One of the most delicious, satiating, and nutrient-dense foods is the avocado. But I’m happy to report as a nutritionist that the avocado is a formidable superfood. Even though they are botanically classified as fruits, I count them among my “good fat” sources because of the abundance of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals they contain. Avocado eaters have higher intakes of fibre, vitamins E and K, magnesium, and potassium, according to a review published in 2020 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition.
I use avocados in at least one dish per day because of their adaptability and deliciousness. Still, there’s more good news in the realm of medicine. Here are five ways avocados can improve your health and some suggestions for using the nutritious fat in your daily diet.
Nutrients in Avocados
- Here are the nutrients you can get from eating one whole Hass avocado (without the skin and the seed):
- Calories: 227 calories, primarily from 20 grammes of healthful fat
- There are nearly three grammes of protein in this dish.
- Carbohydrates: About 12 grammes, with 9 grammes coming from fibre to meet more than 30% of the recommended daily intake.
- Folate: 30% of the daily value for folate, one of the many B vitamins responsible for energy metabolism and new cell production
- Vitamin K: 36% of the daily value for this bone- and blood-healthy vitamin
- Vitamin C: 20% of the DV for this water-soluble antioxidant, which helps the immune system function and promotes wound healing by stimulating collagen synthesis.
- Vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant essential for cell health, is present at 13% of the DV.
- Potassium, an electrolyte necessary for many chemical reactions and normal muscle, nerve, and heart function; 20% of the daily value
- Ten percent of the recommended daily allowance of magnesium, a mineral crucial to the body’s chemistry and structure.
- Satiation is increased by eating avocados.
Consuming healthy fats has been shown to decrease the rate at which the stomach empties, thereby extending the time before hunger strikes again. Satiety is the state of feeling full. Considering that avocados are rich in MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids), which are good for your heart, they are a good choice.
The effects of avocado on satiety and hunger were measured in a 2013 study published in Nutrition Journal. One study found that eating half an avocado with meals significantly increased feelings of fullness and decreased hunger for up to five hours. 3 As a result of its ability to leave me feeling full, guacamole is one of my go-to options when it comes to salad dressing.
Avocados aid in weight management.
The common belief that consuming fat will lead to weight gain is unfounded. Eating “healthy” fats is, in fact, a clever way to cut calories and trim excess weight. Plant-based fats, such as avocado, have been linked to healthy weight management because they increase satiety, provide antioxidants, and combat inflammation. People who eat avocados regularly may be able to keep their weight down without making any other dietary changes.
In 2021, researchers from the University of California conducted research on the effects of eating avocados, focusing on how much fat was stored in the abdominal region. Over the course of 12 weeks, 105 adults who were overweight or obese were given either a meal containing one avocado or a meal without avocado that contained the same number of calories and other ingredients.
Some people in the avocado group showed decreased levels of visceral fat, according to the study. Visceral fat protects the internal organs and has been linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They also lost more visceral fat than subcutaneous fat (which is closer to the surface of the skin). That change pointed to a fat redistribution away from the organs, which is protective of health.
A healthy heart is one of avocados’ many benefits.
There is some evidence that eating more monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), like those found in avocados, and less saturated fat and carbohydrates is beneficial for heart health. Getting rid of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” kind) in this way reduces cardiovascular disease danger (LDLs). The consumption of avocados was found to have heart-protective effects in a study published in 2013 in Food & Function. The results of eating a burger with half a Hass avocado instead of none were as follows:
Efforts to reduce inflammatory compound production have been successful.
The flow of blood is better now. Did not add extra triglycerides (blood fats) to what the burger already added. The potassium content of avocados makes them a highly recommended food. According to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet trial, potassium is an effective micronutrient for lowering blood pressure. Elevated blood pressure can be treated by reducing sodium intake while increasing potassium intake.
Avocados Boost Your Nutrient Absorption
Eating avocado with a meal increases the body’s ability to digest and use the antioxidants found in that meal. Adding avocado to tomato sauce and carrots has been shown to increase the body’s uptake of vitamin A in those vegetables, according to research published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2014. Vitamin A is essential for strong immunity, good eyesight, and glowing skin.
Avocados may also contribute to a balanced and healthy diet. Researchers in 2021 found that those with the highest avocado consumption also had the highest intakes of the following nutrients:
- Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, the good kind
- Supplemental E (Vitamin E)
- Magnesium \sPotassium.
- Those who ate avocados frequently also increased their intake of other healthy foods, such as fruits and grains.
A Healthy Gut Starts with Avocados.
The gut microbiome is positively affected by eating avocados. Trillions of microorganisms and their DNA reside in your digestive tract, forming what is called the gut microbiome. Improved immune function, reduced inflammation, and protection from chronic illness are all results of a balanced microbiome in the digestive tract.
Overweight or obese adults in a 2021 study published in the Journal of Nutrition ate a daily meal that included avocados or did not. The diets the study participants followed for 12 weeks were created by the researchers specifically to prevent weight loss.
Over the course of three months, the gut microbiome of avocado eaters improved, with greater microbial diversity and an increase in microbes that produce metabolites beneficial to gut health.
The avocado eaters also had higher fat-excretion rates and slightly higher calorie intakes. Another possible weight-control benefit of avocados is that they reduce the amount of calories absorbed by the body from the digestive tract into the bloodstream.