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Avocado is healthy for your body! These 6 reasons prove why

There are numerous avocado benefits such as strengthening immunity as well as gut health. Read on to know more
One cut and other whole avocados
Avocado is nutrient-dense and has a variety of health benefits. It can be eaten every day. Image courtesy: Freepik
Anjuri Nayar Singh Published: 7 Apr 2024, 08:59 am IST
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Could eating an avocado a day keep the doctor away? Perhaps, yes! Avocado has a lot of key nutrients such as healthy fats and fibre that are essential for the body. It also has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants that may promote a healthy gut, improve digestive function as well as eye health.

One avocado a day can improve the quality of your diet, notes a study published in Current Developments in Nutrition. Avocado, which is actually a berry, is very versatile in terms of the ways of consumption and can be added in a variety of things to enhance taste. These qualities make avocado one of the most popular food item as they contribute to nutrition as well as wellness.

What is an avocado?

An avocado is a green fruit, a berry, that is often mistaken for a vegetable. It has a creamy texture and a mild, nutty flavour. Avocados are rich in healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, making them a nutritious addition to a balanced diet,” explains Shah. Avocados are grown primarily in California in the US. In fact, according to Colorado State University, California has more than 5000 avocado farms.

Nutritional profile of avocado

Avocado is considered to be a better source of fat, than protein. According to IFCT, one small avocado (about 100 grams) contains approximately:

  •  Calories: 144
  •  Protein: 3 grams
  •  Carbohydrates: 1.7 grams
  •  Dietary Fiber: 6.6 grams
  • Fat: 13.8 grams
  • Omega 3: 62.1 mcg
  •  Folate: 61.7 mcg
  •  Vitamin C: 9.3 mg
  •  Magnesium – 48.1 mg

What are the benefits of eating avocado every day?

Consuming avocados can lead to healthier food choices in several ways, explains dietician Kejal Shah.

1. Increases nutrient intake

Avocados are a nutrient-dense food, rich in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. By adding avocados to meals, individuals can boost their overall nutrient intake. “This may encourage individuals to prioritize other nutrient-rich foods in their diet to complement the avocado,” explains Shah. According to a study published in Nutrients, avocados are rich in nutrients such as magnesium, B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, and folate, which are not very easy to consume every day. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans lists potassium is not something that Americans prioritise on eating daily, and avocado is rich in potassium.

A woman with a weighing scale
Eating avocado regularly promotes a feeling of satiety, and helps in weight regulations. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Promotes satiation

Avocados are high in fiber and healthy fats, which can help promote feelings of fullness and satisfaction after a meal. “Including avocados in meals can help prevent overeating and snacking on less nutritious foods later on. This can lead to a more balanced and mindful approach to eating,” says Shah. This study published in Current Developments in Nutrition states that eating avocados is associated with increased satiety, weight loss as well as decrease in abdominal fat.

3. Enhances flavour and texture

One of the biggest avocado benefits is its versatile taste. Avocados have a creamy texture and a mild, nutty flavour that can enhance the taste of a variety of dishes. “By incorporating avocados into meals, individuals may find that they can rely less on high-fat or high-calorie condiments or toppings to add flavour. This can lead to lower overall calorie and fat intake,” says Shah.

Also Read: National Avocado Day: 5 healthy avocado recipes that kids would love

4. Improves gut health

Avocados are a versatile ingredient and can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. This versatility allows individuals to experiment with different cooking and meal preparation techniques, making meals more enjoyable and varied. “This can help prevent food boredom and increase adherence to a balanced diet,” says Shah. This study published by the National Institute of Health states that regular avocado consumption leads to increased bile acid concentrations and that reduced inflammation in the intestines. Also, avocados are known to produce short-chain fatty acids and these help prevent diseases such as colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease, according to this study, published in the ISME Journal. Avocados are rich in dietary fiber, which is important for digestive health, gut function, and can help with weight management by promoting feelings of fullness. Fiber also helps regulate blood sugar levels.

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5. Reduces risk of heart disease

Avocados help with cholesterol, and promote better heart health. Consumption of avocados regularly increases heart-protective HDLcholesterol, and diminishes oxidised LDL choresterol that is responsible for plaque buildup on artery walls, according to this study, published in Journal of Nutrition. Also, avocados are high in potassium as well as magnesium, and this leads to regulation of blood pressure, states Nutrition Journal.

6. Helps reduce risk of chronic illnesses

One of the best avocado benefits is that they are rich in antioxidants as well as anti-inflammatory compounds, and this helps overall health and wellness. This study, published in Clininal Interventions in Aging, suggests that avocados contain carotenoids that are antioxidant in nature, and helps prevent chronic diseases. In fact, avocados can help promote better immunity as well. Avocados are rich in vitamin C, B6 and E, and these are essential nutrients to enhance our immune system, according to this study, published in Frontiers in Nutrition.

Side effects of eating too much avocado

While avocados are highly nutritious and offer numerous health benefits, there are some reasons why individuals may need to limit their avocado intake:

1. Caloric density

Avocados are calorie-dense due to their high healthy fat content. Consuming large amounts of avocados regularly can lead to an excess of calories, which may contribute to weight gain if not balanced with overall energy expenditure.

2. Fat content

Avocados are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, but they still contain a significant amount of total fat, including saturated fat. For individuals with specific dietary goals or health conditions that require limiting fat intake, consuming excessive amounts of avocados may not be advisable.

3. FODMAP sensitivity

Avocados contain sorbitol, a type of FODMAP (Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides, And Polyols). Some people may have sensitivity to FODMAPs and experience digestive issues like bloating, gas, and abdominal discomfort after consuming avocados in large quantities.

4. Allergies

Avocado allergies are rare, but can occur. People who are allergic to avocados should obviously limit or avoid consumption to prevent allergic reactions.

5. Interaction with medications

Avocados contain vitamin K, which can interfere with blood-thinning medications like Warfarin. Individuals taking such medications should be mindful of their vitamin K intake, which includes avocado consumption.

6. Personal tolerance

Some people may experience digestive discomfort from consuming too much avocado, especially if they have a sensitive stomach or have difficulty digesting fats. It’s essential to pay attention to individual tolerance levels and adjust avocado intake accordingly.

In general, moderation is key when it comes to avocado consumption. While avocados offer many health benefits, it’s important to balance their intake with overall dietary needs, personal health goals, and individual tolerances.

A bowl of guacamole dip with some chips and lime.
Avocado can be used to make guacamole by adding spices. Image courtesy: Freepik

How to eat avocado?

Avocados are creamy in consistency and help enhance the taste of any recipe, either sweet or salty. This is one of the biggest avocado benefits. Avocados can be mashed and taste amazing with some seasoning on top. You can try paprika, salt, pepper, vinegar or even lemon juice. Olive oil also can be added. Alternatively, they can even be teamed up with scrambled eggs, and avocado toast is anyway a popular choice to eating it. Guacamole is another yummy way to eat avocado, you can even add other vegetables such as broccoli and seasoning of your choice to the mix.

Frequently asked questions

Can I eat avocado every day?

Yes, you can. To improve diet quality, consuming one avocado per day, approximately 168g, is recommended. “This daily intake positively impacts diet quality, nutrient intake, and metabolic syndrome risk factors,” says Shah.

How to tell if my avocado is ripe?

There are few ways to knowing if your avocado is ripe, and ready to eat or not. Firstly, it would be of a slighter darker colour. Next, try to exert firm, but gentle pressure on the avocado. If it yields, it is ready.

Are avocados good for skin?

Yes, both avocado consumption as well as avocado application is great for your skin. Avocados have antioxidants that make them great for skin care. They also contain vitamin E, which is hydrating in nature and can be great for dry or even sensitive skin.

Do avocados burn belly fat?

Yes, there are studies that claim that avocados are great to burn abdominal fat. A study, conducted by University of Illinois, stated that women who regular ate avocado shed belly fat, as well as had improved glucose tolerance. However, men did not have the same reaction to avocado.

How to ripen an avocado?

An avocado can only be eaten once its ripe, and there is a way to quicken the ripening process. An a banana, an apple or even a kiwi with an avocado in a bag, and close it. The fruits produce a hormone called ethylene gas and this will help to ripen the avocado faster. Leave the bag at room temperature for two days.

Takeaway

Avocados are also a good source of antioxidants and have been linked to various health benefits, such as improved heart health, digestion, and weight management. They are versatile and can be enjoyed in many ways, such as in salads, sandwiches, smoothies, or simply eaten on their own.

In summary, including avocados in the diet can serve as a stepping stone toward making healthier food choices by increasing nutrient intake, promoting satiation, enhancing flavor and texture, supporting a balanced diet, and encouraging the consumption of whole foods.

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About the Author

Anjuri Nayar Singh has over 12 years of experience in writing for various topics including lifestyle, films, television and OTT. She also writes on art and culture, education and human interest stories. ...Read More

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