You may have heard all about the benefits of avocado and be wondering how a high fat food could be a superfood.
Turns out avocados have benefits that go beyond their fat content (and their fat content is good for you too, see below)!
Avocado consumption has been shown to have many benefits from lowering cholesterol to reducing wrinkles and this is just scratching the surface!
In this blog post we discuss 13 benefits to avocado so you can feel good and guilt free about your avocado consumption!
(and yes, avocados are a fruit despite being green!)
1 – Have “good” monounsaturated fat
Many people are worried about the fat content in avocado, fearing that it will lead to weight gain, blood pressure or bad heart health.
But monounsaturated fat is a “good” type of fat that is found in avocados.
What makes monounsaturated fats good for you is that they help to lower ‘bad’ cholesterol (LDL) and increase ‘good’ cholesterol (HDL).
People often get confused with LDL cholesterol and think every ‘fat’ increases LDL cholesterol. However, avocados have the ‘good’ fat – not to be confused with the ‘bad’ fat!
They also help reduce inflammation in the body.
All these benefits make monounsaturated fats one of the healthiest types of fat around!
Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fat with around 20 grams per fruit.
This is more than 40% of the daily recommended intake!
So if you are looking for ways to add a healthy fat to your diet, avocados should be one of your top choices!
There’s no need to be afraid of eating fats from avocado anymore!
2 – Help your heart and waistline
Eating an avocado can improve your heart health!
We mentioned above how monounsaturated fats help to lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol.
But avocados do even more than this, they also help you maintain a healthy weight which benefits your overall health greatly.
How? Well, going on a diet never works because you get too hungry and end up bingeing.
But avocados keep you satisfied for hours so you don’t mindlessly snack!
Plus, avocado has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, according to Harvard.
Avocados are also free of sugar, which is good news for those struggling with diabetes or pre-diabetes.
In fact, avocados have been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels due to their high fiber and healthy fat content.
So if you are looking for a way to improve your heart health or regulate blood sugar, avocados are a great choice to make a part of your balanced diet!
3 – Tasty and sugar free
You don’t need sugar for healthy foods to taste delicious!
Avocados are a perfect example of this as they are not only healthy and sugar free – but they taste amazing too.
They seriously have no sugar, unlike some other fruits!
So if you are looking for a healthy and delicious snack that is free from added sugars, avocados are a great choice!
You can add them to your salads, sandwiches, smoothies and even make chocolate mousse with them.
These benefits will surely convince you to eat avocados more often!
They are so tasty and healthy at the same time that it would be a shame not to enjoy them as part of your diet.
But what makes avocados taste so good?
4 – Lots of nutrients
One reason avocados taste good is because they contain so many nutrients !
If you are deficient in any vitamin or mineral, you’ll naturally crave foods that contain those vitamins and minerals.
Here is what one 7 oz (200 gram) avocado contains, according to USDA.
- Calories: 322
- Monounsaturated Fat: 30 grams
- Protein: 4 grams
- Carbs: 17.1 grams
- Fiber: 13.5 grams
- Riboflavin (B2): 20% of the daily value
- Niacin (B3): 22% of the daily value
- Pantothenic acid (B5): 56% of the daily value
- Pyridoxine (B6): 30% of the daily value
- Folate: 41% of the daily value
- Magnesium: 14% of the daily value
- Potassium: 21% of the daily value
- Copper: 42% of the daily value
- Vitamin E: 28% of the daily value
- Manganese: 12% of the daily value
- Vitamin C: 22% of the daily value
- Vitamin K: 35% of the daily value
So as you can see, avocados are a great source of many different nutrients!
This is why they are considered a superfood – they contain so many benefits for your health.
Plus, the vitamins and minerals in avocados are considered to be ‘fat soluble vitamins’. This means the food fat helps your body quickly absorb vitamins and minerals.
With all these benefits, it would be silly not to add avocados to your diet!
Not only will you enjoy their delicious taste, but you’ll be getting all the benefits they offer as well.
So go ahead and add avocados to your next meal – you won’t regret it!
Plus, with all these nutrients, there are other surprising health benefits too … keep reading for more surprising benefits!
5 – Brighten your mood
Avocados contain tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin.
What is serotonin?
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, sleep and appetite.
It’s often called the “happy hormone” because it helps improve your mood when your mood is down and blue.
So if you’re feeling down, avocados could help to improve your mood!
According to this study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, nutritional deficiencies are significantly linked to depression.
Avocados are one of their recommended foods if you are having low energy and feel “disconnected”.
And guess what? In addition to mental benefits, there are also surprising physical benefits to eating.
6 – May help prevent cancer
Avocados are a great source of antioxidants, which help protect your cells from damage.
One study showed that “chemicals from the avocado fruit may offer an advantageous dietary strategy in cancer prevention”.
The results showed that the avocado oil “inhibited the growth and induced apoptosis” of cancer cells, including from breast cancer.
In other words, the avocado oil stopped the cancer cells from growing and caused them to die.
How? Avocados have a lot of antioxidants.
Antioxidants help stop the damage caused by free radicals.
Free radicals can cause cell mutation which can lead to cancerous cells too!
So it’s great news that avocado benefits include protecting you from this damage.
Please note: the darker green flesh that is closest to the peel contains the majority of an avocado’s antioxidants.
Finally, avocados are also a good source of lutein, which is a nutrient that has been linked to cancer prevention.
Lutein also helps protect your eyes from damage, but more on this mineral later!
So not only do avocados taste great, but they may also help prevent cancer as well!
And that’s not the only negative health outcome avocados help prevent …
7 – Help with bones
Avocados contain a bunch of calcium and Vitamin K, which are crucial for your bones.
70% of your bone composition is made up of calcium, so if you’re not getting enough in your diet then you’ll be deficient in this nutrient.
Vitamin K is also important for healthy bone growth because it helps with the formation and protection of osteoblasts – which help build new bones.
When there isn’t enough Vitamin K in your body, it can result in weaker bones and increased risk of bone fracture.
One study notes the dangers of osteoporosis and other problems caused by weak bones, such as dangerous falling accidents.
The study correlates problems with bone health being related to nutritional deficiencies.
The study says it’s reasonable to include avocados as part of a dietary strategy to help people reduce deficiencies and promote bone health.
So make sure you’re getting enough avocados in your diet to help with healthy bones!
8 – Help during pregnancy
Avocados are a great food to eat during pregnancy because they contain a lot of nutrients that are beneficial for both you and your baby.
For example, avocados have a lot of folate (aka, iron).
Iron is important because it helps your red blood cells carry oxygen and helps with blood flow.
But unfortunately, folate is one of the top two vitamin and mineral deficiencies worldwide!
In early pregnancy, a deficiency of folate can have serious side effects. But one avocado has about 40% of your recommended daily amount of iron!
Some benefits include:
- helping with nausea – avocados have a high dose of Vitamin B which can help relieve nausea symptoms
- providing essential fatty acids which are important for baby’s brain development
- helping prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies in general
So make sure you’re eating avocados regularly to help keep your baby healthy!
You absolutely do not want to be vitamin or mineral deficient when pregnant, so be sure to eat enough healthy foods for the both of you!
Oh, and speaking of eating healthy foods …
9 – Ease digestion
Avocados contain a lot of dietary fiber, which is great for your digestive system.
Fiber helps keep things moving along smoothly and prevents constipation.
Dietary fiber also helps with bad cholesterol levels and maintaining a healthy weight.
And that’s not the only way avocados help with digestion …
Avocados have a lot of healthy fat which helps keep the digestive track well lubricated. The benefits for this include:
- reducing inflammation in your gut
- improving fat absorption, so that you can better absorb vitamins and minerals from food too!
So avocados are great to eat whether your digestion is going smoothly or if you’re struggling with some problems.
Eating avocados will help you get all the nutrients you need and keep your digestive system healthy!
10 – Great for snacks
From a weight management perspective, avocados make a great snack because they’re high in fiber and good fat, but low in calories.
This means that you can eat them without feeling guilty and they’ll help keep you full until your next meal.
They also taste great with their creamy texture so it’s easy to fit them into your diet!
Plus, avocados not only taste great by themselves but they pair easily with other healthy foods.
Here are some healthy snack ideas you can whip up quickly!
- avocado and whole wheat toast with a drizzle of olive oil
- avocado and hard boiled egg
- chicken salad
- fruit salad with avocado and a light dressing
- avocado and greens in a wrap with hummus
So many options!
While avocados are great on their own, it’s fun to mix them up and try different healthy snacks.
They are overall great for snacking because they help keep you feeling full until your next meal, without the guilt factor!
11 – Eye health
Did you know staring at screens all day isn’t good for your eyes!
Of course you do, but do you know avocados help maintain the health of your eyes?
Avocados contain two phytochemicals found in eye tissue, lutein and zeaxanthin.
When people lack lutein and zeaxanthin, they are more likely to have age-related eye degeneration, the top cause of blindness in older adults.
Plus the high antioxidant content in avocados helps minimize damage from UV light.
So including avocados in your diet can help promote eye health and even prevent some degenerative eye diseases.
The next time you’re at the store, pick up an avocado and add it to your list of foods that benefit your eyesight!
Speaking of preventing eye degeneration, that’s not the only thing avocados help!
12 – Brain health
Avocados contain vitamin E, which has been shown to help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and slow decline in your memory and thinking skills.
The high antioxidant content of avocados also helps fight cell damage.
This benefits your brain health in the long term but it can even help you feel better while still young!
So adding avocados to your diet might not only keep you feeling sharp well into old age, but can also keep your energy up and feeling young!
13 – Healthy skin
Would you believe the latest beauty trend where you put avocado paste on your face actually has scientific merit?
A study in 2011 shows that the fat content in avocados helps “suppress inflammatory response” against “UV-induced damage in skin cells”.
In other words, the avocado on skin can help with UV light.
This is great news for those who want to protect their skin against the sun’s harmful rays!
Not only that, but avocado also contains vitamin E, which has been shown to be beneficial for the skin.
So not only do avocados make a great beauty product, but they also promote skin health in other ways.
Finally, let me wrap up this article by circling back to the most common fear people have about avocados …
Do avocados make you gain weight?
Overeating any food can lead to weight gain and avocados are no different.
However, avocados are high in fiber and healthy fats, but low in calories.
This means that you can eat them without feeling guilty and they’ll help keep you full until your next meal.
Just be careful with too many chips and guacamole!
Is it healthy to eat an avocado a day?
Yes! Avocados are a nutrient-rich food that provides numerous health benefits. They’re high in fiber, healthy fats, and vitamin E, all of which have been shown to promote good health. So go ahead and add an avocado to your daily diet! You won’t regret it. 🙂
Fun fact, did you know the health professionals at the leading association for diabetes recommend avocados as part of a daily diet for people with diabetes?
Finally, let’s talk about the disadvantages of avocado.
What are the disadvantages of avocado?
The main disadvantage of avocados is their high price.
At normal rates, an avocado costs at minimum $1 but can easily go up to $3 per avocado.
This disadvantage is significant and it’s unfortunate that such an amazing superfood fruit is so expensive.
Another disadvantage is that avocado skin color does not reveal much information about the insides of the avocado.
For example, a banana’s peel will go dark and you’ll know the inside of the banana is mushy.
With avocados, you have to pick up the avocado and feel it to know whether the inside is squishy. You can’t just tell by eyesight alone.
However, fun fact …
Avocados contain more potassium than bananas!
Had to end on a high note!
Sometimes I play a game where I ask people …
If you were alone on an island and could only pick one food to eat for the rest of your life …
(pretend you didn’t have to grow this food and had an infinite amount)
What food would you pick to eat the rest of your life?
My choice is always avocado for the reasons listed above!
If you are looking for a nutritious, healthy food to add to your diet that has lots of benefits without the guilt, avocados might be just what you need.
Avocados provide numerous benefits including increased vitamin absorption and potassium levels that help with digestion.
Because they’re so nutrient rich, but low in calories, avocados can also keep people feeling fuller longer which is perfect if you struggle with overeating, have diabetes or just want to maintain body weight!
The only disadvantages of avocado include their high prices and difficulty judging ripeness at first glance.
All things considered , I think it’s very safe to say that benefits outweigh drawbacks when it comes to avocados.
If you have any more questions or want to share what benefits are most important to you, please leave a comment below! 🙂