10 Proven Health Benefits of Avocados That You Need to Know About

1. Are avocados fattening?

It is the avocado high fat content that has led to the myth that avocados are fattening and should be avoided in low calorie diets.

But, in a study of 61 overweight and obese men and women, it was concluded that the intake of 200 grams per day of avocado as part of a low calorie diet doesn’t compromise weight loss when substituted for 30 grams of mixed dietary fat like oil or margarine.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 15661480

Substituting mashed avocado for butter or margarine can help cut calories. It can also increase healthy monounsaturated fatty acids intake.

A typical avocado contains 30 grams of fat, but 20 of these fat grams are beneficial monounsaturated fats. Monounsaturated fats help speed up the basal metabolic rate when compared with saturated fats.

Avocados are nutritionally dense, and they are a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin B6, copper and folate. They are a good source of dietary fiber as well. The total dietary fiber content of fresh avocado fruit of the Ettinger variety is 5.2 g/100 g.

Approximately 75% of this is insoluble fiber, and 25% soluble fiber. Fiber intake is inversely associated with body weight and body fat.

Avocados contain all the nine essential amino acids, even though not in the ideal ratios, which makes them a complete protein food. Replacing animal protein with vegetable protein can help maintain and lose weight.

Researchers discovered that food intake as well as body weight gain were reduced in rats that fed de-fatted avocado pulp. The data resulting from the study suggests the presence of an appetite depressant in avocado.

In another study, an average of just over 1 avocado a day for thirty three days increased average daily calories by 24 percent. It also increased fat by 54 percent but led to weight loss averaging about 1 kg or 2.2 lbs.

Nutritional values of avocado per 100g:

  • How many calories in an avocado – 160
  • How much protein is in avocado – 2g
  • How many carbs in avocado – 9g
  • What is the fat content of avocado – 15g

2. Are avocados good for diabetes?

Avocados are a low carbohydrate food, so they have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. A study of healthy, overweight individuals revealed that the addition of avocados to a meal has no significant effect on blood sugar levels.2✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 24279738

Other research has shown that individuals with diabetes who ate a diet consisting mainly of avocados, which is high in monounsaturated-fat, had much better management of their blood glucose and triglycerides in comparison to individuals who ate a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.

Can you freeze avocado?

The answer is yes, but the texture of avocado is not the same after thawing. So although peeled avocado halves can be frozen as shown in the graphic below, it’s best just to freeze mashed avocado. Drizzle your peeled avocados with some lemon juice and mash them to whatever texture you prefer. Freeze immediately after vacuum packing or a placing in a zip lock bag.

3 – Are avocados good for the skin?

The healthy oils, plus the vitamin C and E combination in avocados help to keep the skin nourished, whether eaten or applied topically. A study has shown that a high intake of the monounsaturated in avocados can help increase elasticity of the skin as well as reduce the appearance of wrinkles.3✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1017/s0007114509993461

Avocados also contain sun damage protecting compounds that can help prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging.4✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 20978772

Other research has provided evidence that a vitamin B(12) cream containing avocado oil could reduce psoriasis symptoms.5✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 11586013

4 – Are avocados good for cholesterol?

The oils present in avocado include linoleic acid and oleic acid, which can help lower cholesterol levels. Individuals having high cholesterol that were put on an  avocado rich diet for 7 days exhibited a significant reduction in triglycerides, total cholesterol, LDL  cholesterol, as well as  a considerable increase in HDL cholesterol.6✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 8987188

Avocados are a good source of betasitosterol, and studies have found that betasitosterol reduces LDL cholesterol.

How to tell if an avocado is ripe?

The color is not always an indication that it’s ripe. Check an avocado for ripeness by placing it in your hand and gently squeeze without using your fingertips to avoid bruising. If the avocado does not yield to pressure then it’s still unripe, if it yields then it’s ripe, if it’s soft then it’s overripe.

5 – Are avocados good for arthritis?

The fatty acids and antioxidants in avocados give the fruit anti-inflammatory properties which can help to relieve osteoarthritis symptoms.

There is also some evidence that an avocado and soybean oil extract (avocado-soybean unsaponifiables or ASU) slows the progression of osteoarthritis and promotes repair of cartilage.7✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 14576991

ASU helps in suppressing molecules that are responsible for inflammation as well as helping to stimulate the synthesis of collagen.

6 – Are avocados good for the immune system?

Avocados are a good source of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant critical for a healthy immune system.

Avocados also contain other immune system boosting antioxidants such as vitamins A, B6, C and E, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein. Avocados are also a good source of copper and magnesium, two minerals that helps support a healthy immune system.

The fat in avocados helps with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, and E.

7 – Are avocados good for cancer?

Glutathione is an antioxidant found in avocados and there is scientific evidence that glutathione could help prevent some kinds of cancers.

Research has demonstrated that avocado extract inhibits and kill cancer cells, indicating that the consumption of avocados could help protect against cancer. Avocado extract has also been shown to inhibit prostate cancer cell growth in vitro.8✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 15629237

8 – Are avocados good for the eyes?

Avocados are a good source of zeaxanthin and lutein, which help to protect against cataracts and age related macular degeneration.9✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1006/exer.1996.0210

Out of the 20 most commonly consumed fruits, avocados are the highest source of lutein, a natural antioxidant which filters harmful blue light and helps in maintaining healthy eye cells.

9 – Are avocados good for the liver?

Research has revealed that avocados contain potent chemicals which could reduce liver damage.10✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 11368579

Avocados are rich in the antioxidant glutathione, which the liver needs for the filtering out of harmful substances and protecting cells of the liver from damage. Individuals with chronic liver disease usually have low levels of glutathione.

Avocados are also rich in vitamin E and vitamin C, two antioxidants helpful in neutralizing free radicals which can contribute to liver cell damage.

10 – Are avocados good for high blood pressure?

Avocados have 35% more potassium than bananas. The potassium in avocados helps in controlling blood pressure by reducing the effects of sodium, which can increase blood pressure.11✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
PMID: 23558164

Nutrients in avocados

They are a superb source of fiber, as well as monounsaturated fatty acids, vitamin E, potassium and B vitamins.

Where do avocados come from?

Avocados originated in South and Central America and cultivation in the U.S. started in the early 20th century.

Mexico makes up about a third of all avocado cultivation with the U.S. and Chile being the other top avocado producers.

10 Proven Health Benefits Of Avocados That You Need To Know About

Image by Briam Cute from Pixabay