases of them messing up DNA.

There has been a lot more research on them since a more thorough understanding of oxygen molecules emerged. Oxygen molecules can also turn into free radicals due to environmental factors like pollution and cigarette smoke.

Tomatoes and carrots were tested for their ability to boost cell resistance to the effects of free radicals but it was discovered that the antioxidants in them are unable to enter mitochondria.

RECIPE: Chicken Avocado and Pineapple Parcels

Cortés-Rojo’s research suggests that avocados are not only able to enter mitochondria; their antioxidants are also a type that can be easily absorbed by cells.

Not only can avocados help combat against free radicals, there has also been research that has shown avocados contain the right vitamins and nutrients to help protect against or prevent:

• Prostate cancer
• Oral cancer
• Breast cancer
• Macular degeneration and cataracts in your eyes
• High cholesterol
• Heart problems
• Strokes
• Aging
• Arthritis

• Circulatory diseases

RECIPE: Prosciutto Avocado Wraps

Adding a little more avocado to your diet or adding a bit more avocado oil to your cooking can have a number of benefits. The extra green will boost your Vitamin E, give you more potassium and help you absorb other nutrients even better.

The best way to eat your avocados is by peeling them to get the most of the dark green outermost flesh, which is richest in carotenoid antioxidants. Or purchase some avocado oil; the composition is similar to olive oil, which is associated with unusually low levels of chronic disease in some Mediterranean countries.

Cortés-Rojo said his discovery could mean avocado oil becoming ‘the olive oil of the Americas.’