It’s Green Magic! 35 Benefits and Uses of Avocado

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Here we are again talking about that green monster the avocado. There are so many benefits with the application of avocados it seems like you can do just about anything with it! It is a lot more valuable than just being used in avocado dip or as ornaments in a salad. It’s claimed that avocados are one of the healthiest foods in the world. They have so many outstanding ingredients that can give you so many healthy benefits.

Avocados have so much to offer. We will cover 35 of those benefits and how you can benefit from these benefits.

The History of Avocados

The History of Avocados

Mesoamericans discovered avocados and incorporated them into diet a very long time ago. It has been speculated they discovered avocados about 10,000 years ago and have been consuming them ever since. Later, tribes such as the Maya and Olmec domesticated the avocado tree and developed their own avocado fruit.

The Europeans first ate avocados in the 16th century and those Europeans were the Spanish explorers. The Europeans had their own word for avocado which was “aguacate”. Due to the conquest of the Spanish the avocado spread through Mexico, Central America, and parts of South America. Gradually, the Spanish brought avocados to Europe and the Europeans came to know three kind of avocados. They were the Guatemalan, Mexican and West Indian.

The avocado comes from the flowering plant Lauraceae which is indigenous Central America and Mexico. It is considered the fatty  fruit of the avocado tree. It is known as the Persea Americana  in scientific circles.      

What are Some of the Benefits of Avocados

Avocados have a unique nutrition file because they are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin  E, vitamin C and B-vitamins. The avocado are so satiating they can help you lose weight and help with preventing cardiovascular  disease.

1) Super Nutritious Fruit

Avocados are very nutritious and are a very popular food with health-conscious individuals. Avocados contain 20 different minerals and vitamins. The most popular type of avocado is the “Hass” avocado which can anywhere from 8 ounces to 3 lbs. Here are some of it’s rich ingredients:

  • Vitamin K 26% of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance)
  • Folate 20% of the RDA   
  • Vitamin C 17% of the RDA
  • Potassium 14% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B5 14% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B6 13% of the RDA
  • Vitamin E    10% of the RDA
  • It also contains small quantities of Iron, Copper, Manganese, Magnesium, Zinc, Phosphorous, Vitamin A, B1(Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin) and B3 (Niacin)

The above ingredients contain 160 calories, 2 grams of protein, 15 grams of healthy fats. Avocados contain 9 grams of carbs only 2 grams are “net” carbs and 7 grams are fibers which makes avocados a low carb, friendly plant food. It’s considered a superfood because it has no cholesterol or sodium and is low in saturated fat.

2) Melt those pounds off  and you will feel satiated

Contrary to traditional thinking avocados are a good supplement to any diet. It is thought because they are high in fats they wouldn’t be a good diet food. Avocados are good because they will make you feel satiated which will lead you to eat less and not as many times during the day.   

 3) Destroys Arthritis

In the western world arthritis has become rampant. It is characterized by joint deterioration which can be very painful It’s a progressive disease that is treated progressively. Treatments are made of avocado and soybean oils. Soybeans (66%) and avocados (35%) are used to extinguish and finally treat people with arthritis. These treatments have reported to reduce arthritis in the knee and hip areas.

4) Super in Potassium  

Many people are missing potassium in their diets. It maintains electrical gradients in the body cells and helps with important body functions. Bananas which are rich in potassium (10%) have less potassium than avocados. (14% in 100 grams)Which may be a little known fact. Studies have found a diet rich in potassium will lower blood pressure which lowers the risk for heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure.

5) Say Goodbye to high Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women. Many blood markers indicate a high risk for heart disease: cholesterol, blood pressure, triglycerides, inflammatory markers, and many others. 8 human controlled trials were conducted to find out what effect avocados had on these risk factors. The candidates  were split into to two groups. One group could eat avocados the other couldn’t. Avocados were found to:

  • Reduce cholesterol levels significantly
  • Increase the good cholesterol (HDL) by 11%
  • Decrease bad cholesterol  (LDL) by 22%
  • Reduce blood triglycerides by 20%

Avocados really help to reduce these blood factors.

6) Generally Healthy

Generally Healthy

People struggle to maintain healthy dietary habits. But avocados can really help if incorporated routinely into the diet. 17,567 who participated in a study showing that consumers who ate avocados compared to those who didn’t were much healthier. Avocado eaters had less belly fat and were at lower risk to get metabolic syndrome- a group of symptoms that are a risk for getting diabetes and heart disease. They also lost weight and had higher levels of “good cholesterol.

7) Great Absorber of Nutrients

There are plants that are rich in nutrients but cannot absorb them very well which is useless. On the other hand avocados are great absorber’s of nutrients from other plants. This in turn makes  avocados great sources of nutrient absorbers by the digestive tract. The nutrients are then carried into the body. Studies have shown when adding avocados or avocado oil to a meal, salad or salsa that may increase antioxidant absorption by 2.6 to 15 fold.   

8) Super Sight

Avocados not only help with antioxidant absorption from other foods but, they are rich in antioxidants themselves. Two of those antioxidants are Lutein and Zeaxanthin which help reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration in the eyes. (Very common in the elderly) They are essential for good eyesight and eye health. Eating avocados will benefit your eyesight over the long term.

9) Pregnant Women will greatly Benefit  

Avocados contain folic acid which help prevent birth defects such as spina bifida and neural tube. Vitamin B is essential for the pregnancy so pregnant women are encouraged to eat avocados. Avocado contains 45 mcg per half cup more than any other fruit. It also contains rich sources of vitamin K. Pregnant women need vitamin K so they can pass it on to the babies. Some newborns suffer from  VKBD which means the babies cannot stop bleeding because of a deficiency of vitamin K. Pregnant women are highly recommended to take vitamin K during the pregnancy. So, avocados are a food strongly suggested to consume.

10) Super Food for Liver

Now, avocados are being touted to help reduce liver damage. The main culprit of liver damage is Hepatitis C and avocados are considered to be able to protect the liver from a spectrum of conditions including Hepatitis C. Avocados can protect the liver for a few reasons:

  • If you suffer from fatty liver disease, then avocados can raise the levels of “good cholesterol and lower the levels of bad cholesterol. Which reduces the risk of liver fatty disease.
  • Avocados have the ability to produce glutathione an antioxidant known to filter out harmful substances from liver cells. This antioxidant also protects the liver from liver disease. People with chronic liver disease are found to have low levels of glutathione. Eating avocados will increase glutathione levels.
  • Besides, glutathione avocados are rich in vitamins C and E which neutralize harmful free radicals. When the free radicals are neutralized the liver is protected from liver disease.
  • Avocados are well-known for their anti-inflammatory properties. They contain vitamins E and K two nutrients known to reduce cellular inflammation. Cellular inflammation precedes cellular damage. Avocados definitely keep the liver healthy.    

11) Even Dental Health

Consuming avocados will bring back the freshness in the breath, Many people suffer from bad breath because of indigestion and an upset stomach. Halitosis is the main cause of bad breath but, it can be eliminated by improving digestive health. The antioxidants and antibacterial properties of flavonoids found in avocados, kill bad bacteria in the mouth eliminating bad breath. Avocados are known to prevent oral cancers.

12)   Stops Vitamin K Deficiencies

Vitamin K deficiency is not a known health issue except in pregnant women. It could lead to a bleeding disorder called Vitamin K deficiency-related bleeding or VKBD. VKBD occurs in newborns, when women don’t intake enough vitamin K during pregnancy. This is alleviated by eating avocados which are a rare fruit containing high levels of vitamin K.

13) Rich in Carotenoids

Avocados are a rich source of carotenoids

Avocados are a rich source of carotenoids which help keep the body healthier. They have the ability to reduce the risk of diseases such as certain cancers and eye disease.

14) Live Forever

Avocados are even beneficial in prolonging your life. They have powerful compounds that regenerate your body. One such compound is xanthophyll which is an antioxidant. According to one study research this compound has the ability to decrease the signs of aging in different parts of the body.

15)  Avocados Friends for the Bones  

Avocados contain zeaxanthin and lutein two powerful carotenoids. They help with bone health by reducing the risk of cartilage defects-symptoms of osteoarthritis. Consuming avocados may reduce the risk of osteoarthritis. A study investigating the effects of avocados on osteoarthritis found that it could help with this bone disease. The study suggested that 300mg of avocado supplements helped patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis.

16)  The Great Wound Healer

Avocados are a great source of enrichment for dry, chapped, or damaged skin. It is also known to heal wounds all over the body.

17)  Very High in Fiber

Women need 25 grams of fiber per day and men need 38 grams of fiber per day. Eating a whole avocado means a woman would get ½ of the required fiber and a man would get about ⅓ the fiber he needed. Fiber helps to keep the bowels regulated and reduces the risk of constipation. Avocados help with these issues as well.

18) Rich in Healthy Fats

Avocados contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats the good kinds that help your body not damage it like clogging arteries. These fats can protect your skin. Polyunsaturated fats protect the skin from sun damage and inflammation. Monounsaturated fats keep the top layer of the skin moisturized which keeps the skin from getting premature wrinkles.

19) Lipids are Plentiful

Avocados contain lipids which are fatty acids. These fatty acids are the building blocks for healthy cells. But they do much more than that. They also restore damaged cells. Lipids are thought to help your body absorb carotenoids and beta-carotenes. Beta carotenes help fight off certain cancers, heart disease, and cataracts.

20) Avocados Are the Great Comedians

Yes, avocados can make you feel good and laugh. Homocysteine is naturally produced in the body to but too much of it will be harmful to your moods. Excessive homocysteine production blocks the production of serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals regulate the moods. If they are restricted in production you will become depressed and you will sleep poorly at night. This will have a negative effect on your moods.

Avocados contain folate which blocks excessive production of homocysteine which allows serotonin and dopamine to be produced. They can regulate your moods which will help you sleep normally. You will them be emotionally healthier resulting in a positive disposition.

21) Heart-Healthy Fats

77% of calories contained in avocados are fat. But don’t panic these are good types of fat. One such fat is a monounsaturated fatty acid known as oleic acid. Oleic acid is known to be a “heart-healthy” fat  and it is known to have beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.

22) Avocados may help in the fight against cancer

This benefit hasn’t been completely verified and it needs more research to prove its validity. Supposedly, avocados help inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells. This research was done on isolated cells so it must be studied further.

23) Fun to Eat

Avocados just taste good

Avocados just taste good. They make guacamole which is always a delight and they are easy to incorporate into any diet. It’s one of those fruits that goes well in salads, tacos and in sandwiches.

24) Prevents Degenerative Disorders

Due to its powerful anti-inflammatory properties avocados can prevent degenerative diseases such as in the eyes and the bones.

25) Controls Blood Pressure Levels

Avocados have been known to control high blood pressure levels. So, instead of buying expensive high blood pressure medicines; eat avocados they will have the same effect and be much more cost-effective.

26) Controls Blood Sugar Levels

Monounsaturated fats found in avocados can reverse insulin resistance therefore control blood sugar levels.

27) May Fight Strokes

Studies may have found those individuals who eat avocados because of its folates may be at lower risk for strokes.

28) Fights Breast Cancer

Oleic Acid in avocados may inhibit breast cancerous cells.

29) Do you want to Gain Weight

Avocados are rich in fats and they can help people who desire to gain weight.

30) Great source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Avocados contain omega-3 fatty acids known to curb stiffness and prevent joint pain which reduces the risk of arthritis.

31) What Cell Damage

Avocados because of their high concentration of antioxidants will help reduce cell damage in all parts of the body.

32) Immune Away

Avocados are a good source for Glutathione which help keep the immune system healthy and functioning normally.  

33) Healthy Digestion

Avocados help in the digestion process which ultimately accounts for healthy intestines and a solid weight.

34) Glowing Skin

Why not avocados seem to help with everything else. But they do contain Vitamins C and E which brightens your skin and keeps it glowing and radiant. You won’t need a flashlight at night your glowing skin will light the way for you.

35)  A True Brain Food

Avocados can even work wonders for the brain. It’s considered a vital and healthy brain food. It may help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Avocados contain Vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids which may stop this progression of this devastating disease and may even reverse it in the early stages of the disease.  

 Conclusion

We can safely conclude that avocados are truly a superfood. They are one of the most beneficial fruits in the world. They help the human body in practically every area. They benefit the immune system, digestive tract, the bowels, the heart and even the brain. They can help the skin and even support a weight loss routine. They are delicious and very enjoyable to eat. This green monster has rightfully earned the classification of a super food. Medical professionals traditionally classify it as a superfood. We can see why with all the health benefits it provides for us.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.