10 Amazing Benefits of Avocados – Nutrition Information, Recipes, and Risks

Should we really be spending our money on these overpriced fruits that taste pretty bland? Avocados have been put on everything, from toast to brownies, but is it worth it?

person holding 2 avocado halves, avocados
How good are avocados – source

Let’s find out.

Here is everything you need to know about avocados, all the potential, science-based benefits you need to know, the risks, and how to use them in recipes in different unexpected ways! 

Avocado Nutrition Facts

Half a medium-sized avocado, about 100 grams, has the following nutrition information:

  • Calories: 160
  • Fat: 14.7g
  • Sodium: 7mg
  • Carbohydrates: 8.5g
  • Fiber: 6.7g
  • Sugars: 0.7g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Magnesium: 29mg
  • Potassium: 485mg
  • Vitamin C: 10mg
  • Vitamin E: 2.1mg
  • Vitamin K: 21mcg

They also contain nutrients such as folate, riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), copper, and manganese.

They are particularly high in potassium, which has been noticed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a nutrient of public health concern. This is because the average American does not consume enough. 

Top 10 Benefits of Avocados

Here are the top 10 Health Benefits of eating avocados.

1. Improves Vision

Avocados contain carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. These are chemicals found in some plants, and they can help increase and maintain the cells in the eyes. Studies have even shown that these chemicals can help improve vision as you age.

2. Promotes Healthy Weight

The high contents of fiber allow you to feel fuller for longer, helping you maintain weight by not overeating. Additionally, avocados may reduce insulin resistance, which is when your body stops responding to insulin effectively. 

Reducing insulin resistance reduces metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is a series of issues including issues such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high body mass index.

3. Reduces Mental Fog

The oleic acid in avocados has been found to improve memory and increase mental clarity. Furthermore, the combinations of nutrients in avocados can protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. 

4. Increases Gut Health 

Being high in fiber automatically makes avocados a great source of nutrients for gut health. Plus, research shows that avocados help promote healthy bacteria in the gut, lowering bad bacteria.

5. Reduces Depression

High amounts of monounsaturated fats have been found to reduce symptoms of depression which folate allows your brain to create chemicals that improve moods, such as serotonin and dopamine.

Because avocados improve gut health, they may boost feel-good chemicals in that way, as about 90% of the serotonin in the body is made in the gut.

6. Improves Digestion 

Furthermore, since avocados are high in healthy fat, they may help you absorb nutrients better, as many vitamins are fat soluble.

7. Beneficial During Pregnancy 

Avocados are high in folate, which is a necessary supplement during and after pregnancy. Folate needs jump from about 400 μg to 600 μg, and one serving of avocado already provides about 30% of daily needs. 

Additionally, the high levels of potassium and vitamin C make it a great source of nutrients, as these are also required in higher amounts during pregnancy.

8. Increases Heart Health

Studies have found that these fruits increase good cholesterol while decreasing bad cholesterol, which may improve heart health. One thing to note, however, is that studies published have been funded by the Hass Avocado Board, which means results may be biased.

In any case, the potassium and magnesium in avocados do help regulate blood pressure, which is important in preventing heart disease.

9. May Improve Liver Health 

Researchers found that avocados contain chemicals that help protect and repair liver damage greatly. While more research is needed to further prove its effects in humans, this is a promising trial with the potential to reduce liver damage and protect against toxins. 

10. May Reduce Cancer Risk

Some studies have shown that nutrients derived from avocados help kill leukemia cells. Plus, the phytochemicals in avocados can even help prevent cancer.

Risks of Eating Avocados

As with anything, too much of a good thing can become bad. Avocados are very nutrient-dense and calorie dense, meaning you may overeat without noticing. 

I know if I have a good guacamole and chips, I can easily eat 3 avocados with ease, definitely more than a serving size. This makes avocados great if you were looking to gain weight, or even maintain weight!

In addition, the high levels of vitamin K may interact with medication to thin the blood, so be aware of that effect. 

How to Use Avocados in Recipes 

Avocados do not just go on toast! They can be used in a variety of ways, even in desserts! This is because avocados mostly taste like, well, nothing. They have a bland neutral smell and taste, making them perfect for a variety of recipes.

Add them to a green smoothie to improve consistency and make it more smooth. You can replace the butter in a recipe with avocado, make a pudding, add it as a topping on sandwiches and salads, or eat it as a guacamole.

For a quick pudding recipe, use about 100 grams of avocado, 60 mL of milk or milk alternative, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and 60 grams of sweetener of choice. This will make a smooth and creamy chocolate pudding!

For a quick brownie, add 2 avocados, about 400 grams in a blender, along with 2 eggs, 200 grams of sweetener, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. You don’t even need additional flour or butter!

For a quick guacamole, all you need is 5 avocados, 6 tomatoes, 2 green onions, 1 garlic clove, 1 lime, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash up the avocados, dice the additional vegetables and mix it all up.

The Takeaway 

Avocado toast isn’t just an overhype breakfast food, avocados themselves are a superfood.

They can help improve wellbeing in every way, from supporting gut health, improving mental clarity, and providing beneficial nutrients and energy for daily activity.

Avocados have many health benefits including high amounts of nutrients, high fiber content, and versatility in recipes.

They can improve vision, liver health, heart health, mental wellbeing, regular blood sugar, prevent the formation of cancer cells, and even provide good amounts of fuel!

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