Avocados are among the healthiest foods on the planet. Enjoyed by people who follow many different dietary approaches, this fruit that’s often mistaken for a vegetable is packed with healthy fat, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
But do you know all of the amazing health benefits that avocado has to offer?
16 Amazing Health Benefits of Avocados
Avocados are renowned for being healthy, but they offer 16 different benefits for health. There’s something for everyone!
1. Nutrient Dense
Avocados are one of the most nutrient dense foods that exists! It contains a wide range of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and fiber, including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B6
- Monounsaturated fats
Because avocado contains nutrients alongside fiber, protein, and fat, they’re easier for the body to absorb and utilize.
Additionally, avocado are palatable for almost everyone, mild in taste, smooth in texture, and so versatile for cooking that it can be eaten completely raw, in dips and appetizers, in salads, main dishes, and even dessert.
See the end of this post for 21 of the most amazing avocado recipes ever created.
2. Supports Healthy Digestion
Avocados are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber. Fiber helps ensure that the digestive tract functions smoothly from start to finish; without enough fiber, either constipation or diarrhea can occur, along with other intestinal discomforts.
After eating, fiber starts the ramp up the digestive process in the stomach by encouraging the production of digestive juices which help to efficiently break down food. In the small intestine, fiber helps to move food smoothly through the digestion and absorption process.
In the large intestine, it promotes healthy gut bacteria while also supporting efficient elimination of waste.
Avocados contain 40 percent of your daily fiber requirements, making it a perfect daily snack.
3. Boosts Gut Health
Gut health is so vital for overall wellness that it can’t be overlooked. Fiber helps fuel the proliferation of the good gut bacteria that keeps the bad bacteria in check, regulates the immune system, and promotes proper nutrient absorption.
In order to prevent the gut from being toxic, regular elimination is necessary. When waste builds up in the intestines, the colon and large intestine can become toxic and lead to systemic health problems.
4. Protects Cardiovascular Health
Heart health was once thought to be protected by a low fat diet, but modern research has instead shown how vital healthy fats are to cardiovascular health.
Avocado can boost HDL levels, which help to lower systemic inflammation and risk factors that can lead to the development of heart disease.
Avocado is also rich in potassium which, among other things, promotes a healthy heart because of its ability to reduce blood pressure, lower tension in blood vessels, and decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke, and blood clots.
The healthy fats found in avocado can help to balance lipids and result in lowered LDL levels and triglycerides, which when high, can be associated with chronic disease and inflammation.
5. Cancer Prevention
Ah, the big one. Everyone wants to find ways to prevent and reduce their risk of cancer, and as it turns out, avocado is a potent anti-carcinogenic food.
According to research, the phytochemicals found in avocado can fight cancer so powerfully that they can reduce the need for use of chemotherapy in oral cancer. (source) Components of avocado can lead to the death of cancer cells and the inhibition of growth.
The monounsaturated fatty acids, also known as MUFAs, in avocado can lead to reduced inflammation which can also reduce the risk of cancer development in the first place.
Particularly, avocados are protective against prostate cancer, oral cancer, skin cancer, and breast cancer.
Glutathione is an antioxidant known as “the mother of all antioxidants” which is found abundantly in avocado. It can protect against cellular damage from free radicals and oxidation, leading to cancer formation in the first place.
6. Boosts Weight Loss
While many people desiring to lose weight may fear fat or the calories found in avocado, research shows that the healthy fats in them can actually lead to more successful weight loss.
Not only do they promote satiety and can reduce cravings while focusing on healthier eating, but avocados can also help balance the hormones that regulate appetite and cravings in the first place.
When avocados are a regular part of the diet, they can allow you to reduce dependence on frequent meals and snacking and can even help to induce benefits of intermittent fasting for weight loss.
The nutrients, fiber, and healthy fats in avocado can also help to fight sugar addiction and cravings, which can make a healthy eating plan for weight loss more successful.
Eating avocados regularly is associated with having a lower BMI, or body mass index. Research pits low-fat diets versus diets that contain avocado and the ones including avocado resulted in more weight loss and other health improvements, like reduced body fat percentage.
7. Reduces Metabolic Syndrome and Diabetes
Metabolic syndrome is a collection of symptoms associated with excess body fat, elevated lipid levels, insulin resistance, and other characteristics of diabetes and heart disease.
It is a risk factor for developing these chronic health problems, and in most cases, can be addressed through dietary measures.
One effective way to fight metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes is to regularly include avocado in your diet.
Avocado can help to reduce blood pressure, LDL cholesterol levels, blood glucose levels, and excess fat around the midsection, all of which can reverse metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes and other chronic conditions are hormone-driven disorders since insulin itself is a hormone that ceases to communicate with cells in the body, taking in less glucose and working inefficiently.
People who suffer from diabetes also tend to have disrupted appetite hormones, which can result in greater desires to overeat and to snack on sugary treats and sweets, which can also worsen problems with metabolic syndrome.
Avocado promotes balanced insulin levels and helps to regulate the hormones that control appetite (ghrelin and leptin).
Research also shows that people who include avocado in their diet regularly also tend to more habitually consume vegetables, healthy fats, and nutrients that fight chronic disease.
In fact, people who regularly eat avocados are 50 percent less likely to develop metabolic syndrome than those who eat them infrequently or not at all.
8. Hormone Balance
Beyond the hormones that regulate glucose uptake and appetite, the body is packed full of other hormones that send messages between cells and body systems.
Reproductive hormones, stress hormones, and thyroid hormones all require healthy fats to not only be produced in the body, but to maintain a delicate balance. When hormone levels go awry, the results can feel extreme.
Even slight imbalances in reproductive hormones, for example, can lead to fertility problems, and a thyroid that is just slightly under functioning can still result in an extensive symptom list that ranges from fatigue to low sex drive to constant feelings of being cold.
Hormones are critical for the very engine that drives the body, and the nutrients and healthy fats in avocado help to provide a stable source for manufacturing them within the body.
9. Healthy Mood
Healthy fats can function as natural anti-depressants and can combat depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders. The brain and nervous system rely on neurotransmitters to transmit chemical messages, but many situational and environmental factors can lead to depleted neurotransmitter levels.
Healthy fats like avocado can promote proper neurotransmitter production and balance, and can alleviate symptoms like anxiety, depression, mania, stress, mood swings, low mood, and other mental disorders.
Healthy fats, like the MUFAs in avocado, help to alleviate inflammation in the brain, which can also help prevent a cascade of problems that lead to neurological problems and disease.
10. Skin and Hair Health
Skin and hair can both be easily prone to drying out, becoming damaged or brittle, and losing their luster. Avocados and avocado oil are popular in natural and DIY cosmetic remedies like face masks, moisturizer, hair masks, and anti-inflammatory creams.
They can relieve dry skin and chapped lips, nourish dry hair and split ends, and even help to reduce dandruff on the scalp by thoroughly moisturizing the surface of the skin.
Avocado can even help to address psoriasis and eczema, both internally and topically. When used topically, it can also help to reduce the signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles. By moisturizing the skin, it helps to maintain natural elasticity.
11. Kidney Health
The kidneys are essential detox organs and help to filter the body of waste. Without the right balance of fluids and electrolytes, the kidneys can suffer from dehydration and become damaged in the process. Chronic kidney disorders seem to be increasing in occurrence.
Potassium helps to maintain electrolyte balance, along with magnesium, both of which are found in avocados. Adding some Himalayan sea salt to your avocado can introduce yet another natural electrolyte that is rich in natural nutrients.
12. Healthy Vision
We take our vision for granted until it becomes problematic, but sometimes it’s too late to repair the damage that has been done. Avocados support and protect healthy eyes thanks to the presence of carotenoids, which help to prevent cataracts, macular degeneration, and diseases of the eye.
Most eye problems develop as free radicals attack without enough antioxidants to combat their damage.
Lutein, which is found in avocado, can help to prevent aging and damage to the eye by absorbing blue light rays that can actually alter DNA and lead to free radical oxidation.
Perhaps the saying should be: an avocado a day keeps the eye doctor away.
13. Natural Dental Health
No one wants to have bad breath, but it’s a common side effect of dental problems and gum disease. However, bad breath can also be caused by indigestion and digestive problems, which can lead to damage of the throat and esophagus. Dental health can’t truly be separated from the stomach.
Avocado can help to improve oral and digestive health thanks to the antibacterial flavonoids that it contains, which can kill bacteria in the mouth that leads to bad breath and can promote improved digestion, too.
Avocado has even been shown to help prevent oral cancer.
14. Naturally Helps Arthritis and Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be debilitating in many ways, but a natural way to combat it can be eating foods that are rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties like flavonoids and carotenoids. Avocado even contains some omega-3 fatty acids which are extremely anti-inflammatory.
Avocados are specifically associated with a reduced level of pain in chronic arthritis and can help to decrease tissue, joint, and muscle inflammation.
Millions of people across the world are impacted daily by pain from various arthritis conditions, but pain medications can either be ineffective or come with scary side effects when taken regularly.
Avocado, thankfully, comes with no side effects and can promote so many aspects of natural health.
15. Strengthens Bones
While most people would gauge body strength by muscles, we’re really only as strong as the bones that hold us upright and together. Bone density can be impacted by numerous factors like hormones, sex, and activity level, but it can also be significantly affected by dietary intake.
If you’re deficient in the nutrients needed to rebuild bones, they won’t be as fortified as they should be.
Avocado is rich in nutrients that support good bone health, like zinc, phosphorous, copper, calcium, and selenium. They’re associated with reduced risk of osteoporosis and bone fracture.
16. Protects the Liver
The liver is the largest internal organ that performs numerous critical tasks that are vital for life. Because it is the main detox organ, it comes into contact with the worst chemicals and toxins that enter the body, so that it can eliminate them from the body via the bladder and intestines.
However, when the liver comes into contact with these toxins, it can also be damaged by exposure. Thankfully, the liver has an amazing ability to renew and rebuild itself, but in order to do so, it needs the right set of nutrients.
Research shows that avocados contain nutrients that can help to protect the liver from exposure to toxins as well as from side effects of other complications that can result in liver damage.
The 21 Best Avocado Recipes
Want to add more avocado to your diet? Try one of these 21 delicious recipes! Whether you need an appetizer, a main dish, a snack, or a dessert, there’s something here for everyone!
Aimee McNew, MNT, CNTP, is a certified nutritionist who specializes in women’s health, thyroid problems, infertility, and digestive wellness. She ate her way back to health using a Paleo diet, lost 80 pounds, and had a healthy baby after numerous miscarriages. She focuses on simple nutrition practices that promote long-lasting results.