Avocado is a very versatile fruit. Its creamy flavor goes well with many foods, making it a refreshing and nutritious addition to various recipes. Try adding it to your salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and even dips. Avocados can also be beneficial when used topically, as they have nourishing and moisturizing properties.
History research indicated the avocado may have originated in southern Mexico but was cultivated from the Rio Grande to central Peru long before the arrival of Europeans.
Here are proven health benefits of avocado that are supported by scientific research.
🥑 Avocado Is Incredibly Nutritious
Avocados are very nutritious and contain a wide variety of nutrients, including 20 different vitamins and minerals.
Here are some of the most abundant nutrients, in a single 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving (3):
- Vitamin K: 26% of the daily value (DV)
- Folate: 20% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 17% of the DV
- Potassium: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin B5: 14% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 13% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 10% of the DV
- It also contains small amounts of magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous and vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin) and B3 (niacin).
This is coming with 160 calories, 2 grams of protein and 15 grams of healthy fats. Although it contains 9 grams of carbs, 7 of those are fiber, so there are only 2 "net" carbs, making this a low-carb friendly plant food.
🥑 They Contain More Potassium Than Bananas
Potassium is a nutrient that most people don’t get enough of.
Avocados are very high in potassium. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving packs 14% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA), compared to 10% in bananas, which are a typical high-potassium food.
Several studies show that having a high potassium intake is linked to reduced blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure.
🥑 Avocado Is Loaded With Heart-Healthy Monounsaturated Fatty Acids
Avocado is a high-fat food.
In fact, 77% of the calories in it are from fat, making it one of the fattiest plant foods in existence.
But they don’t just contain any fat. The majority of the fat in avocado is oleic acid — a monounsaturated fatty acid that is also the major component of olive oil and believed to be responsible for some of its health benefits.
The fats in avocado are also rather resistant to heat-induced oxidation, making avocado oil a healthy and safe choice for cooking.
🥑 Avocados Are Loaded With Fiber
Fiber is another nutrient that avocados are relatively rich in.
A distinction is often made between soluble and insoluble fiber.
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of avocado packs 7 grams of fiber, which is 27% of the RDA.
About 25% of the fiber in avocado is soluble, while 75% is insoluble (15).
🥑 Eating Avocados Can Lower Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels
Eight controlled studies in people have examined the effects of avocado on some of these risk factors.
- Reduce total cholesterol levels significantly.
- Reduce blood triglycerides by up to 20%.
- Lower LDL cholesterol by up to 22%.
- Increase HDL (the "good") cholesterol by up to 11%.
One of the studies found that including avocado in a low-fat, vegetarian diet significantly improved the cholesterol profile.
🥑 Their Fat Content May Help You Absorb Nutrients From Plant Foods
When it comes to nutrients, your intake is not the only thing that matters.
You also need to be able to absorb these nutrients — move them from your digestive tract and to your body, where they can be used.
Some nutrients are fat-soluble, meaning that they need to be combined with fat in order to be utilized.
Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble, along with antioxidants like carotenoids.
So, not only is avocado highly nutritious, it can dramatically increase the nutrient value of other plant foods that you are eating.
This is an excellent reason to always include a healthy fat source when you eat veggies. Without it, a lot of the beneficial plant nutrients will go to waste.
🥑 Avocados Are Loaded With Powerful Antioxidants That Can Protect Your Eyes
Not only do avocados increase antioxidant absorption from other foods, they are also high in antioxidants themselves.
This includes the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are incredibly important for eye health.
Studies show that they’re linked to a drastically reduced risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, which are common in older adults.
Therefore, eating avocados should benefit your eye health over the long term.
There is some evidence that avocados are a weight loss friendly food.
In one study, people eating avocado with a meal felt 23% more satisfied and had a 28% lower desire to eat over the next 5 hours, compared to people who did not consume this fruit.
Should this hold true in the long term, then including avocados in your diet may help you naturally eat fewer calories and make it easier for you to stick to healthy eating habits.
Avocados are also high in fiber and very low in carbs, two attributes that should help promote weight loss as well, at least in the context of a healthy, real-food-based diet.
🥑 The Bottom Line
Avocados are an excellent food, loaded with nutrients, many of which are lacking in the modern diet.
They’re weight loss friendly, heart healthy and, last but not least, taste incredible.