Top 5 Health Benefits of Avocados + Nutrition Info and Fun FactsWritten by Christine Sexton, MPH, RD
If you don't usually eat avocados, you might want to consider adding this superfood to your routine.
Avocados are rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, folate and vitamin E. They contain a lot of fat, but they are the good type of fats – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that lower cholesterol and prevent disease (1,2).
Most people know avocados are the main ingredient in guacamole, but they can also be eaten on sandwiches, in salads, or used to replace butter or oil in baking.
Avocado Health Benefits
1. Avocados are an excellent source of fiberOne avocado provides over 13 grams of fiber, which is more than half of the recommended daily value (54%DV) (3). Getting plenty of fiber is important for good digestive health and can help with weight management (4). It can also help lower your cholesterol levels (4).
2. Avocados may improve brain healthAvocados contain many antioxidants, which researchers suggest may protect against the cognitive decline that often occurs with aging (5). In one randomized, controlled study, participants who ate more avocados over the course of 6 months did better on tests of attention, memory and problem-solving (6).
3. Avocados may lower unhealthy cholesterol levelsAvocados are high in healthy monounsaturated fats, which are known to lower cholesterol (1). One study found that a diet with moderate amounts of fat, including one avocado per day, lowered LDL-cholesterol and total-cholesterol more than a similar diet without avocado, and more than a lower-fat diet (7).
4. Avocados are an excellent source of vitamin KVitamin K is important for tissue and bone health, healthy blood clotting, and proper insulin function (8). Vitamin K may also help prevent and treat cancer (9, 10). Studies have shown that those people who eat more vitamin K foods, like avocados, are less likely to get cancer (9).
5. Avocados may protect eye healthAvocados are high in lutein and zeaxanthin – carotenoids that are important for eye health. Eating foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin may decrease age-related vision problems (11,12). Researchers think that the monounsaturated fats in avocados allow us to absorb the lutein/zeaxanthin from avocados better than from most other fruits and vegetables (13).
Nutrient Info For Avocado
Serving size: One Avocado (201g)Top 10 Nutrients by %DV
- Fiber54% DV
- Vitamin K53% DV
- Fat45% DV
- Vitamin B9 (Folate)41% DV
- Vitamin C34% DV
- Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)28% DV
- Potassium28% DV
- Vitamin B626% DV
- Saturated Fat21% DV
- Vitamin E21% DV
|Vitamin A, IU||293.5IU||6%|
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database - Release 28.
See the complete nutrition facts with over 150 nutrients, or the nutrition facts comparison of Avocado vs other foods.
Avocado Fun Facts
- Avocados were first cultivated in Mexico as early as 500 B.C. (14).
- Avocados were introduced to the United States in 1871, when trees were brought from Mexico to Santa Barbara, California (14).
- In the 1950s, there were over 25 varieties of avocados commercially grown in California. Today, most avocados grown are the Haas variety (14).
- Avocados make a great portable snack or lunch – just bring a spoon, salt, and pepper!
- Contrary to popular belief, putting an avocado pit in guacamole does not keep it from turning brown! Instead, press plastic wrap down onto the surface of guacamole when storing it to keep air out and prevent browning.
Data Sources and References
- High-monounsaturated fatty acid diets lower both plasma cholesterol and triacylglycerol concentrations.
- Effect of the amount and type of dietary fat on cardiometabolic risk factors and risk of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer: a systematic review
- Nutrition Facts for an average avocado
- Fiber and prebiotics: mechanisms and health benefits.
- Avocado as a Major Dietary Source of Antioxidants and Its Preventive Role in Neurodegenerative Diseases
- Avocado Consumption Increases Macular Pigment Density in Older Adults: A Randomized, Controlled Trial
- A healthy approach to dietary fats: understanding the science and taking action to reduce consumer confusion
- The health benefits of vitamin K
- Vitamin K and its analogs: Potential avenues for prostate cancer management
- Vitamin K and cancer
- Associations between age-related nuclear cataract and lutein and zeaxanthin in the diet and serum in the Carotenoids in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study, an Ancillary Study of the Women's Health Initiative
- Prospective study of lutein/zeaxanthin intake and risk of age-related macular degeneration
- Carotenoid absorption from salad and salsa by humans is enhanced by the addition of avocado or avocado oil
- Hass avocado composition and potential health effects