Avocados are a versatile fruit that you can eat plain, sweet, salty, or savory. It has numerous advantages tucked beneath its vivid green skin. There’s little reason not to enjoy the benefits of avocado in your diet.
Each 40 Gram Avocado Serving Provides You With This Nutrition:
- About 64 calories
- Just under 6 grams of healthy fat
- About 3.5 grams of carbohydrates
- And almost 3 grams of dietary fiber
In addition, you’ll find vitamins and minerals your body needs like B-6, C, E, K, potassium, magnesium, and pantothenic acid.
Avocados are a great source of beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, and eye protecting lutein too.
Don’t Fear the Fat
Almost every calorie in an avocado derives from fat. For years, we heard the dangers of high fats. We avoided them like the plague without considering that the type of fat matters more than the presence of it.
Fat in Avocados can help you:
- Signal your tummy to stop eating
- Absorb more vitamins and nutrients from your plant-based diet
- Slow down your carbohydrate breakdown, which can prevent, stop, or reduce your blood sugar spikes
- Stay fuller for longer when paired with protein
The next time you shy away from healthy fats like avocado, remember that healthy fat that does your body more good than harm.
20 Science-based Benefits of Avocado
Here are twenty great reasons to enjoy avocado in your diet.
1. Great Source of Potassium
Potassium deficiency becoming an epidemic might be a stretch, but it’s a nutrient many Americans don’t receive enough of. Avocado provides you with 14% of your recommended daily allowance. (2)
Furthermore, high potassium diets can lower your risks for numerous life-threatening health problems, like stroke and heart attack. (3)
2. Contains Heart Healthy Mono-saturated Fatty Acids
We briefly touched on this above, but mono-saturated fatty acids can help with numerous conditions from inflammation to assisting genes in your body that might cause cancer.
Inflammation can occur anywhere in your body. It’s also one marker for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndromes. Conventional medicines mask symptoms. Oleic acid can reduce or remove it. (4, 5)
Oleic acid is abundant in avocados and olive oil. This specific fatty acid does interact with the human genome in a beneficial way against potential cancerous cells, according to this study and in this one. (6, 7)
3. Great Source of Fiber
A single serving will provide about 27% of your RDA. A bonus? They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Both function and help your body in different ways.
Soluble fiber assists your good gut flora by feeding it and keeping colonies healthy. Insoluble fiber is what adds bulk to stool and eases its passing. Eating a bit daily or every other day could keep you regular.
Benefits, including its fiber, greatly outweigh the bad we’ve heard about fatty foods.
4.Could Lower Triglycerides
Heart disease is a hereditary disease that can also be lifestyle linked.
Many studies highlight the beneficial results of avocados and lower triglycerides. Since heart disease is the most common health-related killer in the world, eating a proper diet to protect yourself from it might be important.
In the studies above, participants on average reduced their triglycerides by 20% or less over the course of one to four weeks. The benefits on your heart health are sound since triglyceride reduction is one of many reasons to start eating the tasty fruit.
5. Healthy Fats Might Assist you in Absorbing More Vitamins
One reason we started hearing about good and bad fats is this strange event occurred. As we reduced our fat intake, our vitamin and mineral absorption plummeted. This meant we ate healthfully without reaping the benefits.
6. Might Protect Your Eyes
Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids that play a big role in the health of your eyes. They could reduce your chances of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.
However, eating one here and there for healthy eyes might not be enough. You need to eat avocados regularly to really see a difference.
7. Eases Psoriasis Plaques and Dermatitis
The oil in avocados can help heal plaques and irritations of psoriasis. One study combined it with B12 and saw great results, but they didn’t test the oil by itself.
However, you can make a poultice from the pulp and apply it to the affected area. The cooling nature calms inflammation topically.
You can also use the oil, which most supermarkets and online retailers sell. Both application methods make an excellent carrier for essential oils too.
8. Great for Your Skin Health
Whether you eat it or mash one up, avocados have skin benefits too. Moisture through the rich fats are one of them.
After you eat one, keep the skins. Cleanse your face as usual. Take the peel and rub the fleshy inside over your skin. Rub in the oil.
You can also make a quick face mask with the ripe pulp. Use it as is or add honey, lemon juice, or egg white for astringent properties.
9. Contains Vitamin K
Vitamin deficiency isn’t prevalent, but it’s one that your body needs to ward off heart disease and stroke. It also assists your body in building bones, brain health, metabolism, and blood clotting.
Phew, that one vitamin does a lot of work. This is why it’s important to eat foods with vitamin K, which are mostly plants and fermented dairy. Luckily, consuming a single serving will bring you to about 17% of your RDA.
10. Could Ease Morning Sickness Naturally
Vitamin B6 can help ease nausea associated with morning sickness, according to numerous studies.
One of the benefits of avocado is B6. You can achieve 20% of the RDA in a single serving. However, you might be deficient.
Talk to your doctor or naturopath before supplementing with over the counter vitamins, but you can reach for plenty of the natural foods containing this tummy-settling vitamin.
11. Shinier Hair
A twice a week avocado hair mask might reverse the signs of aging on your face, but it can do wonders for your hair too. Say goodbye to dull, dry locks and hello to stronger, shinier hair.
Vitamin E, B-5, and A take the wheel here. They’re responsible for healthy skin, nails, and hair. Another job they tackle is increasing shine, reducing hair shed, strengthening hair, and protecting your ends.
You can use it with most hair types, but it’s best for daily use with dry and coarse hair. Oily and fine hair types should use a mask once per week.
12. Protects Skin From Sun Damage
Did you know eating this fruit can help protect you from UV damage? The rich antioxidant profile fights free radicals like these rays. Of course it isn’t a sunscreen or safe sunning replacement, but it’s one more reason to enjoy them. (20)
13. Might Ease Osteoarthritis Symptoms
We learned that it’s helpful in reducing inflammation in your body. It’s possibly that the extract can do the same for osteoarthritis.
No one has studied the fruit itself to see if the same effects occur, but you’re likely to find at least one other benefit of avocado welcome in your life
14. Can Help with Depression
Avocados contain a decent amount of folate. One major role it plays on your mental health is by preventing buildup of a substance called homocysteine.
The substance impedes nutrients traveling to the brain and reduces circulation. It also restricts your serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine production. You need healthy levels of all three for sleep, mood regulation, and appetite.
A folate deficiency can actually cause moderate to severe mental health issues, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
15. Supports Healthy Conception, Pregnancy, and Fetal Development
Folate plays another pivotal role in reducing birth defects during pregnancy. It can also aid in reducing stress and depression in pregnant moms.
Another upside to folate occurs at conception, but men should take note here. Men deficient in folate can increase the likelihood of neural tube defects and miscarriage by 30% should they impregnate their partner.
16. Great for Diabetics and Blood Sugar Control
Healthy fats, such as those in avocados, slow down sugar absorption. This allows your body to process other carbs in your meals, which is helpful for type 2 diabetics with insulin resistance and anyone who is prediabetic.
Of course, you should pair it with healthy carbs, but even the good type can spike blood sugar. Sugar spikes can lead you to eat more, to have numerous adverse symptoms, and to cause unseen damage if you don’t maintain control.
Combine this with other benefits and you might also lose weight, which can further assist in managing or reversing type 2 diabetes.
17. Could Help Ward Off Some Cancers
Breast and prostate cancer cells have been studied alongside avocados. Results are preliminary and scientists have yet to move past isolated cells in a well-controlled environment.
According to the study, it’s more than adding it to your diet. You also should follow a strict plant-based diet to significantly reduce your risk for cancer.
18. Avocado Might Protect Your Liver
Liver damage occurs for any number of reasons. The components of our fatty fruit have the phytochemical makeup to both tone and protect the liver.
A Japanese study looked at participants with hepatitis C, which can cause moderate to severe liver damage. In this case they were animals, and scientists haven’t begun human trials.
It could be difficult to measure too; most people with hepatitis C are unaware of their condition or any potential damage until their condition advances into later stages where liver damage could occur.
19. Might improve Your Cognitive Function
Lutein’s antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities assists your brain health. It’s uncertain if it can prevent cognitive decline related to disease, but it can reduce brain fog, enhance memory, and increase problem-solving.
Two studies showcased older and younger individuals with equal results. (29, 30)
20. You Might Lose Weight
Consuming healthy fats at meals can help you feel fuller sooner and stay satiated longer. It does fit nicely into most lifestyles too, especially any low carb eating plan.
Over time, as you consume fewer calories, you can expect to lose weight if you’re sticking to your healthy lifestyle and not over consuming avocados, e.g. eating a whole one versus a 1/5th serving size.
Plus people who nosh on the fruit typically weigh less, have lower BMI, normal waist circumferences, and good cholesterol levels. They also have lower risks of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
While this study isn’t perfect, it can be an arsenal against anyone who gives you a hard time about eating avocados.
Are There Side Effects from Eating Avocado?
There can be. Every person is different, but if your body isn’t used to the fat or fiber content, you might experience minor gastrointestinal distress. It goes away once your body adjusts.
You might experience:
- Upset stomach
If you have any of these symptoms, you should ease back on the amount and/or frequency until your stomach functions normally again.
Final Thoughts on Benefits of Avocado
Consuming or incorporating avocado for any one of the twenty benefits is okay in our book. Moderation is truly the key if you’re eating them.
If they’re already part of your diet, keep it up.
New to them? Start slow, try a serving or two a week, and gradually build toward more servings to avoid stomach discomfort. It could be that you’re taking too much fiber. Another thought is to pair it with soluble fiber, which moves slowly through your stomach.
Whether you’re a seasoned avocado-loving pro or just beginning your journey, you certainly have twenty reasons to enjoy without an ounce of guilt.