19 Amazing Health Benefits of Avocados

19 Amazing Health Benefits of Avocados(#2 and #17 are surprising)

Persea Americana or Avocado is a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. The overflowing nutrients of this fruit make it a superfood. Avocado like many other fruits has numerous benefits like treating cholesterol, arthritis etc but what makes it an exception is that avocado can even treat your mood.

Yes! You read that right! Avocado is a happy fruit!

Avocado benefits

Did you know that Avocado is enriched with monounsaturated fats that give you a burst of energy? The healthy fats, fiber, potassium in Avocados, play a major role in promoting your cardiovascular health.

The variety of Vitamins in Avocado work wonder. Vitamins B and K promote healthy blood circulation by producing red blood cells. Vitamins C and B produce neurotransmitters and support a healthy nervous system.

Avocados contain more potassium than bananas and play a major role in keeping your blood pressure under check. The antioxidants in Avocado maintain the health of your eyes and protect your eyesight.

This versatile fruit can book a place in both your sweet and savory recipes due to its rich creamy flavour! Keep reading to know more about this fruit and to explore its benefits.

What is an Avocado?

What is an Avocado?

Avocados, also known as “alligator pears,” grow on trees and are classified as a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae. They are famous for their buttery texture and mild flavor, and they have many health benefits for the whole body.

Is Avocado a fruit?

Yes! Scientifically speaking, avocados are berries. Avocados are often confused for vegetables because of their savory flavor, but they meet all the criteria for fruits. The avocado itself—the part you eat—is the mature ovary of a flower, which is the technical definition of a fruit, plus it has fleshy pulp and a seed, meeting even further criteria for fruits, specifically berries.

History of Avocados

History of Avocados

Avocados are native to South Central Mexico, although they are now grown in many parts of the world, including Central and South America, Indonesia, parts of Africa, Australia, and in the United States, particularly in the state of California.

The earliest fossil evidence of avocados was found in a cave in Coxcatlán, Puebla, Mexico, and scientists have been able to date those fossils back to around 10,000 B.C.

“It’s an avocado!”

The early species of the avocado fruit is known as a criollo, and while it resembles the modern Hass avocados you seen in grocery stores today, it is distinctly different. The first case of someone using the English word “avocado” that we know of was in 1696.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts

Avocados are rich in vitamins and minerals, making them an excellent source of nutrition. Avocados contain significant amounts of several B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, and manganese. Avocados are also one of the few high-protein fruits.

Avocados are known for their fat content, which is diverse, and mainly consists of monounsaturated fat in the form of oleic acid. Around 14% of the total fat content is saturated fat in the form of palmitic acid.

A 100g serving of avocado (which is typically more than half, but less than one full fruit) contains the following:

Calories (energy): 160

Carbohydrates: 8.5 g (6.7g as fiber, 0.66g as sugar)

Fat: 14.66g (2.13g saturated, 9.8g monounsaturated, 1.82g polyunsaturated)

Protein: 2.5g

When it comes to vitamins and minerals, that’s where avocados really shine. Here’s the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of each vitamin and mineral you will find in a 100g serving of avocado:

Vitamins:

Beta-Carotene/Lutein (Vitamin A): 1%

Thiamine (Vitamin B1): 6%

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): 11%

Niacin (Vitamin B3): 13%

Vitamin B5: 28%

Vitamin B6: 20%

Folate (Vitamin B9): 20%

Vitamin C: 12%

Vitamin E: 14%

Vitamin K: 20%

Minerals:

Calcium: 1%

Iron: 4%

Magnesium: 8%

Manganese: 7%

Phosphorous: 7%

Potassium: 10%

Zinc: 7%

In addition to all the vitamins and minerals found in avocados, they are also rich in other plant compounds that have specific health benefits. Among them:

Carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin): These are beneficial for eye health and can help prevent macular degeneration.

Phytosterols: These can help lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels

D-Mannoheptulose: This is a specific type of sugar that researchers believe may help with controlling blood sugar levels and insulin.

Serving size

Because most people are not going to measure out exactly 100g, a typical serving is one avocado. If you are trying to cut calories, you can still get many health benefits from eating only half at a time. Some important half avocado nutrition facts are as follows: 109 calories, 4.5g fiber, 0.5g sugar, 2g protein, 480mg potassium.

Health Benefits of Avocados

1.Nutrient-Dense

Nutrient-Dense

As previously stated, avocados are packed with nutrition. They are one of the most nutritionally-dense fruits out there, which is why many nutrition experts classify them as a “superfood.”

2.Provides Satiety and Can Help with Weight Loss

Provides Satiety and Can Help with Weight Loss

People are often alarmed when they learn about the fat content of avocados. It is still a popular misconception that eating less fat will help you lose weight, but it’s not that simple. It matters what kind of fat you are eating, and the amount of avocado “good fat” outweighs the “bad fat” in the fruit.

Avocados are also very high in fiber. A high-fiber, high-fat food will make you feel fuller, even if you eat less of it. You can add a few slices to avocado to a salad, and, all of a sudden, that salad fills you right up!

Here’s how to eat avocado for weight loss: Add it to your favorite meals like salads, burgers, omelets, and smoothies. If you’re counting calories, use only half, and save the rest for later. You will find that your meals are much more satisfying, and you will eat less overall.

3.Reduces Arthritis Symptoms

Reduces Arthritis Symptoms

Arthritis is a term that describes many different inflammatory diseases that have become extremely common in Western nations, particularly the United States. A hallmark symptom of arthritis is pain and swelling in joints and cartilage.

Because of its high concentration of oleic acid, avocados can go a long way in reducing inflammation. For an even more powerful result, try avocado oil. You can use avocado oil in homemade salad dressings or as your regular cooking oil, and the avocado oil health benefits are remarkable, especially when it comes to reducing inflammation.

In fact, many commercial supplements that promote joint repair and health are made from avocado oil and other healthy fats.

4.Contains More Potassium than a Banana

Contains More Potassium than a Banana

Potassium is an essential mineral to human health. It works in conjunction with sodium to maintain electrolyte balance and hydration. A diet rich in potassium can help you ward off heart problems, particularly reducing your risk of hypertension and stroke. It is estimated that many Westerners, especially Americans, only consume half the recommended amount of potassium per day.

Bananas are widely known to be a high-potassium food, but did you know that avocados top most lists of highest potassium foods and bananas only come in around number nine or ten on those lists?

Another reason to use avocados as your go-to source for potassium instead of bananas is that avocados are very low in sugar. The type of sugar found in avocados can actually help your body regulate blood sugar levels.

5.Lowers Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

Lowers Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

The avocado, and avocado oil in particular, contains high concentrations of a compound called beta-sitosterol. This is a phytosterol that is known to reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides in the body, in addition to reducing inflammation in the arterial walls and preventing plaque buildup.

So when you wonder, “what are the benefits of avocado oil?”—they are too great to ignore. Avocado oil, when added to a healthy diet and lifestyle, can make a noticeable impact on the overall inflammation level of your body, which can reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke.

6.Promotes Overall Health Improvements

Promotes Overall Health Improvements

The nutrition content and known health benefits of avocados speak to the possibilities they hold for improving overall health and reducing negative symptoms. Studies have shown that people who eat avocados regularly tend to have lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, higher HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels, lower BMI, less belly fat, and fewer problems regulating blood sugar and insulin.

While it’s too much of a leap to say that all of those good effects are from avocados alone, avocados will not harm your efforts to become more healthy, as long as you are adding them to a balanced diet and good lifestyle habits such as regular exercise, healthy sleep, and stress management.

7.Helps the Body Absorb Nutrients from Plant Foods

Helps the Body Absorb Nutrients from Plant Foods

Some nutrients are “fat-soluble,” meaning they cannot be absorbed into the body unless they are combined with fat. Such vitamins include vitamins A, E, and K. This is especially important for vegetarians to take note of. If you’re not adding some fat to your meals, all of those vitamins are essentially going to waste.

This is one of the reasons why avocado is an almost perfect food. Not only do avocados have a high concentration of many essential nutrients, they also contain the fats that help those nutrients to be absorbed into the body. For example, by adding an avocado to a salad, or even by using a little avocado oil in the dressing, you greatly increase your body’s ability to use all of the nutrients that are in the vegetables you’re eating.

8.Protects Your Eyesight

Protects Your Eyesight

Avocados contain significant amounts of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are important building blocks of the human retina. These two antioxidants filter blue wavelengths of light, which are the harmful and energy-zapping waves emitted by cell phone and computer screens.

Over time, the retina lens becomes oxidized and clouded from repeat exposure to various light frequencies, and you subsequently develop cataracts or suffer from macular degeneration. Lutein and zeaxanthin help deoxidize the retina and keep it clear.

Because these specific antioxidants are not produced by the body, it is vital that you eat a diet rich in foods that contain Avocados.

9.Beneficial for Pregnant Women

Beneficial for Pregnant Women

Pregnant women need to pay special attention to their diets to make sure they are getting all of the necessary nutrients for the developing fetus, and it is absolutely recommended for women to eat avocados while pregnant. One of the most vital nutrients for fetal development is folic acid or folate (vitamin B9), as this vitamin helps prevent birth defects like spina bifida. Avocados contain 20% of the RDA of folic acid, making them an excellent source of this required nutrient.

Another important vitamin for expectant mothers is vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential for muscular, skeletal, and nervous tissue development. The amount of avocado vitamin K in a 100g serving comes to 20% of the RDA, making the fruit an excellent source of this key nutrient vitamin K.

Finally, the fiber contained in avocados can help with digestion, which can relieve the constipation that so often comes with pregnancy. Their mild flavor and soft texture Avocados are also usually well tolerated by women experiencing nausea and morning sickness.

10.Protects Liver from Disease

Protects Liver from Disease

One of the most miraculous antioxidants is a lesser-known one called glutathione. It can be found in all cells in the body, and its primary function is to protect the mitochondria from suffering damage after exposure to bacteria, viruses, and toxins. It also acts as a lifeguard to other antioxidants, providing them with a second wind after they battle dangerous free radicals in the body.

Glutathione is all over, but its highest concentration is in the liver. The liver is the hub of the body’s detoxification system, and it can easily become fatigued, sluggish, and damaged after long-term exposure to toxins and stress.

Avocados are one of the best food sources of glutathione and should be part of anyone’s liver detoxification diet.

11.Provides Dental Care

Provides Dental Care

Another benefit of glutathione is that it has been shown in studies to reduce the risk of oral and throat cancers. Because it is such a powerful antioxidant, it fights dangerous cancer cells immediately upon consumption, right in the mouth and throat. Since avocados are a great source of glutathione, researchers have been using avocados in their oral cancer studies to promising results.

Avocados can also help fight bad breath, both by killing bacteria in the mouth and by fighting stomach upset and indigestion, which is often a cause of halitosis.

Finally, the avocado sugar content is practically zero, making it a healthy choice for your teeth.

12.Prevents Vitamin K Deficiency

Prevents Vitamin K Deficiency

Almost all of the foods that are excellent sources of vitamin K are green leafy vegetables. Avocados are one of the rare exceptions. Does avocado have vitamin K? Absolutely! A 100g serving of avocado provides you with 20% of the RDA of vitamin K.

Vitamin K deficiency usually results in blood disorders like coagulopathy, anemia, chronic nosebleeds, and excessive bruising. Vitamin K deficiency is rare in people with normal diets, but newborns are particularly at risk, making avocados an excellent choice for pregnant women. This ensures that the baby is born healthy and without a vitamin K deficiency upon birth.

13.Encourages Longevity

Encourages Longevity

There are many ways in which avocados fight the aging process and increase the likelihood you’ll live longer. As already mentioned, avocados are very nutrient-dense. If you add avocados to your diet, you will decrease your risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, especially since avocados contain several vitamins and minerals that are not abundant in most diets, especially for Westerners.

Even if you don’t like to eat avocados, avocado oil contains a high concentration of oleic acid, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory compound. Reducing inflammation in the arteries, joints, muscles, and organs is one of the greatest health benefits of avocado oil. Systemic inflammation is a huge risk factor for chronic disease and cardiac problems, so by lowering the overall inflammation in your body, you increase the longevity of every major organ system.

14.Good for Your Bones

Good for Your Bones

The combination of minerals found in avocados is great for bone health. When we think of healthy bones, we often first think of calcium—and avocados do contain a small amount of calcium—but it’s important to note that your body cannot absorb calcium without the assistance of other minerals: magnesium, manganese, copper, and zinc, just to name a few. Avocados contain all of those additional minerals.

By ensuring your diet contains all of the vital minerals for bone health, you reduce your risk of bone loss and osteoporosis. One avocado a day can go a long way towards supplementing your diet with important minerals you might be missing.

15.Has Wound-Healing Abilities

Has Wound-Healing Abilities

The anti-inflammatory effects of the oleic acid in avocado oil can also help your skin heal from wounds, cuts, scrapes, rashes, burns, insect bites, and breakouts. These aren’t the only avocado benefits for skin, but they’re important to know in case you find yourself suffering from a minor skin problem.

Simply apply avocado oil topically to the affected area to ease discomfort and promote healing. Be sure to test a small area first (as you should with any new remedy), and you will find that you only need a few drops of oil to have a noticeable effect.

Some studies even suggest that application of avocado oil can reduce scarring.

16.High in Fiber

High in Fiber

Because avocados are so smooth in texture, it’s hard to believe how much fiber is in an avocado. A whole avocado can have 10g of fiber or more, depending on how large it is. That’s almost as much as certain beans and lentils, which are famous for being high-fiber foods.

Fiber is essential for proper digestion. It helps keep the bowels moving regularly, which is not only a more comfortable way to live, but it can also help prevent issues like bowel obstruction and colon cancer. Foods high in fiber such as Avocados also help you feel fuller, which is great for weight loss!

17.Great for Your Skin

Great for Your Skin

We mentioned wound healing as one avocado benefit for skin, but avocado oil is great for your skin, even if it is not irritated or injured. Avocado oil contains vitamin E, lecithin, and potassium, all of which are primary skin-conditioning compounds. If you look at the ingredients in common skin care products, you will find those three things.

Combining avocado with honey or oatmeal can make a great daily facial treatment. Simply combine the ingredients in a bowl (the flesh of one avocado with a tablespoon of honey or ½ an avocado plus ½ c of cooked and cooled oatmeal), mix until smooth, apply to your face and leave for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with warm water, and enjoy the moisturizing glow!

18.Contains Lipids

Contains Lipids

Lipids are molecules that are essential for storing energy and regulating metabolism. Often, the word “lipid” is used synonymously with “fat,” but fats are only one category of the many different compounds that are classified as lipids. Sterols, fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, and K, to name a few), and triglycerides are also all lipids. Avocado contains multiple types, making it a great high-energy food.

Lipids are also essential for vitamin absorption. They help transport nutrients directly to the energy centers of cells, which keep cells strong and healthy. Like many benefits of avocado, the benefit you receive from lipids can come from eating the flesh of the avocado, but it can also come from just consuming avocado oil.

By now, it’s probably clear: Is avocado oil good for you? Yes! In so many ways!

19.Improves Your Mood

Improves Your Mood

Some nutritionists and doctors call avocado the “fat and happy food.” This is because it contains a high amount of healthy fats, which will make you feel full and increase your sense of wellbeing. Think about how you feel after eating something rich and buttery—avocados can give you that same feeling.

In addition to just the sensation of fullness, avocados contain a high amount of folate, which is known to be a mood-boosting vitamin. Adding avocados to your diet can help act as a natural antidepressant, especially if you are already practicing good mood-boosting habits like getting regular sleep and exercise.

The Best Way to Eat Avocado

The Best Way to Eat Avocado

Eating raw avocado is the easiest and simple way to reap all of the benefits of this superfood. When avocados are heated, they become brown and mushy, so raw is always best. Many people enjoy simply cutting an avocado in half, removing the seed, and eating the flesh with a spoon. Drizzle the Avocados with a little olive oil or add salt and pepper to taste, if you like.

Another great way to eat avocado is by making guacamole. The guacamole health benefits are the same as the benefits you get from avocado, plus the benefits from the other vegetables and spices you add to it. So, is guacamole bad for you? No way. It’s one of the healthiest, most nutrient-dense dips out there. Plus, it’s delicious!

Finally, you can slice an avocado and put the slices on a sandwich or a burger, or you can add them to a salad or omelet.

Precautions

Two common questions are:

  • Can you eat avocado skin? 
  • Can you eat the seed?

The general consensus to both is “no.” Both the skin and the seed contain compounds that are harmful to humans and other animals. In fact, avocado skin can be fatal to some small mammals, so use caution when preparing avocados if you have pets. Eating avocado skin would also just be unpleasant, so it is not recommended!

Some nutrition blogs have talked about the health benefits of avocado seed, but they are not thoroughly researched or tested on humans. The California Avocado Commission has reported that the avocado seed nutrition facts are not scientifically proven and that any benefits are far outweighed by the potential danger.

So, why are avocados bad for you?

In short, they’re not. Avocados are extremely healthy in moderation. The only cases in which they could be bad for you is if you are allergic. There have been reports of people having an allergic reaction to avocados, so if you are new to avocados, try a small amount first and make sure you don’t have a reaction.

How to Buy Avocado

How to Buy Avocado

If you want to eat it right away, choose an avocado that slightly yields to pressure. When you cut Avocado, it should be green and soft inside. If you are preparing it in several days, choose one that is firm to the touch. Avocados will soften and ripen within three to five days.

How to Store Avocado

How to Store Avocado

Avocados should be stored at room temperature. If you need to ripen it quickly, put it in a brown paper bag with an apple or banana, as these will release ethylene gas as they ripen, and the bag will trap it, ripening the avocado along with the other fruit.

The only time you need to refrigerate an avocado is if it has been cut. Leave the pit in, add a few drops of lemon or lime juice to it, and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap.

How to Grow Avocado

How to Grow Avocado

Avocado trees can be grown from an avocado pit! Start by removing a full pit, then rinse and dry it. Place it in about an inch of water in a glass, pointy side up (you will need to stabilize it in the glass by skewering the base of the pit with a few toothpicks), and place in a warm spot in your home, carefully maintaining the water level on a daily basis.

In a couple of weeks, you will see a sprout forming. Once that sprout grows to about six inches in length, trim it halfway, and wait for it to form a leaf. Once this happens, you can transfer your seedling to a pot with loose, sandy soil. Your plant can be stored outside, especially if you live in a warm climate, and be sure to water it regularly (but don’t over-water) and re-pot it as necessary.

Avocado trees can take as many as 10-13 years to bear edible fruit (and some never do), but even if your tree never produces avocados you can eat, the flowers and leaves are beautiful. Enjoy your tree!

Conclusion

Avocados are one of nature’s great miracle foods. They are as nutritious as they are delicious, and they can be added easily to almost any recipe. Their benefits touch almost every system in the body and cannot be overstated.

If you are looking for a food that will taste incredible while also helping you lose weight and boost your health, avocados might be the perfect answer.