Often called “nature’s butter” this fruit (yes, it’s a fruit) is one of the most well-rounded nutritious foods you can eat. It’s versatile — you can add it to just about any meal really easily — and it has been linked to several studies that show it can improve overall health, reduce your risk for diseases and cancers, and even help you lose weight.
Backed by loads of scientific research, take a look at the 9 reasons why you should be eating avocados.
1. It’s packed with nutrients.
The avocado has become somewhat of a trendy food amongst healthy foodies, and for good reason. It is loaded with 20 different nutrients making this a no-brainer addition to any meal or dish.
For only 160 calories you get a delicious food that is 77% healthy fats with 2 grams of protein, 15 grams of healthy fats, and 7 grams of fiber with a vitamin and mineral profile looks like this:
- 26% of your vitamin K RDA (recommended daily allowance)
- 20% of your folate RDA
- 17% of your vitamin C RDA
- 14% of your potassium RDA
- 14% of your vitamin B5 RDA
- 13% of your vitamin B6 RDA
- 10% or your vitamin E RDA
What makes this nutrient makeup so important is the high amount of potassium, fiber, and healthy fats.
Potassium is key here because a lot of people aren’t getting enough of it. As an essential electrolyte, it helps your body regulate the balance of water in cells and bodily fluids. In addition, it helps with muscle contraction and nerve conduction.
Basically, if you want to keep your muscles from cramping up during heavy exercise, you need potassium and this fruit’s got it.
The fiber level in this fruit can assist in weight loss (see # 8) and it feeds that good bacteria in your gut (also essential for weight loss and overall health).
Don’t let them tell you all fats are bad! At 77% fat, avocados are full of the good fats that are good for your heart and are similarly found in olive oil. On top of that, because of its high fat content, it increases absorption of other vitamins and minerals as well.
2. It could reduce your risk for diseases.
Due to the nutrient packed punch this little fruit is delivering, it’s easy to see why it’s also linked to reducing your risk for diseases.
Eating avocados can help you reduce the risk of heart disease significantly because of its impact on blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol (see # 4), and healthy fat content that reduces inflammation.
3. It’s a great substitute for unhealthier foods.
It is called nature’s butter for a reason…
Avocados and avocado oil have been used to replace butter on toast and during cooking, replace unhealthier oils when sautéing veggies, and even to replace meats and dairy ingredients.
4. It can lower your cholesterol.
When it comes to lowering your risk for heart disease, the avocado’s impact on cholesterol levels is a big reason why it should be a go-to addition to your diet.
Multiple research studies have shown that avocados can:
- Reduce your overall total cholesterol level
- Reduce triglycerides
- Decrease your low-density lipoproteins (LDL)
- Increase your high-density lipoproteins (HDL)
All of which are key components to keeping yourself heart healthy.
5. It might make you healthier, overall.
When checking out the dietary habits of people who consume avocados, one research study showed that people who ate avocados were healthier than those who didn’t.
Overall, eating avocados made people more likely to consume more nutrients, weigh less, have a lower basal metabolic index (BMI), less body fat, and higher HDL levels. In addition, they were less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome — a combination of symptoms that indicates a significantly high risk for heart disease and diabetes.
6. It might help reduce your risk of cancer.
There’s still more research that needs to be done in this arena, but the results that researchers have found so far are promising.
Some studies have shown that avocados can decrease the side effects of chemotherapy in cells and even prevent prostate cancer cell growth.
7. It can help ease symptoms of arthritis.
Due to its anti-inflammatory capabilities from the high healthy fat content, researchers have found, in multiple studies, that avocado extracts have decreased symptoms related to arthritis.
There’s still more research to be done to see if this is just a benefit of avocados themselves, or of the extract. But results, overall, are promising.
8. It’s linked to weight loss.
Remember that high fiber content? It certainly comes in handy for weight loss. In addition, that high fat content will make you feel satisfied and fuller, for longer.
9. It’s really easy to include in meals — breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner.
This food is definitely a versatile one. It can be added to meals for breakfast (think avocado toast), lunch (as a sandwich spread), or dinner (mashed with garlic and salt or made into guacamole).
It’s creamy texture and high fat content make it mix easily with other ingredients and it can either star or act as a topping for any meal.
If you’re interested in more tips on how to incorporate avocados into your meals, check out the tips below!
If you’re using avocado, but can’t use the entire fruit, leave the seed in the side you plan to store and squeeze lemon juice on top. Wrap it in clear wrap and store in the fridge. This should keep the flesh from turning brown.
Looking for suggestions on how to eat avocados?
- You can mash them and combine them with other ingredients and spices to act as a spread for sandwiches or a dip for chips and veggies.
- Keep it simple and just slice them and serve as a side or appetizer with sliced tomatoes or with your morning eggs.
- Add them to your burger.
There are plenty of ways to eat avocados and a lot of dishes you can add them to. The great thing about avocados is their versatility so you can be creative with them in the kitchen! For more inspiration, check out these recipes.