7 Benefits of eating avocados daily

From helping with weight loss and improving gut health to potentially reducing inflammation and heart disease risk, the humble avocado is more than just a tasty accompaniment.

Re-introducing the avocado

Healthy, versatile, and delicious – avocados have become a kitchen staple worldwide. Although some people refer to avocados as fruit and some say they’re a vegetable, avocados (Persea americana) are actually berries [1].

Avocados are native to Central America and Mexico, yet farmed in many areas, including North America. In the United States, California is the highest producer of avocados and is home to over 5,000 avocado farms, which yield around 400 million pounds yearly [2].

These fruits are an integral part of definitive Mexican, Central American, and South American cuisine and are part of dishes like tacos, salads, guacamole, and more. Avocados are trendy in health and wellness because they’re highly nutritious and provide several health benefits [3].

When ripe, avocados should yield to gentle pressure when squeezed. Their flesh is prone to browning, so it’s best to peel and cut avocados just before serving or sprinkle the cut slices with lemon or lime juice to control discoloration [4].

Avocados are rich in fiber, potassium, and vitamins B, C, and E. In addition, they hold several plant-based nutrients, including:

  • Phytosterols: which have been shown to decrease cholesterol – a risk factor for heart disease.
  • Leutin and zeaxanthin: which work as antioxidants and defend healthy cells, especially in the eyes.

But there are many more potential advantages to be gained from consuming avocados.

7 Health benefits of eating avocado

1. Adaptable ingredient

Aside from being favorably nutritious, avocados are utilized in many other sweet and savory recipes, making them a useful ingredient to have on hand.

Some suggestions on how to incorporate more avocado into your diet:

  • Using it in place of mayonnaise with Greek yogurt in chicken, egg, salmon, and tuna salads.
  • Making classic guacamole using ingredients like avocados, onions, lime, and cilantro.
  • Topping chicken breasts with a salad of tomato and cubed avocado.
  • Tossing frozen avocado chunks into smoothies for a dose of healthy fat.
  • Topping chilis and soups with sliced avocado.
  • Incorporating avocado into salads and grain bowls.

2. Nutrition support during pregnancy and breastfeeding

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, nutrient requirements like vitamin C, folate, and potassium significantly increase.

Folate demands rise significantly during pregnancy, but unfortunately, many pregnant people worldwide fall short of the recommended intake, which may increase the risk of pregnancy complications [5]. One avocado bears 27% of the advised folate intake during pregnancy [6].

Eating avocados can also help you acquire the recommended intake levels for nutrients needed in more significant amounts during pregnancy and breastfeeding – like vitamins B6, C, and potassium. Also, the high fiber content of avocados may help prevent constipation, which is also common during pregnancy.

3. May help reduce heart disease risk factors

Regular consumption of nutrient-dense foods like avocados could help safeguard against heart disease. The fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals in this food all play a part in keeping the cardiovascular system healthy.

Studies suggest that an avocado-rich diet may help lower heart disease risk factors, which may help avert the onset of heart disease, although some experts suggest that industry involvement in peer-reviewed research could skew results [7].

Nevertheless, avocados may help increase heart-protective HDL cholesterol and decrease levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol, a type of cholesterol significantly associated with atherosclerosis or plaque buildup along artery walls.

4. May help maintain a healthy body weight

Although multiple factors influence weight, following a nourishing and proportional diet is essential for acquiring and preserving a healthy body weight, a requirement for disease prevention.

Research shows that eating a dietary pattern rich in fibrous foods, like fruits and vegetables, may help weight loss. In addition, people who eat more fiber tend to maintain healthier body weights than those who follow lower-fiber diets [8].

Although avocados are high in calories, they’re loaded with essential nutrients and help stimulate satiety, thanks to their increased fiber and healthy fat content.

5. Rich source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds

Avocados are filled with bioactive compounds, including carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E, and phenolic compounds. These substances have been shown to have effective antioxidant, neuroprotective, and cardioprotective activities.

Because avocados are high in antioxidants, regularly consuming them may help increase the body’s antioxidant defenses. A small study discovered that eating an avocado a day raised blood levels of the carotenoid lutein above that of a typical Western diet without avocado [9].

6. Superior source of nutrients

Avocados are high in many essential nutrients, often lacking in modern diets. Here’s the nutrition breakdown for a typical 7-ounce (201-gram) avocado [10]:

  • Calories: 322
  • Carbs: 17 grams
  • Fat: 30 grams
  • Fiber: 14 grams
  • Protein: 4 grams
  • Copper: 42% of the daily value (DV)
  • Folate: 41% of the DV
  • Niacin (B3): 22% of the DV
  • Manganese: 12% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 14% of the DV
  • Pantothenic acid (B5): 56% of the DV
  • Potassium: 21% of the DV
  • Pyridoxine (B6): 30% of the DV
  • Riboflavin (B2): 20% of the DV
  • Vitamin C: 22% DV
  • Vitamin E: 28% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 35% of the DV

Avocados also provide essential nutrients for the immune system’s health, including vitamins C, B6, and E. They contain many of the nutrients necessary for optimal health, and regular consumption could help improve overall diet quality.

7. Valuable for gut health

Avocados are high in fiber, with about 14 grams in everyone. That’s nearly half of the recommended daily intake for this critical nutrient.

Getting enough fiber in your diet is fundamental for the health of your digestive system because it helps assist the growth of healthy bacteria.

A study found that people who consumed avocado daily for 12 weeks had lower fecal bile acid concentrations and elevated bacterial diversity compared to a control group [11].

Greater bile acid concentrations often lead to intestinal inflammation and are related to the growth of microbes associated with harmful health outcomes like colon cancer.

It’s worth noting that all fibre-containing foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, contribute to good gut health. The most crucial factor in supporting digestive health is eating a variety of fiber-containing foods, not just avocados.

As with all foods, devouring avocados in large quantities is not without risk – overdoing them can lead to undesirable outcomes [12]. Avocados have high-fat content, so adding too much to your diet might lead to unintended weight gain.

Avocados are also rich in vitamin K, which can affect how blood thinners work. It is crucial for people taking blood thinners, like warfarin (Coumadin), to keep their vitamin K levels consistent.

For this reason, it is not a good idea to suddenly start eating more foods containing vitamin K, which plays a vital role in blood clotting.

How do I incorporate avocado into my diet?

How do I incorporate avocado into my diet?

Known for their creamy texture, rich flavor, and versatile nature, avocados are packed with essential nutrients, healthy fats, and beneficial compounds that offer a range of health benefits.

Let’s explore creative and simple ways to incorporate avocados into your daily meals, ensuring that you can enjoy their goodness every day.

  1. Avocado toast: Start with a slice of whole-grain or sourdough bread, mash ripe avocado onto it, and then add toppings like sliced tomatoes, a sprinkle of sea salt, a drizzle of olive oil, or a poached egg for extra protein.
  2. Smoothie: Blend ripe avocado with your favorite fruits like berries, bananas, or mangoes, along with some leafy greens like spinach or kale, a splash of almond milk or coconut water, and a scoop of protein powder if desired.
  3. Salad: Simply add sliced avocado to your favorite salad greens, along with other veggies like cucumbers, bell peppers, and radishes. You can also top your salad with grilled chicken, shrimp, or tofu for added protein, and toss everything together with a homemade vinaigrette or creamy avocado dressing for extra flavor.
  4. Guacamole: Mash ripe avocados with diced onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, lime juice, and a pinch of salt to taste. Serve with tortilla chips, veggie sticks, or as a topping for tacos, burrito bowls, or grilled meats.

In closing

Incorporating avocados into your daily diet can offer many health benefits that support overall well-being. From promoting heart health and aiding in weight management to enhancing skin health and regulating blood sugar levels, avocados are a nutritional powerhouse packed with essential nutrients and beneficial compounds.

Their versatility makes them easy to include in various dishes, from breakfast to dinner. Whether you enjoy them on toast, in salads, or as a dip, avocados can be a delicious and nutritious addition to any meal.

[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6826385/
[2] https://www.thepacker.com/markets/shipping/californias-harvest-may-hit-400-million-pounds
[3] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/avocado-nutrition
[4] https://bit.ly/3BXHbHp
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6486449/
[6] https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171705/nutrients
[7] https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0243144
[8] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31398891/
[9] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7373821/
[10] https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171705/nutrients
[11] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8030699/
12] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270406#risks

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