Avocados are a unique and delicious type of fruit. Whereas most fruit is sweet and higher in sugar, avocados taste slightly nutty and are higher in fats. And we’re talking about the good kind of fats – monounsaturated fatty acids, which are known for being heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory.1
This rich and creamy fruit contains 20 different types of vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber. Avocados are nutrient-packed and offer some amazing health benefits. Here’s a quick view of all the good stuff you get by eating this fruit.
Top 5 Health Benefits Of Avocados
Just half of a medium avocado provides around 125 calories. There are multiple varieties with slightly different textures and flavors, but they all pack a nutritional punch.2
1. Healthy Fats Help Fight Inflammation
Although avocados are high in fat, it’s the kind of fat that you want to eat. Half of an avocado gives you 6.7 grams of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are known to decrease inflammation in your body, support your cardiovascular health, and contribute to healthy aging.3
2. Lose Weight & Feel Satiated With Fiber
Fiber plays many important roles in your health – affecting everything from your satiety to keeping you regular. It helps regulates your blood sugar, slows digestion (which helps to keep you fuller longer), and can help in weight loss.
As such, the American Heart Association recommends that you get between 25-30 grams of fiber per day.
Avocados can help you reach that goal. Just one half of an avocado contains around 5-6 grams of dietary fiber.
3. Potassium Decreases Blood Pressure & Aids Muscle Contractions
Avocados are a fantastic source of potassium. In fact, avocados contain more potassium than bananas.
Why is this important? Because potassium can help reduce your blood pressure, and also plays an important role in maintaining the electrical gradients in your body’s muscles and cells. What that means is that it supports your ability to contract your muscles.4
As an active individual, these are important benefits that could help improve your performance.
4. Vitamins & Minerals Boost Overall Health
Just half of a medium avocado provides an abundance of essential nutrients. Here’s a quick breakdown:
All of these vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients play an important role in keeping you healthy, strong, and disease-free.
5. Better Nutrient Absorption, More Energy
There are a handful of nutrients that are fat-soluble, meaning they require fat to be absorbed and utilized properly. Specifically, vitamins A, E, D, K and certain antioxidants fall into this category.
These vitamins are important for your eye health, skin health, bone strength, healing ability, immune system, and energy production.
Eating avocado with other plant foods that are rich in these nutrients can dramatically help your body take in and use those essential vitamins.5 Ultimately, this can help you have more energy to fuel you through your workout and day.
How To Pick The Perfect Avocado?
Avocados are not a type of produce that you have to buy organic. The thick, scaly skin protects the flesh inside from the chemicals used on them.
If you’re looking for an avocado that you can eat today, you want to choose one that yields to gentle pressure. When an avocado gets too soft, it can sometimes taste smoky. So choose one that’s tender, but solid.
Otherwise, firmer avocados generally take about 3-4 days to ripen.
Ways To Eat Avocados
Avocados are an amazing addition to any meal. You can include them in your breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or even use them to make a decadent dessert:
Breakfast: Spread avocado on top of toast, and serve with a couple of fried eggs.
Lunch: Top your favorite salad with some sliced avocado.
Snacks: Mix canned tuna with half an avocado and some mustard.
Dinner: Make some grilled chicken tacos and guacamole.
Dessert: Blend up a dark chocolate pudding made with avocado.
What are your favorite ways to eat avocado? We’d love to hear how you enjoy this amazing food.
- Kris-etherton PM, Pearson TA, Wan Y, et al. High-monounsaturated fatty acid diets lower both plasma cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999;70(6):1009-15. ↩
- Dreher ML, Davenport AJ. Hass avocado composition and potential health effects. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2013;53(7):738-50.
- Wang L, Bordi PL, Fleming JA, Hill AM, Kris-etherton PM. Effect of a moderate fat diet with and without avocados on lipoprotein particle number, size and subclasses in overweight and obese adults: a randomized, controlled trial. J Am Heart Assoc. 2015;4(1):e001355.
- Available at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287212.php. Accessed November 21, 2016. ↩
- Unlu NZ, Bohn T, Clinton SK, Schwartz SJ. Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil. J Nutr. 2005;135(3):431-6. ↩