Avocado is unlike most other fruits.
The primary nutrients in most fruits are carbohydrates, but most of the nutrient in avocado are fats. The fats in avocado are incredibly healthy.
Avocado has many health benefits, and many scientific studies confirm this.
This article looks at 11 health benefits of avocado that are backed by science.
1. Avocados are high in nutrients
Avocados are valued for their high nutritional contents. They are versatile foods with good taste and great texture. This makes them suitable for use in a wide variety of meals. But most of us associate avocados with guacamole.
Today, avocado is a popular food in the healthy eating niche and is regarded as a superfood because of its many health benefits (a).
There are several varieties of avocado, and they come in different shapes (can be round or pear-shaped) and colors (can be green, black, or red). Avocados can also vary in size, weighing from 200 grams to 1.5 kilograms.
The most common variety of the fruit is the Hass avocado.
It is shaped like a pear and has a green color. We eat the succulent yellow-green flesh and discard the skin and seed.
One of the health benefits of avocado is the high nutritional content. It contains about 20 different micronutrients.
A 100-gram serving of avocado contains tons of nutrients, including the following vitamins and minerals (b):
- 26% of the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of Vitamin K.
- 20% of the RDA of folate.
- 17% of the RDA of Vitamin C.
- 14% of the RDA of Vitamin B5.
- 13% of the RDA of Vitamin B6.
- 10% of the RDA of Vitamin E.
- It also has small amounts of Manganese, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Zinc, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Phosphorous, Vitamin B2 and B3.
The 100-gram serving of avocado contains 160 calories, of which 15 grams are healthy fats, and 2 grams of protein. There are 9 grams of carbs in the 100-gram serving. However, 7 grams of the carbs are fiber, which means the net carbs is only 2 grams. Avocado is, therefore, considered a low-carb friendly food.
There is no sodium or cholesterol in avocados, and they have low levels of saturated fat. In my opinion, it doesn’t even matter if it contained high levels of sodium, cholesterol, and sodium, but the old school healthy eating experts love it because of this nutritional composition.
Conclusion: Avocado is an incredibly nutritious food with high levels of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and protein.
2. Avocados have higher Potassium content than Bananas
A lot of people are deficient in potassium (c).
Potassium provides several important functions in the human body. It helps the body build proteins and muscles, and helps to break down and use carbs in the body.
Research shows that avocado contains very high levels of potassium. You’ll get 14% of the RDA of potassium from just a 100-gram serving of avocado. A 100-gram serving of bananas provides you with 10% of the RDA of potassium (d).
Research shows that eating a diet high in potassium is beneficial to the heart. It helps lower blood pressure, which is linked to several illnesses like stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure (e).
Conclusion: Potassium provides many important functions in the human body, but many people are potassium deficient. Avocados are high in potassium and can help you meet your RDA target.
3. The fatty acids in Avocado are good for the heart
As I mentioned earlier, avocados contain high amounts of fat.
So much so that fats constitute about 77% of the calories in it, which makes it one of the healthiest high-fat foods on earth.
But the fats in avocado are mostly the healthy, monounsaturated fatty acid known as oleic acid, which is the primary fat found in olive oil. Oleic acid is one of the main reasons olive oil has several health benefits.
The fats in avocado do not oxidize when heated, which makes avocado oil a safe and healthy cooking oil.
Conclusion: Avocados contain high levels of the “heart healthy” monounsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid. Oleic acid provides olive oil with several of its health benefits.
4. Avocados are high-fiber foods
Avocado has comparatively high levels of fiber.
Fiber has several health benefits. It is an indigestible nutrient linked to improvements in risk factors for several illnesses. It can help with weight loss and lower blood sugar spikes after meals (j, k, l).
Avocado contains soluble fiber, which helps feed the beneficial bacteria found in the guts. Healthy gut bacteria are important for the proper functioning of the metabolic system (m).
There are 7 grams of fiber in 100 grams of avocado, which meets about 27% of the RDA.
About a quarter of the fiber in avocado is soluble fiber, and the rest is insoluble fiber (n).
Conclusion: Avocados contain high amounts of fiber, with soluble fiber making up about a quarter of it. Fiber can help with weight loss, and provide numerous benefits to the body’s metabolic health.
5. Avocados can help bring down Triglycerides and Cholesterol Levels.
One of the highest causes of death is heart disease (o).
Many blood markers like triglycerides, cholesterol, blood pressure, inflammatory markers, etc., are linked to a higher risk of heart disease.
Researchers have studied what effects avocado has on these risk factors in a series of human trials.
These studies often involve two groups of participants. One group is given avocados, and the other group is not. Scientists then study the effects of the avocados on blood markers.
- They significantly lowered cholesterol levels.
- Blood triglycerides levels fell by as much as 20%.
- LDL cholesterol (the “bad” type) levels fell by as much as 22%.
- HDL cholesterol (the “good” type) levels rose by as much as 11%.
In one study, researchers found that vegetarians who add avocado to their low-fat diets saw significant improvements in their overall cholesterol profile (w).
Although the results of these studies are impressive, I should caution that all the studies involved a small group of participants and only lasted about 1 to 4 weeks.
Conclusion: Research shows that avocado can improve several risk factors for heart disease.
6. The Avocado consuming population are generally healthier
In one study, researchers looked at the eating habits and the health status of avocado eaters.
The study involved analyzing data from over 17,000 participants in the NHANES survey in the United States.
People who ate avocado regularly were much healthier than those that ate no avocados.
The study also found that those who consumed avocados weighed less and had better BMI results. They also had less fat in the belly area and higher HDL cholesterol levels.
Conclusion: Research shows that avocado consumers benefit from the high nutritional value of avocados. It lowered their risk of developing metabolic syndrome.
7. Avocado fats can help the body absorb more plant nutrients
Nutrients are not very useful if the body cannot absorb and use them.
Nutrients become useful only when the body absorbs them from your digestive system and transports them to the various parts of your body.
There are many kinds of nutrients, including fat-soluble nutrients. The body can only absorb and use fat-soluble nutrients when those nutrients bind with some types of fats.
Some notable fat-soluble nutrients include Vitamins A, D, E and K and some antioxidants.
Research shows that you can increase the absorption of antioxidants by as much as 2.6 to 15 times by simply adding avocado or avocado oil to your salads (y).
Avocados can, therefore, add extra value to your meals by increasing the amount of nutrient your body absorbs from other ingredients.
This is why it is important to always have healthy fats in your meals, such as salads. Otherwise, most of the nutrients in vegetables will simply pass through your body and come out unused.
Conclusion: The oils in avocados can increase the amount of fat-soluble nutrient the body absorbs from your meals.
8. Avocados contain high levels of potent antioxidants that benefit the eyes
We just found out that the oils in avocados can help the body absorb antioxidants in other ingredients. However, avocado itself contains high levels of antioxidants.
The nutritional makeup of avocado can, therefore, provide long-term health benefits to the eye.
Conclusion: There are high levels of antioxidants, like Zeaxanthin and Lutein, in avocados. This can provide long-term health benefits to the eye.
9. Avocados may have benefits for cancer prevention
A few studies show that avocados may have limited benefits for the prevention of cancer.
In one study, researchers found that avocados may help soothe the side effects of chemotherapy (d1).
In another study, researchers discovered that avocados could slow the growth of some cancerous cells (e1).
You should, however, take this results with a pinch of salt. This is because the studies were done on isolated cells in a lab, and not on live cancer patients. We, therefore, don’t what the results will be in human cancer patients.
Conclusion: Research carried out on isolated cells show that avocados do hold potential benefits for the treatment of cancer. However, there is no conclusive evidence to back this up.
10. Avocado Extracts May Be Beneficial To Arthritis Patients
Arthritis is more common in developed western countries but is becoming a problem in the developing world as well.
There are many forms of arthritis, and the symptoms can live with you for the rest of your life.
In a couple of studies, researchers found that an avocado and soybean extract, known as ASU (Avocado Soybean Unsaponifiables), can help soothe the symptoms of osteoarthritis (which is an arthritis of the bones) (f1, g1).
At this time, we know that only the extract has this effect on arthritis. We don’t know what the effects of avocado itself are on arthritis.
Conclusion: Research shows that an extract from avocados can have a soothing effect on the symptoms of arthritis. However, we don’t know if eating avocado can also deliver this benefit.
11. Avocados may help with weight loss
The nutritional composition of avocados makes them a weight loss friendly food.
In a controlled trial involving two groups, both groups were given the same meals. However, only one group consumed avocados with their meals.
Researchers found that the group that ate avocados with their meals felt 23% more fuller than the group that did not consume avocados. The avocado group also saw their food cravings fell by 28% over the next 5 hours (h1).
Avocados are delicious and contain loads of healthy calories. The study above shows that eating plenty of avocados can help you lose weight by making you feel full and, therefore, eating fewer calories.
Conclusion: When combined with a healthy diet, avocados can help you lose weight.
Avocados are an incredibly delicious fruit. It provides you with numerous health benefits.
But even if you don’t think there are any health benefits, avocados are good for you, and you should eat them for their high nutritional value alone.
And who doesn’t like a delicious guacamole?