Avocados are known for their healthy fats but some of you might be surprised to know that avocados are actually a fruit, not a veggie. Popular in many dishes for their creamy consistency and satiating benefits, they actually contain a good amount of water and fibre.1 Thanks to these nutrients, avocados have been shown by research to have tonnes of health benefits, and we’re going to run through the top five here.
5 Health Benefits of Avocado
1. Avocados are nutrient dense
While there are many varieties of avocados, Hass avocados specifically contain the following nutrition per 100g2:
- 167 calories
- 15g fat (10g monounsaturated)
- 8.6 g carbohydrate
- 6.8 g fibre
- 3g protein
While the standard serving is typically ¼ of a fruit (30g), most people consume half an avocado at a time, which is closer to 70g.1
2. Avocados can support heart health
Clinical studies from the 1990s initially showed that avocados, despite being high in total fat, had positive impacts on cholesterol levels by lowering LDL, or ‘bad’, cholesterol levels.3
While there’s no official claim related to heart health at this time, avocados are similar in nutrition to tree nuts, which have a qualified health claim to support heart health (but also have more calories per 100g).1
3. Avocados can support healthy digestion
With such a creamy texture, it’s hard to believe that avocados are a good source of dietary fibre. Experts recommend that we get between 25-35 grams of dietary fibre per day for healthy digestion, and half an avocado can provide about five of those grams.4 Fibre helps us feel fuller and can help support healthy cholesterol levels.
4. Avocados can help you lose weight
Due to its high fat and fibre content, not only are avocados delicious, but they’re also satisfying. Fat, like fibre, makes our digestive process slow – keeping food in our stomachs longer and keeping us feeling fuller and more satisfied.
Like other fruits, avocados are an excellent part of a weight management plan. Clinical research studies have shown that in spite of their caloric content, avocados are good foods to include when you want to control your weight.5
5. Additional health benefits
Thanks to the phytochemicals, or plant compounds, in avocados, they can also support eye health and skin health thanks to their content of lutein and zeaxanthin.6 Both our eyes and skin are subject to the aging process so consuming foods that are high in phytochemicals have many potential health benefits.
Looking for something other than avocado toast to get your fill? Try these quesadillas…
Take home message
In summary, avocados are not only delicious and versatile, but also packed with nutrition from healthy fats to phytochemicals. Including avocado in your meals and snacks is a great way to pack more nutrients in to your day.