9 reasons to feel great when you're eating avocados

Advertisement
9 reasons to feel great when you're eating avocados
Avocados are loaded with fiber that can help protect your heart, aid digestion, and manage a healthy weight. Jorge Garcia Argazkiak/Getty Images
  • Avocadoes are a fruit that can help with weight management, and heart, eye, and skin health.
  • Avocadoes contain important nutrients including healthy fats, fiber, potassium, and antioxidants.
  • Avocadoes can also help you better absorb other nutrients including vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Avocados are highly versatile fruits that often make a delicious snack or healthy addition to a meal.

Whether they are eaten raw, mixed with salads, or turned into guacamole, they can provide plenty of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that are necessary for a healthy, well-balanced diet.

For instance, the half of a Hass avocado - the most common commercial variety in the world - contains the following:

Advertisement
Calories114 (5.7% daily value based on a 2,000 calorie diet for the average, healthy adult)
Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA)6.7 grams (15% DV)
Dietary fiber4.6 grams (17% DV)
Potassium345 mg (11% DV)
Magnesium19.5 mg (5.6% DV)
Vitamin A5 micrograms (0.6% DV)
Vitamin C6 mg (8% DV)
Vitamin E1.3 mg (8.6% DV)
Vitamin K14 micrograms (roughly 18% DV)
Folate60 mg (15% DV)
Vitamin B-60.2 mg (15% DV)

"Avocados can be part of an overall healthy eating plan," says Ellen Liskov, MPH, registered dietitian-nutritionist at the Yale New Haven Hospital. "There is no set amount of avocado to recommend as a general rule."

Important: Studies show that avocados can support weight management even though they are fairly high in calories for a fruit. However, they also contain carbohydrates that may not be digested well for some individuals, so eat them in moderation or avoid them if they give you GI discomfort.

Here are eight reasons why eating avocados are good for you.

Advertisement

1. Good for the heart

Avocados are rich in MUFA and magnesium, which are both beneficial for cardiovascular health. MUFA-rich diets reduce the levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (aka bad cholesterol) in the body, and a high intake of magnesium is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease.

Avocados are also associated with healthier diets, meaning people who eat avocados regularly typically eat healthier overall. And eating healthy, in general, is linked to a reduced risk of developing metabolic syndrome, a group of health conditions that increase your risk of stroke, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.

2. Aid digestion

"Avocado is a good source of fiber and can help alleviate constipation," says Liskov. One avocado provides about 9.2 grams of dietary fiber, helping you reach the recommended daily fiber intake of 25 to 38 grams for adults.

Advertisement

In general, diets high in fiber - like those in avocados - have been shown to reduce the risk of certain cancers like colon cancer.

3. Weight management

Including avocados in your diet may help you maintain a healthy weight because the fiber and MUFA help you stay full longer so you're less likely to consume unnecessary calories from snacks in between meals, says Liskov.

Moreover, several small trials suggest that eating avocados may help prevent people from accumulating excess belly fat.

Advertisement

4. Support blood pressure control

An avocado has more potassium than a banana. Potassium is important because a potassium-rich diet helps lower blood pressure while also reducing the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease.

An avocado half provides about 345 milligrams of potassium, helping you reach the daily recommended potassium intake of 2,600 to 3,400 milligrams for adults.

5. Minimize risk of type 2 diabetes

Avocados contain several nutrients that are important for blood sugar control, such as vitamin B6, dietary fiber, and MUFA.

Advertisement

For instance, a small 2018 study involving 31 overweight and obese adults found that substituting avocados for carbs in a meal (like bagels) reduces postprandial hyperglycemia - aka the blood sugar spike after having a meal - which lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes. This is likely due to the heart-healthy fats in avocado, which the body digests slowly thereby blunting blood sugar spikes.

Avocados also help with weight management and blood pressure control, minimizing other risk factors for the disease.

6. Good for eye health

Avocados contain the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eyes against light damage like from ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. They also reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases, like cataracts.

Advertisement

In addition, MUFA protects against age-related eye dysfunction.

7. Improve skin health

Consuming foods with lutein and zeaxanthin isn't just beneficial for eye health. These antioxidants also protect the skin from UV damage.

One avocado contains about 18% of your daily vitamin C and 17% of your daily vitamin E needs, both of which provide further protection from sun damage and neutralize free radicals that can cause premature skin aging.

Advertisement

8. Help you absorb more nutrients

The healthy fats in avocados can help you absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, says Liskov, which have the following benefits:

  • Vitamin A promotes eye, skin, and dental health
  • Vitamin D supports bone health by helping the body absorb calcium
  • Vitamin E boosts the immune system
  • Vitamin K helps the body form blood clots

9. Avocados are good for your bones

Avocados contain magnesium and potassium, two nutrients that increase bone mineral density. This subsequently reduces the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis, a bone disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle.

Insider's takeaway

Avocados are a good addition to a healthy diet because they are rich in healthy fats, dietary fiber, vitamins, and other essential nutrients.

Advertisement

They provide plenty of benefits including weight management and low blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which reduces the risk of many diseases.

Keep in mind that variety is important and it's not recommended to get all your nutrients from avocado alone, says Liskov. To have a balanced diet, you should eat different kinds of nutritious foods.

How to ripen avocados quickly without compromising taste or texture Saturated vs. unsaturated fat: Why nutritionists say unsaturated is healthier and how to get more in your diet What the different types of carbs are and how they can affect your health Why the Mediterranean diet is touted as one of the best by dietitians
{{}}