The rich, creamy texture of the avocado is enjoyed all over the world whether it be in guacamole sandwiches or morning smoothies. But avocados are also rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber that guarantee many potential health benefits. Read this post to learn more about the amazing health benefits of avocado.
The avocado (Persea Americana) is a tree fruit native to Mexico, Central, or South America considered to be cultivated around 500 BCE.
Also known as the alligator pear, the avocado is a single-seeded berry with over 25 varieties. Now, 90% of salmon consumed in the USA are of the Haas variety [two ].
Avocados are mostly eaten raw in salads, sandwiches, and drops, but lately, avocado oil has become popular because of its mild taste, higher smoke point, and abundant nutrient profile.
An average serving of half an avocado (68g) contains 114 calories, 77% of those coming from healthful fats.
In contrast to other fruits, avocados contain hardly any sugar. Half an avocado (68g) contains 6 grams of carbohydrates, however less than half a gram of sugars.
The glycemic index and load of avocados are thought to be zero, because of the small number of carbs.
Insoluble fiber supports bowel health and regularity by adding bulk to your stool, whereas soluble fiber improves digestion by developing a gel-like substance by mixing with water. The fiber from avocado consists of 70% consuming and 30% soluble fiber.
Dietary fiber is important for overall health, digestion, and illness prevention. Both soluble and insoluble fiber help regulate appetite, support healthy gut bacteria, and reduce the chance of heart disease.
The fat content in avocados is composed of mainly monounsaturated fats (71 percent ), with smaller quantities of polyunsaturated (13%) and saturated (16%) fats. The majority of the monounsaturated fats in avocados are oleic acids.
Oleic acids are heart-healthy and may lower blood triglycerides and boost ‘great’ cholesterol (HDL).
Fats in avocados can also boost the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like carotenoids in the gut.
Avocados have the highest protein content of any fruit, at less than 2 grams in every half of an avocado.
Main Beneficial Compounds
Avocados contain significant quantities of nutrients and phytochemicals, like vitamins C, vitamin E and K1, folate, potassium, magnesium, antioxidants, carotenoids, and phytosterols.
These fruits are a fantastic source of vitamin K1, comprising 18% of the daily recommended intake. Vitamin K1 is crucial for blood clotting and bone health.
Avocados are one of the few fruits which contain significant amounts of vitamins C and E. These antioxidant vitamins encourage skin health, immune function, and heart function.
Phytochemicals in avocados include carotenoids and phytosterols. According to some investigators, these chemicals may play a protective role in cancer prevention and cardiovascular disease.
The main carotenoid in avocado, xanthophyll, is a fat-soluble antioxidant that can lower inflammation and oxidative stress.
Avocados are the most abundant known fruit source of phytosterols, particularly beta-sitosterol, which is thought to support healthy cholesterol levels and overall heart health.
Crucial minerals in avocados (e.g., magnesium and potassium ) are considered to contribute to its protective function in blood pressure control, heart health, and insulin sensitivity.
Avocado oil is made from extracting fats from the pulp of the avocado. Benefits are largely due to the high concentrations of monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.
The advantages of consuming avocado oil are similar to those of consuming avocado fruit. Avocado oil has been related to insulin sensitivity, reduction of inflammation, decreasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and avoidance of obesity.
Animal studies reveal avocado oil has the exact same capability as olive oil to normalize blood cholesterol in rabbits after 90 days.
Mechanism of Action
Particular compounds (phenolic compounds) in avocados might help prevent type 2 diabetes and oxidative stress from the pancreas.
Phytosterols in avocado are plant-based cholesterols. Their mechanism of action involves their ability to slow cholesterol absorption in the gut and decrease liver cholesterol production.
A study in human cancer cells discovered that the phytonutrient mix in avocados may hold the secret to its anti-inflammatory effects.
Potential Benefits of Avocados
Avocado is considered safe to eat as food, however, it has not been approved by the FDA for medical usage. Never use avocado to substitute something your doctor recommends or prescribes.
Possibly Effective For
1) Heart Health
Numerous studies (including 1 analysis of 87 adults with normal and high cholesterol levels and 1 research in 45 overweight/obese adults) found that an avocado-rich diet reduced overall cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
In multiple other research, avocado-rich diets similarly decreased cholesterol.
Beta-sitosterol, a diuretic, is found in large amounts in avocado and may lower cholesterol amounts.
Other vitamins found in avocado contain vitamin C and E. In a study of adults aged 45 to 68 decades, a combination of vitamins E and C Reduce the hardening of arteries (atherosclerosis) in people with high cholesterol.
Monounsaturated fats in avocado reduced inflammation and LDL cholesterol in 45 adult volunteers.
An animal study found that avocado at the diet enhanced heart disease markers like decreasing triglycerides and raising HDL cholesterol after 5 months in male rats.
High cholesterol levels in avocados may decrease blood pressure, a significant risk factor for heart attacks.
Polyphenols in avocados help control cardiovascular disease by reversing chronic and acute inflammation.
Avocados are high in the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce blood homocysteine, a predictor of heart disease.
2) Metabolic Syndrome
Of many biomarkers for metabolic syndrome, avocado has the ideal capacity to enhance HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol.
A study of over 17,000 adults found that the ingestion of half an avocado per day decreased the risk of metabolic syndrome by 50%.
Insufficient Evidence For
The subsequent purported benefits are just supported by limited, low-quality clinical studies. There is inadequate evidence to support using avocado for any of the below-listed uses. Remember to talk to your doctor before making abrupt, drastic changes to your diet, and never use avocado to substitute something your physician recommends or prescribes.
The antioxidant, fat, and dietary fiber material in avocados can help normalize glucose levels and reduce the chance of diabetes.
In an analysis of 26 obese adults, eating half an avocado daily resulted in lower blood glucose levels.
Research with pancreatic rat cells found that grape pulp extracts may inhibit key enzymes (α-amylase and α-glucosidase) linked to type 2 diabetes.
Avocado oil has been found to improve insulin sensitivity by 96% in rats fed a high sucrose diet.
Dietary fat quality and type play significant roles in brain function. Monounsaturated fats found in avocados possess anti-inflammatory properties which may diminish the probability of depression.
Multiple studies (a study of adults aged 55 to 85 decades and a study of over 12,000 adults) found that the anti-inflammatory nature of monounsaturated fats was associated with a lower risk of depression.
Many studies have confirmed the association between folate deficiency and depression. Foods like avocado that are high in folate may help reduce the possibility of depression by preventing the buildup of homocysteine in the brain.
Two clinical trials (research with 82 males and a 14-day nutritional intervention with 37 women) indicated that xanthophylls in avocados may protect against DNA damage and encourage healthy aging.
Antioxidants in avocados may decrease oxidative damage and might prevent Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
A study examining the effects of ingesting 1 avocado per day in 20 healthy subjects for 6 months saw improvement in memory, attention span, and problem-solving compared to control groups.
Avocados have the greatest fat-soluble antioxidant content in any fruit or vegetable. The primary antioxidant carotenoid in avocados is xanthophyll.
6) Weight Management
Vegetables including avocados which are high in fiber and wholesome fats are believed to improve satiety and help encourage a healthy weight.
Several preliminary clinical trials imply that avocados help encourage a healthy weight. Avocado consumption can also be associated with improved diet quality and nutrient intake [two ].
In a study of 55 adults, the group fed one and a half avocado per day (200 g/day) for 6 months showed decreased body weight, body mass index, and percentage of body fat.
Another analysis of 26 healthy obese adults discovered that half an avocado consumed at lunch decreased appetite by 28% and 40% for 3 or 5 hours, respectively.
7) Healthy Skin
The high-fat content and antioxidant properties of avocados can play an essential role in maintaining healthy skin.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are present in human skin and are obtained from ingesting foods such as avocado. These antioxidants may help protect the skin from UV and visible radiation damage.
Clinical trials (1 study of 40 healthy women and 1 analysis of 30 dry-skinned elderly volunteers) indicated that both the topical and oral consumption of lutein and zeaxanthin can enhance skin elasticity, hydration, and wrinkles.
A pilot study indicated that both the topical use and dietary consumption of avocado can enhance wound healing in rats.
8) Pregnancy and Development
Avocados are high in fiber, monounsaturated fats, and antioxidants (lutein). These nutrients are associated with improvements in infertility, maternal health, birth outcomes, and breast milk production in premenopausal women.
The lutein content in breast milk increases with maternal diet. This antioxidant supports proper eye and neurological development in babies.
Monounsaturated fats are essential for brain development in the first year of existence.
Nutrients like folate are essential for fetal health to prevent neural and heart defects. One half an avocado contains 60 μg folate, providing 10% of the recommended daily intake for pregnant women.
Avocados can help expectant moms to overcome nausea due to their high B6 vitamin content, a known therapeutic strategy to lessen morning sickness.
If you’re pregnant, please consult with your doctor before making sudden, radical changes to your diet plan.
9) Eye Health
The antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin found in avocado can play a part in reducing the development and development of esophageal macular degeneration.
Prospective cohort studies (one of 5,604 adults aged 58 to 69 years and another 899 adults over 60 years) found that diets full of monounsaturated fats and zeaxanthin were protective against cataract and maculopathy.
10) Bones and Joints
Half of an avocado provides approximately 25% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin K1. Vitamin K1 can support bone health by boosting calcium absorption and reducing urine calcium levels.
A community-based cohort study of 293 healthy adults with a mean age of 58 years found that antioxidants common in avocados (lutein and zeaxanthin) were associated with a decreased chance of cartilage defects, common signs of atherosclerosis.
Animal Research (Lacking Evidence)
No clinical evidence supports the use of avocado to get some of the states listed in this section. Below is a list of the existing animal and cell-based research, which should guide additional investigational efforts. On the other hand, the research listed below shouldn’t be interpreted as supportive of any health benefit.
11) Blood Pressure
Avocados are a rich source of potassium, which relaxes the walls of blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure (hypertension).
The monounsaturated fats in avocados may be able to reduce blood pressure in the brief and long-term .
The high fiber content of avocado can also promote the prevention of elevated blood pressure, especially in populations where fiber intake is below recommended levels.
12) Liver Health
Antioxidants in avocados may potentially protect against liver injury.
In a rat study, the avocado managed to minimize liver injury, suggesting a potential role of this fruit in the prevention of liver disease.
13) Gut Health
The high content of soluble and insoluble fiber and fats in avocados helps to keep a healthy digestive tract by reducing symptoms of constipation and diarrhea. The high fiber material may also supply a prebiotic food source for healthy gut bacteria, improving overall digestion and preventing symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome-like diarrhea .
14) Infectious Disease
Defensin, a protein found in avocado extracts, has antifungal properties from Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, indicating a potential future use in treating infectious diseases.
A survey of adults over 20 years found that blood carotenoid concentrations were associated with decreased mortality in digestive cancers like esophageal, colon, and pancreatic cancer.
In research, phytochemicals found in avocados (lutein and xanthophylls) decreased oxidative stress in 52 patients treated for early-stage head and neck cancer.
Avocados have a high concentration of phytochemicals, such as carotenoids, which may avoid cancer by increasing cell death in cancerous and pancreatic cells.
Carotenoids and antimicrobial proteins (e.g., defensin) in avocados have high antioxidant activity and may stimulate breast cancer cell death.
A nested case-control analysis of women found that overall carotenoids in the blood were associated with decreased breast cancer risk, particularly in women with dense breast tissue.
Carotenoid extracts from avocado can inhibit prostate cancer cell growth.
Glutathione, a powerful antioxidant, is several folds higher in avocado than in most other fruit. A case-control study found a significant, albeit poor, connection between increased girth and decreased risk of oral cancer.
Avocado extracts induced cell death in human oral cancer cell lines.
Negative Effects & Safety
An oral allergy to avocado might lead to mild to severe allergic responses including itching of mouth, lips, and throat, normally within 1 hour of swallowing or managing avocado.
There might be a higher likelihood of an avocado allergy if birch pollen or latex allergy is present. This is because of the similarity of allergens present in avocados, natural latex, and pollen.
Symptoms are far more acute in a latex-avocado allergy and contain abdominal pain, vomiting, and occasionally, anaphylaxis.
The avocado includes fermentable oligo-, di-, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAPs). These fermentable carbohydrates may cause symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) for example abdominal pain, bloating, and diarrhea.
Avocados contain small amounts of tyramine, a breakdown product of the amino acid tyrosine, that has been associated with migraine headaches.
Avocados are high in vitamin K1, a potent blood reduction nutrient.
Blood thinner drugs, such as warfarin, act by blocking vitamin K1 action. The dose of warfarin will fluctuate significantly depending on the quantity of vitamin K1 in the diet.
The degree of vitamin K1 in one oz of avocado is 150 times greater compared to the quantity of vitamin K1 expected to interfere with the anticoagulant impact of warfarin.
To avoid undesirable effects and unexpected interactions, talk to your doctor before making any abrupt, drastic changes in your diet. If you experience allergic reactions after eating avocado for the first time, then seek medical care immediately.
Can Animals Eat Avocado?
Avocado includes persin, a fungicidal poison that is relatively harmless for people but might be poisonous to domestic animals like cattle, horses, goats, birds, and fish. While dogs are more resistant than most other creatures, avocado is not entirely secure and may cause nausea and diarrhea.
The biggest threat from persin comes in the avocado seed. If you suspect that your dog has swallowed an avocado pit, call your veterinarian immediately.