20 Health Benefits of Avocado Backed By Research
Did you know that avocado is one of the most nutritious and versatile fruits (yes, this is a fruit!) available?
As I have been researching power foods, avocados continue to crop up as some of the most beneficial, nutrient-rich foods you can find!
For example, did you know that avocado contains a lot of healthy fat that can help with your weight loss goals? Sounds great already, but the benefits don’t stop there.
Here are 20 health benefits of avocado that will help you get fitter, leaner and improve your overall health. All of these claims by the way are backed by research.
1. Avocado is a Nutrient Powerhouse
Avocado comes from a tree called Persea Americana that originates from Mexico a few millennia ago.
There are different types of avocados that vary from shape (from round to pear-shaped) and color.
The most common is the Hass avocado that you see in the photo above.
Universally known as a superfood, it is a popular dish by health conscious individuals all over the world because of the nutritional value it provides.
Consuming 150 grams of it will give you:
- 240 calories (184 of which comes from fat)
- Zero cholesterol
- 11mg of sodium
- 13 grams of carbohydrates
- 10 grams of dietary fiber
- Only 1 gram of sugar
- Vitamin K: 26% of RDA
- Vitamin C: 17% of RDA
- Potassium 14% of RDA
- Vitamin B5: 14% of RDA
- Vitamin B6: 13% of RDA
- Folate: 20% of RDA
- Vitamin E: 10% of RDA
Of all the fruits, avocado is different than other fruits in that it contains more fat than sugar (22 grams vs 1 gram) and most of it are good fats beneficial to our health .
In fact it is the only fruit with this much monounsaturated fat that helps the body absorb antioxidants like beta-carotene and prevent macular degeneration.
Not all fats are created equal and it is actually needed our body to produce energy, absorb nutrients and build cell membranes the key is eating the right kind of fat.
Out of the 22 grams of fat avocado contains, 14.7 grams of it comes from monounsaturated fat also known as good fat that helps cardiovascular health based on a 1960s research.
Also avocado does not contain any cholesterol, sodium and very low in saturated fat.
2. Rich in Plant Compounds
Aside from being a rich source of vitamins, minerals and healthy fat, avocado is a rich source of plant compounds that is responsible for a lot of its health benefits namely:
Avocado is rich in antioxidant called carotenoids and when you combine that with the healthy fat it has improves the absorption of these antioxidants.
3. Helps with Weight Management
There are many factors involved with successful weight management, to be sure.
However, a healthy metabolism is a very influential factor in maintaining a healthy weight, so adding metabolism-supporting foods into your diet can have a huge impact on your success.
Your metabolism is responsible for processing your food intake, and when that process slows down the food has time to convert into fats, adding extra weight onto your body.
The good news is that avocados have been directly linked to reduced risk of metabolism complications .
Avocados are also full of healthy protein and fats to keep you fuller for a longer stretch of time.
4. Full of Healthy Monounsaturated Fatty Acid
Avocado is delicious partly because of the generous fatty acid content, but did you know that most of those fatty acids are extremely good for you?
Fatty acids are required for a lot of healthy processes in your body like hormone production, cell development and nutrient absorption.
This is especially true for absorbing nutrients like antioxidants and vitamins A, D, K and E .
The healthiest kinds of fat are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
These fats actually make up seventy-five percent of the overall fatty acid content in avocados, making avocados one of the healthiest foods for getting these healthy fats in your diet .
5. Lowers Bad Cholesterol
It has been established that too much cholesterol can be terrible for your health, so it really is great to keep a regimen of foods that contain no cholesterol whatsoever.
Enter avocado, the fruit that has exactly zero milligrams of cholesterol.
Moreover, did you know that you can eat avocados and experience a reversal effect on your high cholesterol?
Researchers compared two groups of people (one group with added avocado to their diet and one group with no added avocado) and they actually found that people who included avocados in their diet experienced a reduction in certain types of cholesterol .
Avocados are able to lower your cholesterol partly because of the phytosterols present in these fruits; phytosterols tend to act as preventative agents that keep your body from absorbing cholesterol.
6. A Great Source of Vitamins C and K
Vitamins and minerals is what keeps our bodies running smoothly; when we can find a food source that contains multiple vitamins in the same place, our diet planning sure gets a lot smoother.
Avocados are fantastic sources of both Vitamin C and Vitamin K, which are two especially good vitamins to stay on top of.
Vitamin C, for example, boosts your immune system like none other and helps protect you against infection and disease.
On top of that, Vitamin C supports healthy skin and bone growth.
Your body does not create Vitamin C so all of your Vitamin C has to be supplemented with healthy, outside foods like avocado .
Vitamin K, on the other hand, is not found in as many foods as Vitamin C is, so it’s a good idea to stock up on it when you can! Vitamin K is responsible for maintaining healthy blood flow in your body and for building proteins in your body .
Proteins play a huge part in cell development, so ensure you’re doing your part to support healthy cell development by getting in your avocados.
7. Great For The Cardiovascular System
Your cardiovascular health has a lot to do with your body’s potassium levels.
Potassium plays a part in both the contraction and release of the heart muscle and it ensures healthy blood flow throughout your body.
The fact that avocado is such a good source of potassium makes it a great food for improved heart health.
Maintaining a healthy inflammation response also assists your heart health.
Research indicates that avocados have incredible anti-inflammatory properties that support your heart and keep your cardiovascular system in good shape .
The anti-inflammation properties can be traced back to the high content of oleic acid in avocados along with the presence of Vitamin E in the avocados themselves.
8. Reduces Arthritic Symptoms
Anti-inflammatory property benefits don’t stop at heart health, however. Researchers have started using the healthy oils in avocado to decrease symptoms of arthritis .
Arthritis happens in part due to the inflammation your body is experiencing, so when you counterbalance this with avocado you experience decreased pain in your joints.
Moreover, avocado oils actually work to heal your joints in the long run.
The constituents that make up avocados have a regenerative effect on cell tissue, making this a long-lasting, sustainable support system for your arthritic pains.
9. Low on Sugar
Unlike many other fruits, avocado is actually very friendly to a low-sugar or diabetic diet because it hardly has any sugar in it.
Some studies have shown that avocados essentially have a regulating effect on your blood sugar levels. Some diabetics are at risk for heart disease or cardiovascular complications, and with these needs, the avocado’s heart-friendly composition makes for a great solution for multiple needs .
Additionally, many diabetics require a diet that is low in carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are eventually broken down and processed in the body as sugars.
Because avocados have less carbohydrates they turn out to be excellent foods for those who struggle with a blood sugar disorder and can’t afford to process any more sugars than is absolutely necessary.
10. Avocado Has Higher Potassium Content Compared to Banana
One recent study reviewed the Hass avocado and found that the presence of potassium in the avocado may work to facilitate evened blood pressure in the body.
Potassium serves your body by balancing your sodium levels and lessening the harmful effect of sodium on your blood pressure.
Though the banana is much more popular for its potassium levels, avocado has an even greater amount of potassium.
While an avocado has one thousand, one hundred and twenty-five milligrams of potassium per serving, a banana only has eight hundred and six milligrams of potassium for the same size serving .
So, maybe next time you need a potassium kick, choose an avocado instead of a banana and get all the other benefits of the avocado that far outweigh the nutritional value of bananas.
11. Great for The Eyes
Avocados are very, very rich in nutrients called carotenoids. Carotenoids are the pigments that create color in fruits and vegetables, but in the human body they act as highly beneficial antioxidants.
Among other benefits, carotenoids serve to counteract free radicals, which especially benefits eye health. Research has shown that a diet rich in carotenoids helps prevent eye disease later on in life, but will also provide immediate relief for other cells that are being damaged by free radicals .
One thing to remember about prioritizing carotenoids in your diet is that you also want to ensure that your body has what it needs to fully absorb the carotenoids you are consuming.
Fatty acids are required to absorb nutrients like vitamins and carotenoids.
Avocado helps you even in this step as it provides you with the fatty acids you need to absorb the additional nutrients .
12. Avocado Supports Beautiful Skin
Your skin is nourished and revitalized by the healthful oils that your body produces, but if you are consuming mostly unhealthy oils, it will reflect back on your skin.
Avocado is made up predominately of healthy fats, which translate to beautiful skin.
Moreover, studies have indicated that avocado does more than offer healthful fats – it actually supports collagen metabolism for your skin .
Supporting collagen metabolism not only makes your skin beautiful, but helps it heal faster (in case of cuts or breakage) and helps your skin age gracefully.
13. A Solid Source for Needed Fibers
One of the ways in which avocado helps regulate blood sugar is by balancing out your blood sugar levels with healthy fibers.
Avocado contains some of the fibers that are so good for you but it is especially beneficial when you get it from avocados because these fruits don’t offer the high sugar content to cancel out the fiber you’re receiving .
Some research shows that maintaining your daily recommended amount of fiber may help protect your system from sickness, even cancer .
According to these studies, the daily recommended amount of fiber you should get is thirty grams. Avocados have about ten grams each, so you can get up to a third of your daily value in fiber from just a single avocado!
14. Wonderful for Expecting Mothers
One other nutrient (among many) that can be found in avocados is folate. Folate, or folic acid, is a development-centered nutrient that is essential for pregnant mothers as the mother’s body builds her child’s body in the womb.
Getting in the recommended amount of this nutrient can also help decrease the likelihood of the child being born with birth defects .
Avocado is also rich in Vitamin B, which helps with the baby’s neurological development. Research shows that Vitamin B in the form of avocados may also ease the mother’s morning sickness .
15. Offers Natural UV-Ray Protection
Just when you thought avocados couldn’t get any cooler, here it is: avocados actually have fatty alcohols that strengthens your cells to act as a protectant against harmful UV rays .
The secret goes back to the avocado’s legendary anti-inflammatory abilities and their antioxidant properties.
One of the ways that free radicals enter your system is through UV rays.
Over-exposure can lead to a lot of free radicals in your system, but with avocados using their antioxidant properties to ward off free radicals, you don’t have to worry quite as much about sun exposure on your skin. Truly, avocados work to protect your body from the inside out.
16. Liver Cleanser
Avocado contains glutathione-producing compounds that help the liver to clean itself. Based on research eating just one or two avocados per week can help improve in just 30 days can improve liver health.
In another study, rats where given D-galactosamine to resemble liver injuries caused by viruses and the rats that were given avocado suffered the least amount of liver damage and the author Hirokazu Kawagishi, Ph.D concluded that “avocados seem to improve liver health, people should eat more of them” .
17. Improves Bone Health
As we age our bones get weaker and the risk of developing osteoarthritis rises significantly. In the United States alone approximately 46 million people have this condition and it is expected to rise to 60 million.
One way to prevent the onset of osteoarthritis (or the arthritis of the bones) is by adding foods like avocado or soy to your diet. Research has shown that avocado and soybean unsaponifiables can reduce the symptoms in patients with knee and hip osteoarthritis [27, 28].
18. May Help Prevent Cancer
The occurrence of the big-C or cancer is been on the rise the past several decades and the consumption of Avocado may help prevent it.
Avocado can help inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells in men .
Another study concluded that avocado can help reduce side effects of cyclophosphamide in human lymphocyte cells during chemotherapy .
Though these two studies are encouraging news you have to take it with a grain of salt because it was done using human cells and may or may have the same results on a living human being.
19. Delicious and Versatile
Last but not least, you can glean all the health benefits from avocado in a multitude of culinary ways! Avocados can be eaten during any meal of the day and you can put them in several different kinds of dishes to mix and match your meal’s nutrient profile.
Add avocados to a salad for an antioxidant-rich lunch, or eat them along with some breakfast eggs in the kitchen for a protein-packed start to your day.
If you are looking for even more cooking ideas, here’s a fun video featuring six different and totally delicious ways to prepare an avocado…
In short, adding avocados to your daily diet offers a tasty way to include numerous and varied health benefits that are sure to keep your system in peak condition.
20. The Bottom Line Is People Who Eat Avocado Are More Likely To Be Healthier
This claim is based on a survey done by the National Health and Nutrition Examination (or NHANES).
According to the data analyzed from 17,567 participants concluded that individuals who consumed avocado are much healthier that those who did not.
They had a much better nutrition intake and their risk to having metabolic syndrome was cut in half.
People who regularly ate avocado also weighed less, had lower BMI and had a smaller waistline. Here’s the kicker, they had higher HDL a.k.a. the good cholesterol .
However this is not a guarantee that avocado will make you skinny and lower your bad cholesterol levels, you should do your part to eat right and exercise.
Some Precautions before Eating Avocado
Avocados for the most part can be consumed without any issues but if you have any of these conditions, you may want to avoid it or consult with your physician before consuming it.
Individuals who have latex allergy may have allergic reactions when consuming fruits like kiwi, banana or avocado – this is called latex-fruit syndrome .
Latex syndrome is a condition where the immune system attacks the fruit proteins that are similar to latex.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Since avocado contains FODMAPs or Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides and Polyols. It can pose problems to individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
People with this condition are advised to not eat foods like avocado because it can lead to gas, cramping, bloating, constipation or stomach pain .
How Add Avocado to Your Diet?
Avocado is one of those ingredients that is so versatile that you’ll have no trouble integrating it to your diet.
The most straightforward way of consuming avocado is eating the whole fruit (minus the skin and seed of course!).
Add it to your smoothies
You can also add avocado to any smoothie recipe as part of a nutritious pre-workout meal.
One of my favorite combos is adding avocado, strawberry, blueberries, some kale and honey (ice is optional) to create a creamy and nutritious smoothie that can replace breakfast, if you’re in a hurry.
Another way to incorporate avocado to your diet is adding it to your salads. Spoon University shared this sumptuous recipe that uses mixed greens, shrimp, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil, pesto and avocado. I’m already starving just writing this.
Thinking of a healthy side dish or dipping sauce? Why not guacamole?
Avocado is a staple of every guacamole recipe and you don’t have to go to a Mexican restaurant to enjoy it. Make it yourself at home!
You can try this recipe from SheKnows but there are a bunch others out there online but my point is if you want to be healthy you have to start by prepping your own dishes at home.
I never knew that you can use avocado in a soup recipe but prevention.com shared a delicious gourmet quality soup recipe that includes cucumber, avocado, yogurt, milk, chopped onion, vinegar, cayenne, ground pepper, lemon juice and mint.
This recipe is simple to make, just dump all of these recipes into a blender then season with salt and pepper.
If you’re looking for more avocado recipes, check out this page from the California Avocado Commission website.
Spread the Word
Did you enjoy reading this list? I was certainly excited to share this information with you as avocados are such a simple and delicious health solution!
Were you surprised by some of the benefits you found in this article? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments, or share this article with your friends if you found it helpful!